Demosthenes and His Time: A Study in Defeat

Overview

This book draws on a wide range of evidence to study the history of Athens from 386 to 322 B.C. Taking a sympathetic view of the Second Athenian League, Sealey focuses on the career of Demosthenes to provide important insights into Athenian politics and policies. Demosthenes experienced repeated setbacks in his early attempts at public activity, but found his mission as a statesman in the conflict with Macedon and subsequently became the leading man in Athens. Sealey rejects theories that assume programmatic ...

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Overview

This book draws on a wide range of evidence to study the history of Athens from 386 to 322 B.C. Taking a sympathetic view of the Second Athenian League, Sealey focuses on the career of Demosthenes to provide important insights into Athenian politics and policies. Demosthenes experienced repeated setbacks in his early attempts at public activity, but found his mission as a statesman in the conflict with Macedon and subsequently became the leading man in Athens. Sealey rejects theories that assume programmatic divisions among Athenian statesmen into pro- and anti-Macedonians, and argues that all Athenians active in politics resented Macedonian ascendancy but recognized the necessity of accommodation to superior power. His account concludes with the defeat of Athens and its allies and the suicide of Demosthenes, presenting new insights not only into the life of Demosthenes and the turbulent years of his political career, but also the social and international factors bearing on Athenian political activity in general.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"General readers as well as students at all levels will benefit from the text, faculty from the notes and appendixes."—Choice

"Recent years have seen the publication of a series of significant works dealing with fourth century topics. Demosthenes and His Time is a welcome addition to this growing list....A more realistic picture of the strengths and weaknesses of Demosthenes as a politician than we have had before, but also perceptive analyses of many of his contemporaries....Every teacher of Greek history will profit."—The Classical Outlook

"This is the first major study on the life and times of Demosthenes in over fifty years.... Our guide in this book has remarkable mastery over the subject and can offer many worthwhile insights....For superb formulations...and for its overall excellence, it is indeed difficult not to like this book."—New England Classical Newsletter and Journal

"In this first comprehensive study of the career of Demosthenes in over half a century, Sealey provides an indispensable guide to Athenian politics in the fourth century....This will be the standard work in the future for all serious students of Greek political history in the fourth century."—Religious Studies Review

"There is much to be pondered upon in the book and peppered throughout it are new and provocative ideas."—The Classical Review

"...Sealey's discussions of such topics as the idea of 'government', the interpretation of politics as driven by personal dynamics as opposed to ideology, and the problems of interpreting the Attic orators will enrich the work of students and scholars alike."—Ancient History Bulletin

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195079289
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/28/1993
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 6.44 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 1.24 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Subject 3
1 The Crisis of 387/6 7
2 The Athenians and Their Environment 19
3 Athens and the New League 50
4 Destabilization in the North 74
5 Before and After the Social War 102
6 War and Peace in the North 137
7 The Athenians Frustrated 160
8 The Athenians Defeated 194
Appendix 1. The Transmission of the Demosthenic Corpus 221
Appendix 2. Questions of Authenticity of Some Demosthenic Speeches 230
Appendix 3. Autonomia 241
Appendix 4. Dates in the Early Life of Demosthenes 245
Appendix 5. Chronological Notes on the 360s 249
Appendix 6. The Theoric Fund 256
Appendix 7. Euboia 343-340 259
Appendix 8. The Chronology of the Scandal of Harpalos 265
Appendix 9. The Athenian Calendars 268
Notes 271
Bibliography 319
Index of Passages 331
General Index 333
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