By Edward M. Harris
Filling a big hole in scholarship, this is often the 1st full-length research of the Athenian baby-kisser Aeschines. in addition to Isocrates, Aeschines was once essentially the most well-liked Athenian politicians who recommended pleasant ties with the Macedonian king Philip II. even though overshadowed via his well-known rival Demosthenes, Aeschines performed a key function within the decisive occasions that marked the increase of Macedonian energy in Greece and shaped the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic interval. 3 lengthy speeches by means of Aeschines, all brought in court docket battles together with his opponent Demosthenes, were preserved and supply us with important information regarding Athenian politics in the course of an important turning aspect in Greek historical past. This examine of Aeschines' political occupation examines the reliability of courtroom speeches as old facts and indicates how they assist exhibit how democratic associations truly functioned in Athens whilst confronted with the increase of Macedonian strength.
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Additional info for Aeschines and Athenian Politics
Although his uncle Cleobulus won a crown for valor in battle, he may have been dead by the time his nephew was ready to speak in the Assembly. The only man to our knowledge associated with Cleobulus was Demaenetus, but no evidence indicates he ever lent Aeschines support. Aeschines' older brother Philochares was a general during the years 345/44, 344/43, and 343/42, but his tenure began after Aeschines had served on several embassies. If anything, Philochares may have owed his rise to his brother's success.
25 As for social status, Atrometus was hardly a kalos kagathos. The need to work for a living robbed him of the leisure to pursue the life of a gentleman. Nor was the profession of schoolmaster highly respected. For instance, one of the many insults directed at Epicurus by his rivals was that his father taught school for a pitiful fee. Yet this profession must have been more respectable than the manual crafts. After all, the children whom Atrometus taught must have come from those families that could afford to give their sons a good education.
He did keep active in the courts indirectly, however, by writing speeches for other politicians. 43 Demosthenes was not unique in getting such an early start. Timarchus, who was about the same age as Aeschines, was active as a member of the Council at roughly age thirty or shortly after; a few years later he served as a magistrate on Andros. By Family, Early Career, and Start in Politics 33 the time of his trial in 346 Timarchus had served on numerous embassies. Nausicles, another contemporary of Aeschines, had already been elected general at least once by the time he reached his late thirties in 353/52, the year in which he won acclaim for defending the pass at Thermopylai against Philip of Macedon.