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date: 24 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 24 examines the first three decades of Demosthenes’ life, focusing on his family and personal life, his upbringing, and the lawsuits against his guardians. Although born into a privileged family, his guardians’ neglect and scheming out of greed left Demosthenes at the mercy of other family members. It took Demosthenes several years and a large amount of stubbornness and determination to prosecute his former guardians. The chapter considers how Demosthenes’ lawsuits against his former guardians played an important role not only in securing him at least parts of his inheritance but also in laying the foundation to his prominence in Athenian society. It shows that Demosthenes’ success in the courtroom led to a professional career as a logographer, which in turn earned him the means to enter the political arena as a gifted and ambitious rhêtôr.

Keywords: Demosthenes, family, personal life, lawsuits, guardians, inheritance, logographer, rhêtôr

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