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Hegesippus

(c. 390—325 bc)


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(c.390–c.325bc),

Athenian statesman, contemporary with Demosthenes, nicknamed Krōbylos (‘Top-knot’) from his old-fashioned hairstyle, an obscure but not unimportant figure. He was already a man of note in the 350s, and in 355 proposed the decree of alliance with Phocis. In the 340s he became prominent as a vigorous opponent of Philip II, and appears to have been one of the very few Athenian statesmen who opposed the making of the Peace of Philocrates (schol. to Dem. 19. 72). In 344/3 he played a decisive part in obstructing the offer of Philip, brought by Python of Byzantium, to turn the Peace into a Common Peace of all the Greeks. With Demosthenes' support, Hegesippus persuaded the Athenians to send him on an embassy to renew their claim on Amphipolis, which they had renounced in 346; as was to be expected, he was unceremoniously received by Philip, and, when in early 342 Philip made the offer again, Hegesippus exerted himself to secure its final rejection. The speech De Halonneso ([Dem.] 7) is now generally agreed to be his contribution to the debate on that occasion (Dionysius of Halicarnassus, who accepted it as Demosthenic despite strong contrary indications of style, was not followed by Libanius). The speech is misleadingly titled from the first topic with which it deals; it is really concerned to answer a letter from Philip peri tēs epanorthōseōs Tēseirēnēs (‘on the amendment of the peace’) (§ 18 ff.) and manifests a complete refusal to assent to the decisions of 346. His policy was, in short, like that of Demosthenes, to seek a renewal of the war (cf. Plut. Mor. 187e and Aeschin. 2. 137). He was still active in politics after the battle of Chaeronea (338), but was not one of the demagogues whose surrender Alexander the Great demanded in 335.

George Law Cawkwell

Subjects: Classical Studies.


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