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Demosthenes the Orator$
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Douglas M. MacDowell

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199287192

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287192.001.0001

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The letters and the final years

The letters and the final years

(p.408) 16 The letters and the final years
Demosthenes the Orator

Douglas M. MacDowell

Oxford University Press

The Epistles are probably all genuine texts of Demosthenes, though the authenticity and context of Ep. 5 are doubtful. The other letters were written during or after his exile in consequence of the Harpalos affair, which is recounted briefly. He had been condemned to pay a heavy fine, and as long as it was unpaid he remained disfranchised. In Ep. 3 he requests favourable treatment for the sons of Lykourgos, and for himself too. In Ep. 2 he claims that no proof of his guilt has ever been produced. Ep. 4 rejects an assertion that he brought misfortune upon Athens, and Ep. 1, written after Alexander's death, urges the Athenians to unite against Macedonia. Ep. 6 is a hasty note written before or after his recall from exile. After Antipatros took control of Athens, Demosthenes fled and committed suicide. Demokhares' proposal is quoted, honouring Demosthenes more than forty years later.

Keywords:   epistles, letters, Harpalos, Antipatros, Demokhares

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