By Edward M. Harris
Filling an incredible hole in scholarship, this is often the 1st full-length research of the Athenian baby-kisser Aeschines. in addition to Isocrates, Aeschines used to be some of the most admired Athenian politicians who endorsed pleasant ties with the Macedonian king Philip II. even though overshadowed by way of his recognized rival Demosthenes, Aeschines performed a key position within the decisive occasions that marked the increase of Macedonian energy in Greece and shaped the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic interval. 3 lengthy speeches via Aeschines, all brought in court docket battles together with his opponent Demosthenes, were preserved and supply us with priceless information regarding Athenian politics in the course of an immense turning element in Greek historical past. This learn of Aeschines' political profession examines the reliability of court docket speeches as historic proof and exhibits how they assist show how democratic associations really functioned in Athens while confronted with the increase of Macedonian strength.
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Extra info for Aeschines and Athenian Politics
59 Eubulus and Phocion were very useful friends for a novice politician to have. Eubulus exercised great influence in public through his control of the Theoric Fund. This fund was ostensibly created for the inauspicious purpose of making small grants to citizens to enable them to attend major religious festivals. Sometime in the 350s, however, Eubulus and Diophantus persuaded the Athenians to have all the surplus revenues from the public budget paid into this fund, a move which gave those in Family, Early Career, and Start in Politics 39 control of the fund the power to initiate expensive construction projects.
Several ambitious men took advantage of this opportunity to accuse prominent politicians of various crimes against the community, such as treason or embezzlement. Because these cases were tried before courts staffed by hundreds of citizens and often drew large crowds of spectators, they might serve as a means of drawing attention to the aspiring politician intent on gaining a reputation for protecting the public interest. The first person to pursue this path with notable success was Cleon; all the other prominent politicians before him chose to make their way in politics by means of liturgies, private generoisty, and military service.
Philip then tried the same tactic with the Athenians. Knowing their desire to retake Amphipolis, he removed the Macedonian garrison stationed there in hopes of inducing them to abandon Argaeus. The gesture failed, and Philip was forced to meet his rival in battle. Although he routed Argaeus' soldiers, Philip realized that one victory would not cause the Athenians to renounce their ambition to regain Amphipolis. Nor could he afford to have the Athenians as his enemies when his own borders remained vulnerable.