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Headword: Dêmosthenês
Adler number: delta,455
Translated headword: Demosthenes
Vetting Status: high
The orator; he was a man of outstanding ability in reflection and in the expression of his thoughts; hence, too, he was regarded as the most eloquent among his contemporaries, since he was most competent in inferring what was not apparent[1] and in explaining what he had understood. In all that he tried to say or do in defence of the public interest, although he did not live at a time propitious for the reputation of political leaders, he alone among Athenians of his own time spoke out freely against the Macedonian tyrants; they saw him as someone impossible to bribe, at a time when it so happened that those in the other cities who, because they desired enrichment more than the public good, were bought by gifts of money, for the sake of their own gain placed what they saw as their own immediate interest before what was in the common interest. Hence, even the things for which they later blamed him were forgiven by the Athenians, and they welcomed him back again and relied on his advice in everything. And the nobility of his death most of all caused them to regret openly their decisions. Not long after the news came of Demosthenes' death, they went back on decisions they had taken more for fear of Macedon than with full integrity of judgement, and they voted to grant immunity from taxation to the eldest member of Demosthenes' family, and to set up a bronze image of him in the agora;[2] and they inscribed an elegy on the base of the statue: 'If your power had been equal to your judgement, Demosthenes, never would the Ares of Macedon have ruled the Greeks.'
Greek Original:
Dêmosthenês, ho rhêtôr, anêr ên gnônai te kai eipein, hosa enthumêtheiê, dunatôtatos genomenos. hothen kai deinotatos edoxe tôn kath' hauton, hoia dê hikanôtatos to aphanes eikasai kai to gnôsthen exêgêsasthai. kai en hois huper tôn koinôn legein ti ê prattein epecheirêse, kairôi men epitêdeiôi ou mala echrêsato es doxan tôn dêmagôgountôn. pleista de heis anêr houtos tôn kath' hauton Athênaiôn tois Makedonôn turannois sun parrêsiai anteipôn para toisde adôrotatos edoxen einai. hote dê sunebaine tous en tais allais polesin, hoia dê tôn kerdôn ephiemenous mallon ek tou es to koinon lusitelountos, exônêthentas chrêmatôn dosei to kata sphas hôs edokoun en tôi parautika kerdous tou spheterou heineka pro tou es ta koina sumpherontos tithesthai. hothen autôi kai eph' hois husteron êitiathê sungnontes hoi Athênaioi katedexanto te authis kai es panta sumboulôi echrêsanto. kai autôi hê teleutê gennaia epigenomenê malista es metameleian êgagen autous ouk aphanê tôn gnôsthentôn. ou pollôi goun husteron ê exangelthênai tethnêkota Dêmosthenên meteginôskon eph' hois deei tôn Makedonôn mallon ê gnômêi têi dikaiotatêi ekrinan, kai ateleian te tôi presbutatôi genous tou Dêmosthenous psêphizontai kai chalkoun stênai auton en agorai, kai elegeion têi basei tou andriantos epegrapsan: eiper isên rhômên gnômêi, Dêmosthenes, eiches, oupot' an Hellênôn êrxen Arês Makedôn.
Arrian, Historia Successorum Alexandri fr.23 Roos-Wirth (FGrH 156 F176a). For Demosthenes see already delta 454, and cf. delta 456.
[1] Again at epsiloniota 57.
[2] cf. [Plutarch], Lives of the Ten Orators 847C-E.
Keywords: art history; biography; constitution; economics; ethics; geography; historiography; history; imagery; poetry; politics; rhetoric
Translated by: Malcolm Heath on 28 June 2000@13:51:36.
Vetted by:
Ross Scaife ✝ (changed keyword, upped status) on 28 June 2000@15:20:04.
David Whitehead (added note and keywords; cosmetics) on 26 March 2001@03:46:37.
David Whitehead (added note) on 26 March 2001@03:58:40.
David Whitehead (added keywords) on 9 February 2003@10:08:54.
Catharine Roth (rearrangement) on 24 August 2005@11:23:49.
David Whitehead (more keywords) on 9 October 2005@06:37:48.
David Whitehead (more x-refs; more keywords) on 26 June 2012@08:17:54.
Catharine Roth (note number) on 18 July 2016@15:55:44.


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