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$1. The first Oration of Demosthenes

against Philip: pronounced in the Archonship of Aristodemus, in the first year of the Hundred and Seventh Olympiad, and the ninth of Philip's reign.


E have seen Philip, opposed in his

design of passing into Greece,
through Thermopylæ, was obliged
to retire. The danger they had thus
escaped deeply affected the Athe-
nians. So daring an attempt, which
was, in effect, declaring his purposes,
filled them with astonishment; and
the view of a power, which every day
received new accessions, drove them
even to despair. Yet their aversion
to public business was still predomi-
nant. They forgot that Philip might
renew his attempt; and thought they
had provided sufficiently for their se-
curity, by posting a body of troops
at the entrance of Attica, under the
command of Menelaus, a foreigner.
They then proceeded to convene an
assembly of the people, in order to
consider what measures were to be
taken to check the progress of Philip.
On which occasion Demosthenes, for
the first time, appeared against that
prince; and displayed those abilities,
which proved the greatest obstacle to

his designs.
At Athens, the whole power

nagement of affairs were placed in
the people. It was their prerogative
to receive appeals from the courts of

justice, to abrogate and enact laws, to make what alterations in the state they judged convenient; in short, all matters, public or private, foreign or domestic, civil, inilitary, or religious, were determined by them. Whenever there was occasion to deli

berate, the people assembled early in
the morning, sometimes in the forum
or public place, sometimes in place
called Pnyx, but most frequently in
the theatre of Bacchus. A few days
before each assembly there was a
IIpoypappa or Placard fixed on the
statues of some illustrious men
erected in the city, to give notice of
the subject to be debated. As they
refused admittance into the assembly
to all persons who had not attained
the necessary age, so they obliged all
others to attend. The Lexiarchs
stretched out a cord dyed with scar-
let, and by it pushed the people to-
wards the place of meeting. Such
as received the stain were fined; the
more diligent had a small pecuniary
reward. These Lexiarchs were the
keepers of the register, in which were
enrolled the names of such citizens as
had a right of voting. And all bad
this right who were of age, and not
excluded by a personal fault. Un-
dutiful children, cowards, brutal de
bauchees, prodigals, debtors to the
public, were all excluded. Until
the time of Cecrops, women had a
right of suffrage, which they were
said to have lost, on account of their

and ma

partiality to Minerva, in her dispute tion. Yet the custom still continued, with Neptune, about giving a name to out of respect to the reasonable and the city


for which the law In ordinary cases, all matters were first was originally enacted. When a

deliberated in the senate of five hun- speaker had delivered his sentiments dred, composed of fifty senators cho- he generally called on an officer, apsen out of each of the ten tribes.

pointed for that purpose, to read his Each tribe had its turn of presiding, motion, and propound it in form. He and the fifty senators in office were then sat down, or resumed his discalled Prytanes. And, according to course, and enforced his motion by the number of the tribes, the Attic additional arguments; and sometimes year was divided into ten parts, the the speech was introduced by his mofour first containing thirty-six, the tion thus propounded. When all the other thirty-five days; in order to speakers had ended, the people gave make the Lunar year complete,which their opinion, by stretching out their according to their calculation, con- hands to him whose proposal pleased tained three hundred and fifty-four them most. And Xenophon reports days. During each of these divisions, that, night having come on when the ten of the fifty Prytanes governed people were engaged in an important for a week, and were called Proedri: debate, they were obliged to defer and, of these, he who in the course their determination till next day, for of the week presided for one day, fear of confusion, when their hands was called the Epistatæ : three of were to be raised, the Proedri being excluded from this Porrexerunt manus, saith Cicero (pro office.

Flecco) & Psephismaralum est. And, The Prytanes assembled the people; to constitute this Psephisma or de

the Proedri declare the occasion ; cree, six thousand citizens at least and the Epistatæ demand their voices.

were required. When it was drawn This was the case in the ordinary as- up, the name of its author, or that semblies: the extraordinary were person whose opinion has prevailed, convened as well by the generals as was prefixed : whence, in speaking the Prytanes ; and sometimes the of it, they call it his decree. The people met of their own accord, date of it contained the name of the without waiting the formalities.

Archon, that of the day and month, The assembly was opened by a sacri- and that of the tribe then presiding.

fice; and the place was sprinkled The business being over, the Prytawith the blood of the victim. Then nes dismissed the assembly. an imprecation was pronounced, con- The reader who chooses to be more miceived in these terms:

May the

nutely informed in the customs, and “gods pursue that man to destruction, manner of procedure in the public " with all his race, who shall act, assemblies of Athens, may consult “speak, or contrive, any thing against the Archæologia of Archbishop Pot“this state!” This ceremony being ter, Sigonius, or the Concionatrices finished, the Proedri declared the of Aristophanes. occasion of the assembly, and re- HAD we been convened, Athenians ! ported the opinion of the senate. If on some new subject of debate, I had waitany doubt arose, an herald, by com- ed until most of the usual persons had demission from the Epistatæ, with a clared their opinions. If I had approved loud voice, invited any citizen, first of any thing proposed by them, I should of those above the age of fifty, to have continued silent: if not, I had then speak his opinion : and then the rest attempted to speak my sentiments. But according to their ages. This right since those very points on which these of precedence had been granted by a speakers have oftentimes been heard allaw of Solon, and the order of speak- ready are, at this time, to be considered ; ing determined entirely by the differ- though I have arisen first, I presume i


I ence of years. In the time of De- may expect your pardon ; for if they on mosthenes, this law was not force. former occasions had advised the necesIt is said to have been repealed about sary measures, ye would not have found it fifty years before the date of this ora- needful to consult at present.

First then, Athenians! these our affairs sentiments, he overturns whole countries; must not be thought desperate ; no, though he holds all people in subjection: some, as their situation seems entirely deplorable. by the right of conquest; others, under For the most shocking circumstance of all the title of allies and confederates: for our past conduct is really the most favour- all are willing to confederate withịthose able to our future expectations. And what whom they see prepared and resolved to is this? That our own total indolence exert themselves as they ought. hath been the cause of all our present And if you (my countrymen !) will now difficulties. For were we thus distressed, at length be persuaded to entertain the like in spite of every vigorous effort which the sentiments; if each of you, renouncing all honour of our state demanded, there were evasions, will be ready to approve himself then no hope of a recovery.

an useful citizen, to the utmost that his In the next place reflect (you who have station and abilities demand; if the rich been informed by others, and you who can will be ready to contribute, and the young: yourselves remember) how great a power to take the field ; in one word, if you will the Lacedemonians not long since possess. be yourselves, and banish those vain hopes, ed; and with what resolution, with what which every single person entertains, that dignity you disdained to act unworthy of while so many others are engaged in pubthe state, but maintained the war against lic business, his service will hot be rethem for the rights of Greece. Why do I quired; you then (if Heaven so pleases) mention these things ? That ye may know, shall regain your dominions, recal those that ye may see, Athenians that if duly opportunities your supineness hath nevigilant, ye cannot have any thing to fear; glected, and chastise the insolence of this that if once remiss, not any thing can hap- man. For you are not to imagine, that pen agreeable to your desires : witness the like a god, he is to enjoy his present greatthen powerful arms of Lacedemon, which ness for ever fixed and unchangeable. No, a just attention to your interests enabled Athenians! there are, who hate him, who you to vanquish; and this man's late in- fear him, who envy him, even among solent attempt, which our insensibility to those seemingly the most attached to his all our great concerns hath made the cause cause. These are passions common to manof this confusion.

kind: nor must we think that his friends If there be a man in this assembly who only are exempted from them. It is true thinks that we must find a formidable they lie concealed at present, as our indo. enemy in Philip, while he views, on one lence deprives them of all resource. But hand, the numerous armies which attend let us shake off this indolence! for you see him; and, on the other, the weakness of how we are situated; you see the outrathe state thus despoiled of its dominions; geons arrogance of this man, who does not he thinks justly. Yet let him reflect on

leave it to

choice whether


shall this: there was a time, Athenians! when act, or remain quiet; but braves


with we possessed Pydna, and Potidæa,and Me- his menaces; and talks (as we are inthone, and all that country round: when formed) in a strain of the highest extravamany of those states pow subjected to him gance: and is not able to rest

satisfied with were free and independent; and more in- his present acquisitions, but is ever in

purclined to our alliance than to his. Had suit of further conquests; and while we sit then Philip reasoned in the same manner, down, inactive and irresolute, encloses us “ How shall I dare to attack the Atheni- on all sides with his toils. “ ans, whose garrisons command my ter- When, therefore, O my countrymen ! “ ritory, while I am destitute of all as- when will you exert your vigour? When “sistance!” he would not have engaged roused by some event? When forced by in those enterprises which are now crown- some necessity? What then are we to ed with success; nor could he have raised think of our present condition ? To freehimself to this pitch of greatness. No, men, the disgrace attending on misconduct Athenians! he knew this well, that all is, in my opinion, the most urgent necesthese places are but prizes, laid between sity. Or, say, is it your sole ambition to the combatants, and ready for the con- wander through the public places, each in

. queror : that the dominions of the absent quiring of the other, “What new advices?" devolve naturally to those who are in the Can any thing be more new, than that a field; the possessions of the supine to the man of Macedon should conquer the Athe. active and intrepid. Animated by these pians, and give law to Greece : " is Philip


“ dead? No, but in great danger.” How Thus far we should be provided against are you concerned in those rumours ? Sup- those sudden excursions from his own kingposé he should meet some fatal stroke: dom to Thermopylæ, to the Chersonesus, you would soon raise up another Philip, if to Olynthus, to whatever places he thinks your interests are thus regarded. For it is proper. For of this he should necessarily not to his own strength that he so much be persuaded, that possibly you may break owes his elevation, as to our supineness. out from this immoderate indolence, and And should some accident' affect him; Ay to some scene of action : as you did to should fortune, who hath ever been more Eubæa, and formerly, as we are told, to careful of the state than we ourselves, now Haliartus, and, but now, to Thermopylæ. repeat her favours (and may she thus crown But although we should not act with all them !) be assured of this, that by being this vigour, (which yet I must regard as on the spot, ready to take advantage of the our indispensable duty) still the measures I confusion, you will every where be abso- propose will have their use: as his fears lute masters ; but in your present disposi- may keep him quiet, when he knows we tion, even if a favourable juncture should are prepared (and this he will know, for present you with Amphipolis, you could there are too many among ourselves who not také possession of it, while this sus- inform him of every thing): or, if he pense prevails in your designs and in your should despise our armament, his security councils.

may prove fatal to him: as it will be abAnd now, as to the necessity of a ge- solutely in our power, at the first favourneral vigour and alacrity; of this you must able juncture, to make a descent upon his be fully persuaded ; this point therefore I own coasts. shall urge no further. But the nature of These then are the resolutions I prothe armament, which, I think, will extri- pose; these the provisions it will become cate you from the present difficulties, the you to make. And I pronounce it still numbers to be raised, the subsidies re- farther necessary to raise some other forces quired for their support, and all the other which may harass him with perpetual innecessaries; how they may (in my opinion) oursions. Talk not of your ten thousands, be best and most expeditiously provided; or twenty thousands of foreigners; of those these things I shall endeavour to explain. armies which appear so magnificent on But here I make this request, Athenians ! paper: but let them be the natural forces that you would not be precipitate, but of the state: and if you choose a single persuspend your judgment till you have heard son, if a number, if this particular man, or me fully. And if, at first, I seem to pro- whomever you appoint as general, let them pose a new kind of armament, let it not be entirely under his guidance and authobe thought that I am delaying your af- rity. I also move you that subsistence be fairs. For it is not they who cry out, “ In- provided for them. But as to the quality, stantly!” “ This moment!” whose coun- The numbers, the maintenance of this sels suit the present juncture (as it is not body: how are these points to be settled ? possible to repel violences alieady com- I now proceed to speak of each of them mitted by an occasional detachment) but distinctly. he who will shew you of what kind that The body of infantry therefore-But armament must be, how great, and how here give me leave to warn you of an error supported, which may subsist until we yield which hath often proved injurious to you. to peace, or till our enemies sink beneath Think not that your preparations never our arms; for thus only can we be secured

can be too magnificent: great and terrible from future dangers. These things, I think, in your decrees : in execution weak and I can point out; not that I would prevent contemptible. Let your preparations, let any other person from declaring his opi- your supplies at first be moderate, and add nion : thus far am I engaged. How I can to these if you find them not sufficient, I acquit myself, will immediately appear: say then that the whole body of infantry to your judgments I appeal.

should be two thousand; of these, that five First then, Athenians! I say


you hundred should be Athenians, of such an should fit out fifty ships of war; and then age as you should think proper; and with a resolve, that on the first emergency you stated time for service, not long, but such will embark yourselves. To these I insist as that others may have their turn of duty. that you must add transports, and other ne- Let the rest be formed of foreigners. To cessary vessels sufficient for balfour horse, these you are to add two hundred horse,


fifty of them at least Athenians, to serve clay, you make your officers for shew, and in the same manner as the foot. For these not for service. My countrymen! should you are to provide transports. And now, not all these generals have been chosen what farther preparations ? Ten light from your own body; all these several galleys. For as he hath a naval power, officers from your own body; that our we must be provided with light vessels, force might be really Athenian? And yet, that our troops may have a secure convoy. for an expedition in favour of Lemnos,

But whence are these forces to be sub- the general must be a citizen, while troops, sisted? This I shall explain when I have engaged in defence of our own territories, first given my reasons why I think such are commanded by Menelaus. I say not numbers sufficient, and why I have ad- this to detract from his merit; but to vised that we should serve in person. As whomsoever this command hath been into the numbers, Athenians! my reason is trusted, surely he should have derived it this: it is not at present in our power to from your voices. provide a force, able to meet him in the Perhaps you are fully sensible of these open field; but we must harass him by truths; but would rather hear me upon depredations: thus the war must be car- another point; that of the supplies; what ried on at first. We therefore cannot we are to raise, and from what funds. To think of raising a prodigious army (for this I now proceed. The sum therefore such we have neither pay nor provisions), necessary for the maintenance of these nor must our forces be absolutely mean, forces, that the soldiers may be supplied And I have proposed, that citizens should with grain, is somewhat above ninety tajoin in the service, and help to man our lents. To the ten galleys, forty talents, fleet: because I am informed, that some that each vessel may have a monthly altime since, the state maintained a body of lowance of twenty minæ. To the two auxiliaries at Corinth, which Polystratus thousand foot the same sum, that each solcommanded, and Iphicrates, and Chabrias, dier may receive ten drachmæ a month and some others; that you yourselves for corn. To the two hundred horse, for served with them; and that the united a monthly allowance of thirty drachmæ efforts of these auxiliary and domestic for- each, twelve talents. And let it not be ces gained a considerable victory over the thought a small convenience, that the sol. Lacedemonians. But, ever since our armies diers are supplied with grain: for I am have been formed of foreigners alone, their clearly satisfied, that if such a provision victories have been over our allies and be made, the war itself will supply them confederates, while our enemies have arisen with every thing else, so as to complete to an extravagance of power. And these their appointment, and this without an inarmies, with scarcely the slightest attention jury to the Greeks or allies: and I myself to the service of the state, sail off to fight am ready to sail with them, and to answer for Artabazus, or any other person ; and for the consequence with my life, should it their general follows them; nor should we prove otherwise. From what fund the wonder at it; for he cannot command, who sum which I propose may be supplied, cannot pay

his soldiers. What then do I shall now be explained. ****** recommend? That you

should take away

[Here the secretary of the assembly all pretences both from generals and from reads a scheme for raising the supsoldiers, by a regular payment of the army, plies, and proposes it to the people and by incorporating domestic forces with in form, in the name of the orator.] the auxiliaries, to be as it were inspectors These are the supplies, Athenians! in into the conduct of the commanders. For our power to raise. And, when you come at present our manner of acting is even to give your voices, determine upon some ridiculous. If a man should ask,

" Are

effectual provision, that you may oppose " you at peace, Athenians?" the answer Philip, not by decrees and letters only, would immediately be, “ By no means ! but by actions. And, in my opinion, your * we are at war with Philip. Have not plan of operation, and every thing relat" we chosen the usual generals and officers ing to your armament, will be much more “ both of horse and foot ?" And of what happily adjusted, if the situation of the use are all these, except the single person - country, which is to be the scene of action, whom you send to the field? The rest at- . be taken into the account; and if you retend your priests in their processions. So flect, that the winds and seasons have that, as if you formed so many men of greatly contributed to the rapidity of Phi

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