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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 young politician

The young politician

(p.207) 8 The young politician
Demosthenes the Orator

Douglas M. MacDowell

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses Demosthenes' political speeches of the years 353-348 BC. In For the Megalopolitans, he argues that it is not only advantageous to Athens but also morally right to support Megalopolis against Spartan aggression. In the First Philippic he urges the Athenians to take action to check the growing power of Philip of Macedonia by preparing two naval forces, manned partly by Athenian citizens; the style of the speech is brilliantly versatile. On the Freedom of the Rhodians, he advises the Athenians to exercise control of Rhodes by supporting the democratic party there. In On Organization, Demosthenes advocates a system for allocating public funds and encourages the Athenians to resume their leadership of Greece; there is no good reason to deny his authorship of this speech. The main themes of the Olynthiac speeches are the strategic situation at Olynthos, the easiness of defeating Philip there, the means of providing money to pay for an expedition, including use of the theoric fund, and the need for the Athenians to overcome their dilatoriness and disorganization.

Keywords:   Megalopolis, Philippic, Philip, Rhodes, Olynthos, theoric fund

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