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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 25 focuses on Demosthenes’ political career on the basis of his own public speeches (dêmêgoriai). To this end, it asks some fundamental questions concerning the ‘interpretation’ of the individual and his times, such as the allegedly ‘fateful’ importance of the conflict that opposed the kingdom of Macedon to Athens, compared to the conflict that pitched Athens against Sparta during the Peloponnesian Wars or that between Sparta and Thebes in the first quarter of the fourth century. The chapter links Demosthenes’ public speeches, especially the early ones, to the traditional goals of Athenian politics and the political climate of the period. It also considers some crucial developments that had an impact on Demosthenes’ political career, including the Battle of Chaeronea, the death of Philip II of Macedon in 336, and Demosthenes’ suicide in 322.

Keywords: Demosthenes, political career, public speeches, Sparta, Macedon, Athens, politics, Battle of Chaeronea, Philip II of Macedon, suicide

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