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David D. Phillips, with K. Kapparis, edition of March 27, 2003

page 8 of 12

· Aeschines ·

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Aeschines (Aeschin. 1).
Aeschines (Aeschin. 2).

Aeschines son of Atrometus of the deme Cothocidae (390-ca. 322) was an actor before becoming a politician, for which he is repeatedly lampooned by Demosthenes. He served on the Athenian embassies to Philip regarding the “Peace of Philocrates;” in the period which followed his support for the peace brought him into constant conflict with Demosthenes. Upon his return from the second embassy in 346 he was accused of taking Macedonian bribes by Demosthenes and his associate Timarchus. He counterattacked by prosecuting Timarchus for speaking in the Assembly after having prostituted himself, and won his case with the oration “Against Timarchus” (1). When Demosthenes revived the allegations of bribery in 343, Aeschines defended himself with the speech “On the False Embassy” (2). He barely escaped conviction, and his influence was clearly on the wane.

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Aeschines (Aeschin. 3).
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In spring 339, as an Athenian representative at the meeting of the Amphictyonic League, Aeschines successfully deflected the wrath of the League from Athens onto Amphissa. However, the Fourth Sacred War against Amphissa bore bitter fruit for the Athenians as well, as it brought Philip into central Greece and eventually led to the battle of Chaeroneia. In 336 Aeschines indicted Ctesiphon for proposing the grant of a gold crown to Demosthenes. When the case came to trial six years later, Aeschines delivered his oration “Against Ctesiphon” (3). Despite the legal merits of his case, he received less than twenty percent of the jury’s votes, and he left Athens to teach rhetoric on Rhodes. (See also Oratory.)

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