Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

Paperback | October 15, 2015

byIan Worthington

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Regarded as ancient Greece's greatest orator, Demosthenes lived through and helped shape one of the most eventful epochs in antiquity. His political career spanned three decades, during which time Greece fell victim to Macedonian control, first under Philip II and then Alexander the Great.Demosthenes' resolute and courageous defiance of Philip earned for him a reputation as one of history's outstanding patriots. He also enjoyed a brilliant and lucrative career as a speechwriter, and his rhetorical skills are still emulated today by students and politicians alike. Yet he was a sicklychild with an embarrassing speech impediment, who was swindled out of much of his family's estate by unscrupulous guardians after the death of his father. His story is one of triumph over adversity. Modern studies of his life and career take one of two different approaches: he is either lauded as Greece's greatest patriot or condemned as an opportunist who misjudged situations and contributed directly to the end of Greek freedom. This biography, the first ever written in English for a popularaudience, aims to determine which of these two people he was: self-serving cynic or patriot - or even a combination of both. Its chronological arrangement brings Demosthenes vividly to life, discussing his troubled childhood and youth, the obstacles he faced in his public career, his fiercerivalries with other Athenian politicians, his successes and failures, and even his posthumous influence as a politician and orator. It offers new insights into Demosthenes' motives and how he shaped his policy to achieve political power, all set against the rich backdrop of late Classical Greeceand Macedonia.

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Regarded as ancient Greece's greatest orator, Demosthenes lived through and helped shape one of the most eventful epochs in antiquity. His political career spanned three decades, during which time Greece fell victim to Macedonian control, first under Philip II and then Alexander the Great.Demosthenes' resolute and courageous defiance o...

Ian Worthington is Curators' Professor of History and Adjunct Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Missouri and author of By the Spear: Philip II, Alexander the Great, and the Rise and Fall of the Macedonian Empire.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:416 pages, 9.09 × 6.1 × 1.42 inPublished:October 15, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190263563

ISBN - 13:9780190263560

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsList of Illustrations and MapsDemosthenes' Life: The Main EventsSpeech Numbers and TitlesQuotations and Abbreviations1. Preamble: "Politicians and Heroes"2. Demosthenes, Son of Demosthenes3. Greece and the Awakening of Macedonia4. Into the Public Eye5. The Aspiring Politician6. Swaying the Assembly7. An Uneasy Peace8. Resisting Philip9. "Speeches Like Soldiers"10. The End of Greek Freedom11. "For the Conqueror, Death"12. Demosthenes and Alexander the Great13. The Crown Trial14. Decline and Fall15. Poison from the PenAppendix: Ancient Coinage and Months of the Attic YearBibliographyIndex

Editorial Reviews

"A most welcome addition to the extensive scholarly literature on this subject... I would strongly recommend this well-balanced, accessible and thorough monograph to scholars and non-specialist readers." --Bryn Mawr Classical Review