(c. 380—319 bc)

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(c.380–319 bc)

Athenian statesman, influential in the two decades following the Greek defeat at Chaeronea (338 bc). Taken prisoner in the battle, he was nevertheless chosen by Philip II of Macedon as an envoy and used by the Athenians to negotiate the so‐called Peace of Demades. From then on he was regularly called on by the city to get it out of troubles caused by those who did not share his view that Macedon was too strong for the Greeks to revolt with a real chance of success. Having counselled against supporting Thebes' revolt of 335, he was able to dissuade Alexander 2 the Great from persisting in his demand for the surrender of Demosthenes 2, Hyperides, and other advocates of war. He seems to have sought the suspension of the Exiles' Decree in 324 by proposing a flattering decree that Alexander be voted a god (which earned him a ten‐talent fine), but his greatest service was successfully to negotiate with Antipater the end of the Lamian War. In 319 he went on an embassy to Antipater to request the withdrawal of the garrison from Munichia, but Cassander had him executed.

His policies of appeasement leagued him often with Phocion. He deserved the statue that had been erected in the Agora. He began life as a rower and received no formal training in rhetoric. He developed his great natural talent by speaking in the assembly. Theophrastus opined that as an orator Demosthenes was worthy of the city, Demades too good for it.

Subjects: Classical Studies.

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