The Public Orations of Demosthenes/Philippic I

Translated by Arthur Wallace Pickard


Philip became King of Macedonia in 359 B.C. Being in great difficulties both from external enemies and from internal division, he made peace with the Athenians, who were supporting the pretensions of Argaeus to the throne, in the hope of recovering (by agreement with Argaeus) the colony of Amphipolis on the Strymon, which they had lost in 424. Philip acknowledged the title of Athens to Amphipolis, and sent home the Athenian prisoners, whom he had captured among the supporters of Argaeus, without ransom. The Athenians, however, neglected to garrison Amphipolis. In 358 (the year in which Athens temporarily recovered her hold over Euboea, by compelling the Thebans to evacuate the island), Philip carried on a successful campaign against the Paeonian and Illyrian tribes, who were standing enemies of Macedonia. For the next three years Athens was kept occupied by the war with her allies, and Philip saw his opportunity. He besieged Amphipolis: when the citizens sent Hierax and Stratocles to ask Athens for help, he dispatched a letter promising the Athenians that he would give them Amphipolis when he had taken it; and a secret understanding was arrived at between Philip and the Athenian envoys sent to him, that Athens should give him Pydna (once a Macedonian town, but now an ally of Athens) in exchange. Athens, therefore, listened neither to Amphipolis nor to Olynthus, which had also made overtures to her. The Olynthians in consequence made a treaty with Philip, who gave them Anthemus and promised to help them against their old rival Poteidaea, a town in alliance with Athens. The Olynthians on their part agreed not to make peace with Athens except in conjunction with him. But Philip, when he had captured Amphipolis by a combination of siege and intrigue, did not give it up to Athens, and instead of waiting to receive Pydna from Athens, besieged and took it, aided once more by treachery from within. In 356 he took Poteidaea (in conjunction with the Olynthians, to whom he gave the town), the Athenians arriving too late to relieve it; and then pursued his conquests along the Thracian coast. Further inland he expelled the Thasians (allies of Athens) from Crenides and founded Philippi on the site, in the centre of the gold-mines of Mount Pangaeus, from which he henceforward derived a very large revenue; while the forests of the district provided him with timber for ship-building, of which he took full advantage: for in the next few years his ships made descents upon the Athenian islands of Lemnos and Imbros, plundered the Athenian corn-vessels off the coast of Euboea, and even landed a force at Marathon. In the latter part of 356 and in 355 he was occupied with the conquest of the Paeonians and Illyrians, with whom Athens had made an alliance in 356. At the end of 355 he laid siege to Methone, the last Athenian port on the Thermaic gulf, and captured it in 354. (Some place the siege and capture of Methone in 354-3, but an inscription, C.I.G. II. 70, makes it at least probable that the siege had begun by the last month of 355.) In 353 Philip made his way to the Thracian coast, and conquered Abdera and Maroneia. At Maroneia we find him in company with Pammenes (his former host at Thebes), who had been sent by the Thebans to assist Artabazus in his revolt against the Persian king; and at the same place he received Apollonides of Cardia, the envoy of the Thracian prince Cersobleptes. On his way home his ships escaped from Chares, off Neapolis, by a ruse. In the same year he interfered in the affairs of Thessaly, where the Aleuadae of Larissa had invited his assistance against Lycophron and Peitholaus of Pherae, who had invoked the aid of the Phocians. (In opposing the Phocians, the antagonists of the Thebans in the Sacred War, Philip was also helping the Thebans themselves, and gaining credit as the opponent of the plunderers of the temple of Apollo at Delphi.) Onomarchus, the Phocian leader, twice defeated Philip, but was overthrown and slain in 352. Philip took Pherae and Pagasae (its port), occupied Magnesia, and, by means of promises, obtained financial aid from the Thessalians. The expedition sent by Athens to relieve Pagasae arrived too late; but when Philip, after putting down the tyrants of Pherae and arranging matters in Thessaly, advanced towards the Pass of Thermopylae, an Athenian force, sent on the advice of Diophantus and Eubulus, appeared in time to oblige him to retire to Macedonia. Late in the autumn of 352 we find him once more in Thrace. It was probably now that he assisted the peoples of Byzantium and Perinthus, together with Amadocus, a rival of Cersobleptes, against the latter; with the result that Cersobleptes was obliged to give up his son to Philip as a hostage. Philip had also made alliance with Cardia, which, like Byzantium, was on bad terms with Athens. He now laid siege to Heraeon Teichos, a fortress on the Propontis, but illness obliged him to suspend operations, and the rumour of his death prevented the Athenians from sending against him the expedition which they had resolved upon. (The retention of her influence in this region was essential for Athens, if her corn-supply was to be secure.) In 351, on recovering from his illness, he entered the territory of Olynthus, which, contrary to the agreement with him, had made peace with Athens in the previous year, apart from himself: but he did not at present pursue the invasion further. In October 351 Athens sent Charidemus to the Hellespont with ten ships, but no soldiers and little money. If these are the ships alluded to in § 43 of the present Speech, the Speech must have been delivered after that date. Otherwise any date after Philip's incursion into the territory of Olynthus would suit the contents of the Speech, and many writers place it earlier in the year. The question of the relations of Athens with Philip had been brought forward; and Demosthenes, who had risen first to speak, proposes the creation of a large permanent fleet, and of a smaller force for immediate action, laying great stress on the necessity of sending Athenian citizens both to command and to form a substantial proportion of the troops, which, had so far been mostly mercenaries. The scheme was worked out in detail, both in its military and in its financial aspects, and supported with an eloquence and an earnestness which are far in advance of those displayed in the earlier speeches.

The statement of Dionysius of Halicarnassus, that the Speech as we have it, is really a conflation of two speeches, of which the second (beginning at § 30) was delivered in 347, is generally (and rightly) discredited.


1 If some new subject were being brought before us, men of Athens, I would have waited until most of your ordinary advisers had declared their opinion; and if anything that they said were satisfactory to me, I would have remained silent, and only if it were not so, would I have attempted to express my own view. But since we find ourselves once more considering a question upon which they have often spoken, I think I may reasonably be pardoned for rising first of all. For if their advice to you in the past had been what it ought to have been, you would have had no occasion for the present debate.

2 In the first place, then, men of Athens, we must not be downhearted at our present situation, however wretched it may seem to be. For in the worst feature of the past lies our best hope for the future-in the fact, that is, that we are in our present plight because you are not doing your duty in any respect; for if you were doing all that you should do, and we were still in this evil case, we could not then even hope for any improvement. 3 In the second place, you must bear in mind (what some of you have heard from others, and those who know can recollect for themselves), how powerful the Spartans were, not long ago, and yet how noble and patriotic your own conduct was, when instead of doing anything unworthy of your country you faced the war with Sparta [1] in defence of the right. [2] Now why do I remind you of these things? It is because, men of Athens, I wish you to see and to realize, that so long as you are on your guard you have nothing to fear; but that if you are indifferent, nothing can be as you would wish: for this is exemplified for you both by the power of Sparta in those days, to which you rose superior because you gave your minds to your affairs; and by the insolence of Philip to-day, which troubles us because we care nothing for the things which should concern us. 4 If, however, any of you, men of Athens, when he considers the immense force now at Philip's command, and the city's loss of all her strongholds, thinks that Philip is a foe hard to conquer, I ask him (right though he is in his belief) to reflect also that there was a time when we possessed Pydna and Poteidaea and Methone; when all the surrounding country was our own, and many of the tribes [3] which are now on his side were free and independent, and more inclined to be friendly to us than to him. 5 Now if in those days Philip had made up his mind that it was a hard thing to fight against the Athenians, with all their fortified outposts on his own frontiers, while he was destitute of allies, he would have achieved none of his recent successes, nor acquired this great power. But Philip saw quite clearly, men of Athens, that all these strongholds were prizes of war, displayed for competition. He saw that in the nature of things the property of the absent belongs to those who are on the spot, and that of the negligent to those who are ready for toil and danger. 6 It is, as you know, by acting upon this belief, that he has brought all those places under his power, and now holds them—some of them by right of capture in war, others in virtue of alliances and friendly understandings; for every one is willing to grant alliance and to give attention to those whom they see to be prepared and ready to take action as is necessary. 7 If then, men of Athens, you also will resolve to adopt this principle to- day—the principle which you have never observed before—if each of you can henceforward be relied upon to throw aside all this pretence of incapacity, and to act where his duty bids him, and where his services can be of use to his country; if he who has money will contribute, and he who is of military age will join the campaign; if, in one plain word, you will resolve henceforth to depend absolutely on yourselves, each man no longer hoping that he will need to do nothing himself, and that his neighbour will do everything for him; then, God willing, you will recover your own; you will take back all that your indolence has lost, and you will have your revenge upon Philip. 8 Do not imagine that his fortune is built to last for ever, as if he were a God. He also has those who hate him and fear him, men of Athens, and envy him too, even among those who now seem to be his closest friends. All the feelings that exist in any other body of men must be supposed to exist in Philip's supporters. Now, however, all such feelings are cowed before him: your slothful apathy has taken away their only rallying point; and it is this apathy that I bid you put off to-day. 9 Mark the situation, men of Athens: mark the pitch which the man's outrageous insolence has reached, when he does not even give you a choice between action and inaction, but threatens you, and utters (as we are told) haughty language: for he is not the man to rest content in possession of his conquests: he is always casting his net wider; and while we procrastinate and sit idle, he is setting his toils around us on every side. 10 When, then, men of Athens, when, I say, will you take the action that is required? What are you waiting for? 'We are waiting,' you say, 'till it is necessary.' But what must we think of all that is happening at this present time? Surely the strongest necessity that a free people can experience is the shame which they must feel at their position! What? Do you want to go round asking one another, 'Is there any news?' Could there be any stranger news than that a man of Macedonia is defeating Athenians in war, and ordering the affairs of the Hellenes? 11 'Is Philip dead?' 'No, but he is sick.' And what difference does it make to you? For if anything should happen to him, you will soon raise up for yourselves a second Philip, if it is thus that you attend to your interests. Indeed, Philip himself has not risen to this excessive height through his own strength, so much as through our neglect. I go even further. 12 If anything happened to Philip—if the operation of Fortune, who always cares for us better than we care for ourselves, were to effect this too for us—you know that if you were at hand, you could descend upon the general confusion and order everything as you wished; but in your present condition, even if circumstances offered you Amphipolis, you could not take it; for your forces and your minds alike are far away.

13 Well, I say no more of the obligation which rests upon you all to be willing and ready to do your duty; I will assume that you are resolved and convinced. But the nature of the armament which, I believe, will set you free from such troubles as these, the numbers of the force, the source from which we must obtain funds, and the best and quickest way, as it seems to me, of making all further preparations—all this, men of Athens, I will at once endeavour to explain when I have made one request of you. 14 Give your verdict on my proposal when you have heard the whole of it; do not prejudge it before I have done; and if at first the force which I propose appears unprecedented, do not think that I am merely creating delays. It is not those whose cry is 'At once', 'To-day', whose proposals will meet our need; for what has already happened cannot be prevented by any expedition now. 15 It is rather he who can show the nature, the magnitude, and the financial possibility of a force which when provided will be able to continue in existence either until we are persuaded to break off the war, or until we have overcome the enemy; for thus only can we escape further calamity for the future. These things I believe I can show, though I would not stand in the way of any other speaker's professions. It is no less a promise than this that I make; the event will soon test its fulfilment, and you will be the judges of it.

First then, men of Athens, I say that fifty warships must 16 at once be got in readiness: and next, that you must be in such a frame of mind that, if any need arises, you will embark in person and sail. In addition, you must prepare transports for half our cavalry, and a sufficient number of boats. 17 These, I think, should be in readiness to meet those sudden sallies of his from his own country against Thermopylae, the Chersonese, Olynthus, and any other place which he may select. For we must make him realize that there is a possibility of your rousing yourselves out of your excessive indifference, just as when once you went to Euboea,[4] and before that (as we are told) to Haliartus,[5] and finally, only the other day, to Thermopylae. 18 Such a possibility, even if you are unlikely to make it a reality, as I think you ought to do, is not one which he can treat lightly; and you may thus secure one of two objects. On the one hand, he may know that you are on the alert—he will in fact know it well enough: there are only too many persons, I assure you, in Athens itself, who report to him all that happens here: and in that case his apprehensions will ensure his inactivity. But if, on the other hand, he neglects the warning, he may be taken off his guard; for there will be nothing to hinder you from sailing to his country, if he gives you the opportunity. 19 These are the measures upon which I say you should all be resolved, and your preparations for them made. But before this, men of Athens, you must make ready a force which will fight without intermission, and do him damage. Do not speak to me of ten thousand or twenty thousand mercenaries. I will have none of your paper-armies. [6] Give me an army which will be the army of Athens, and will obey and follow the general whom you elect, be there one general or more, be he one particular individual, or be he who he may. 20 You must also provide maintenance for this force. Now what is this force to be? how large is it to be? how is it to be maintained? how will it consent to act in this manner? I will answer these questions point by point. The number of mercenaries—but you must not repeat the mistake which has so often injured you, the mistake of, first, thinking any measures inadequate, and so voting for the largest proposal, and then, when the time for action comes, not even executing the smaller one; you must rather carry out and make provision for the smaller measure, and add to it, if it proves too small—21 the total number of soldiers, I say, must be two thousand, and of these five hundred must be Athenians, beginning from whatever age you think good: they must serve for a definite period—not a long one, but one to be fixed at your discretion—and in relays. The rest must be mercenaries. With these must be cavalry, two hundred in number, of whom at least fifty must be Athenians, as with the infantry; and the conditions of service must be the same. 22 You must also find transports for these. And what next? Ten swift ships of war. For as he has a fleet, we need swift-sailing warships too, to secure the safe passage of the army. And how is maintenance to be provided for these? This also I will state and demonstrate, as soon as I have given you my reasons for thinking that a force of this size is sufficient, and for insisting that those who serve in it shall be citizens.

23 The size of the force, men of Athens, is determined by the fact that we cannot at present provide an army capable of meeting Philip in the open field; we must make plundering forays, and our warfare must at first be of a predatory nature. Consequently the force must not be over-big—we could then neither pay nor feed it—any more than it must be wholly insignificant. 24 The presence of citizens in the force that sails I require for the following reasons. I am told that Athens once maintained a mercenary force in Corinth,[7] under the command of Polystratus, Iphicrates, Chabrias and others, and that you yourselves joined in the campaign with them; and I remember hearing that these mercenaries, when they took the field with you, and you with them, were victorious over the Spartans. But even since your mercenary forces have gone to war alone, it is your friends and allies that they conquer, while your enemies have grown more powerful than they should be. After a casual glance at the war to which Athens has sent them, they sail off to Artabazus,[8] or anywhere rather than to the war; and the general follows them naturally enough, for his power over them is gone when he can give them no pay. You ask what I bid you do. 25 I bid you take away their excuses both from the general and the soldiers, by supplying pay and placing citizen-soldiers at their side as spectators of these mysteries of generalship;[9] for our present methods are a mere mockery. Imagine the question to be put to you, men of Athens, whether you are at peace or no. 'At peace?' you would say; 'Of course not! We are at war with Philip.' 26 Now have you not all along been electing from among your own countrymen ten captains and generals,[10] and cavalry-officers, and two masters-of-the-horse? and what are they doing? Except the one single individual whom you happen to send to the seat of war, they are all marshalling your processions for you with the commissioners of festivals. You are no better than men modelling puppets of clay. Your captains and your cavalry-officers are elected to be displayed in the streets, not to be sent to the war. 27 Surely, men of Athens, your captains should be elected from among yourselves, and your master-of-the-horse from among yourselves; your officers should be your own countrymen, if the force is to be really the army of Athens. As it is, the master-of-the-horse who is one of yourselves has to sail to Lemnos; while the master-of-the-horse with the army that is fighting to defend the possessions of Athens is Menelaus.[11] I do not wish to disparage that gentleman; but whoever holds that office ought to have been elected by you.

28 Perhaps, however, while agreeing with all that I have said, you are mainly anxious to hear my financial proposals, which will tell you the amount and the sources of the funds required. I proceed, therefore, with these at once. First for the sum. The cost of the bare rations for the crews, with such a force, will be 90 talents and a little over—40 talents for ten swift ships, and 20 minae a month for each ship; and for the soldiers as much again, each soldier to receive rations to the value of 10 drachmae a month; and for the cavalry (two hundred in number, each to receive 30 drachmae a month) twelve talents. 29 It may be said that the supply of bare rations to the members of the force is an insufficient initial provision; but this is a mistake. I am quite certain that, given so much, the army will provide everything else for itself from the proceeds of war, without injury to a single Hellene or ally of ours, and that the full pay will be made up by these means. I am ready to sail as a volunteer and to suffer the worst, if my words are untrue. The next question then is of ways and means, in so far as the funds are to come from yourselves. I will explain this at once.

[A schedule of ways and means is read.]

30 This, men of Athens, is what we have been able to devise; and when you put our proposals to the vote, you will pass them, if you approve of them; that so your war with Philip may be a war, not of resolutions and dispatches, but of actions.

31 I believe that the value of your deliberations about the war and the armament as a whole would be greatly enhanced, if you were to bear in mind the situation of the country against which you are fighting, remembering that most of Philip's plans are successfully carried out because he takes advantage of winds and seasons; for he waits for the Etesian winds[12] or the winter-season, and only attacks when it would be impossible for us to effect a passage to the scene of action. 32 Bearing this in mind, we must not carry on the war by means of isolated expeditions; we shall always be too late. We must have a permanent force and armament. As our winter-stations for the army we have Lemnos, Thasos, Sciathos, and the islands in that region, which have harbours and corn, and are well supplied with all that an army needs. And as to the time of year, whenever it is easy to approach the shore and the winds are not dangerous, our force can without difficulty lie close to the Macedonian coast itself, and block the mouths of the ports.

33 How and when he will employ the force is a matter to be determined, when the time comes, by the commander whom you put in control of it. What must be provided from Athens is described in the scheme which I have drafted. If, men of Athens, you first supply the sum I have mentioned, and then, after making ready the rest of the armament—soldiers, ships, cavalry—bind the whole force in its entirety,[13] by law, to remain at the seat of war; if you become your own paymasters, your own commissioners of supply, but require your general to account for the actual operations; 34 then there will be an end of these perpetual discussions of one and the same theme, which end in nothing but discussion: and in addition to this, men of Athens, you will, in the first place, deprive him of his chief source of supply. For what is this? Why, he carries on the war at the cost of your own allies, harrying and plundering those who sail the seas! And what will you gain besides this? You will place yourselves out of reach of disaster. It will not be as it was in the past, when he descended upon Lemnos and Imbros, and went off, with your fellow-citizens as his prisoners of war, or when he seized the vessels off Geraestus,[14] and levied an enormous sum from them; or when (last of all) he landed at Marathon, seized the sacred trireme,[14] and carried it off from the country; while all the time you can neither prevent these aggressions, nor yet send an expedition which will arrive when you intend it to arrive. 35 But for what reason do you think, men of Athens, do the festival of the Panathenaea and the festival of the Dionysia[15] always take place at the proper time, whether those to whom the charge of either festival is allotted are specially qualified persons or not— festivals upon which you spend larger sums of money than upon any armament whatsoever, and which involve an amount of trouble[16] and preparation, which are unique, so far as I know, in the whole world—; and yet your armaments are always behind the time—at Methone, at Pagasae, at Potidaea? 36 It is because for the festivals all is arranged by law. Each of you knows long beforehand who is to supply the chorus,[17] and who is to be steward of the games,[17] for his tribe: he knows what he is to receive, and when, and from whom, and what he is to do with it. No detail is here neglected, nothing is left indefinite. But in all that concerns war and our preparation for it, there is no organization, no revision, no definiteness. Consequently it is not until the news comes that we appoint our trierarchs and institute exchanges of property for them, and inquire into ways and means. When that is done, we first resolve that the resident aliens and the independent freedmen[18] shall go on board; then we change our minds and say that citizens shall embark; then that we will send substitutes; and while all these delays are occurring, the object of the expedition is already lost. 37 For we spend on preparation the time when we should be acting, and the opportunities which events afford will not wait for our slothful evasions; while as for the forces on which we think we can rely in the meantime, when the critical moment comes, they are tried and found wanting. And Philip's insolence has reached such a pitch, that he has sent such a letter as the following to the Euboeans.

[The letter is read.]

38 The greater part of the statements that have been read are true, men of Athens; and they ought not to be true! but I admit that they may possibly be unpleasant to hear; and if the course of future events would pass over all that a speaker passes over in his speech, to avoid giving pain, we should be right in speaking with a view to your pleasure. But if attractive words, spoken out of season, bring their punishment in actual reality, then it is disgraceful to blind our eyes to the truth, to put off everything that is unpleasant, 39 to refuse to understand even so much as this, that those who conduct war rightly must not follow in the wake of events, but must be beforehand with them: for just as a general may be expected to lead his army, so those who debate must lead the course of affairs, in order that what they resolve upon may be done, and that they may not be forced to follow at the heels of events. 40 You, men of Athens, have the greatest power in the world-warships, infantry, cavalry, revenue. But none of these elements of power have you used as you ought, down to this very day. The method of your warfare with Philip is just that of barbarians in a boxing-match. Hit one of them, and he hugs the place; hit him on the other side, and there go his hands; but as for guarding, or looking his opponent in the face, he neither can nor will do it. 41 It is the same with you. If you hear that Philip is in the Chersonese, you resolve to make an expedition there; if he is at Thermopylae, you send one there; and wherever else he may be, you run up and down in his steps. It is he that leads your forces. You have never of yourselves come to any salutary decision in regard to the war. No single event do you ever discern before it occurs—before you have heard that something has happened or is happening. Perhaps there was room for this backwardness until now; but now we are at the very crisis, and such an attitude is possible no longer. 42 Surely, men of Athens, it is one of the gods—one who blushes for Athens, as he sees the course which events are taking—that has inspired Philip with this restless activity. If he were content to remain at peace, in possession of all that he has won by conquest or by forestalling us—if he had no further plans—even then, the record against us as a people, a record of shame and cowardice and all that is most dishonourable, would, I think, seem complete enough to some of you. But now he is always making some new attempt, always grasping after something more; and unless your spirit has utterly departed, his conduct will perhaps bring you out into the field. 43 It amazes me, men of Athens, that not one of you remembers with any indignation, that this war had its origin in our intention to punish Philip; and that now, at the end of it, the question is, how we are to escape disaster at his hands. But that he will not stay his progress until some one arrests it is plain enough. Are we then to wait for that? Do you think that all is right, when you dispatch nothing but empty ships[19] and somebody's hopes? Shall we not embark? 44 Shall we not now, if never before, go forth ourselves, and provide at least some small proportion of Athenian soldiers? Shall we not sail to the enemy's country? But I heard the question, 'At what point on his coast are we to anchor?' The war itself, men of Athens, if you take it in hand, will discover his weak points: but if we sit at home listening to the mutual abuse and recriminations of our orators, you can never realize any of the results that you ought to realize. 45 I believe that whenever any portion of Athens is sent with the forces, even if the whole city does not go, the favour of Heaven and of Fortune fights on our side. But whenever you dispatch anywhere a general with an empty resolution and some platform-hopes to support him, then you achieve nothing that you ought to achieve, your enemies laugh at you, and your allies are in deadly fear of all such armaments. 46 It is impossible, utterly impossible, that any one man should be able to effect all that you wish for you. He can give undertakings and promises;[20] he can accuse this man and that; and the result is that your fortunes are ruined. For when the general is at the head of wretched, unpaid mercenaries, and when there are those in Athens who lie to you light-heartedly about all that he does, and, on the strength of the tales that you hear, you pass decrees at random, what must you expect?

47 How then can this state of things be terminated? Only, men of Athens, when you expressly make the same men soldiers, witnesses of their general's actions, and judges at his examination[21] when they return home; for then the issue of your fortunes will not be a tale which you hear, but a thing which you will be on the spot to see. So shameful is the pass which matters have now reached, that each of your generals is tried for his life before you two or three times, but does not dare to fight in mortal combat with the enemy even once. They prefer the death of kidnappers and brigands to that of a general. 48 For it is a felon's death, to die by sentence of the court: the death of a general is to fall in battle with the enemy. Some of us go about saying that Philip is negotiating with Sparta[22] for the overthrow of the Thebans and the breaking up of the free states; others, that he has sent ambassadors to the king;[23] others, that he is fortifying cities in Illyria. 49 We all go about inventing each his own tale. I quite believe, men of Athens, that he is intoxicated with the greatness of his successes, and entertains many such visions in his mind; for he sees that there are none to hinder him, and he is elated at his achievements. But I do not believe that he has chosen to act in such a way that the most foolish persons in Athens can know what he intends to do; for no persons are so foolish as newsmongers. 50 But if we dismiss all such tales, and attend only to the certainty—that the man is our enemy, that he is robbing us of our own, that he has insulted us for a long time, that all that we ever expected any one to do for us has proved to be against us, that the future is in our own hands, that if we will not fight him now in his own country we shall perhaps be obliged to do so in ours—if, I say, we are assured of this, then we shall have made up our minds aright, and shall be quit of idle words. For you have not to speculate what the future may be: you have only to be assured that the future must be evil, unless you give heed and are ready to do your duty.

51 Well, I have never yet chosen to gratify you by saying anything which I have not felt certain would be for your good; and to-day I have spoken freely and without concealment, just what I believe. I could wish to be as sure of the good that a speaker will gain by giving you the best advice as of that which you will gain by listening to him. I should then have been far happier than I am. As it is, I do not know what will happen to me, for what I have said: but I have chosen to speak in the sure conviction that if you carry out my proposals, it will be for your good; and may the victory rest with that policy which will be for the good of all!

  1. "the war with Sparta". Probably the Boeotian War (378-371 B.C.), when Athens supported Thebes against Sparta.
  2. "in defence of the right". The attempt of the Spartans to conquer Boeotia was a violation of the Peace of Antalcidas (see n. on Speech for Rhodians, Sec. 6). But Demosthenes' expression may be quite general in its meaning.
  3. "tribes". Probably refers especially to the Thracians (see Introd. to the Speech). The Paeonian and Illyrian chieftains also made alliance with Athens in 356.
  4. "to Euboea". See Speech for Megalopolitans, Sec. 14 n.
  5. "to Haliartus". in 395, when Athens sent a force to aid the Thebans against the Spartans under Lysander. (For other allusions see Introd. to the Speech.)
  6. "paper-armies" ([Greek: epistolimaious ... dynameis]): lit. 'armies existing in dispatches.'
  7. "Athens once maintained", &c. The reference is to the Corinthian war of 394-387 B.C. The Athenian general Iphicrates organized a mercenary force of peltasts in support of Corinth, and did great damage to Sparta; he was succeeded in the command by Chabrias. Nothing more is certainly known of Polystratus than is told us here, though he may be referred to in the Speech against Leptines, Sec. 84, as receiving honours from Athens.
  8. "to Artabazus". In 356 Chares was sent to oppose the revolted allies of Athens, but being short of funds, assisted Artabazus in his rebellion against Persia, and was richly rewarded. (See Introd. to Speech on Naval Boards.)
  9. "spectators of these mysteries of generalship" ([Greek: epoptai t".n ] [Greek: *".trat".goumen".n".). The word [Greek: "epopt".s". is chiefly used of spectators of the mysteries, and is here applied sarcastically to the citizens whom Demosthenes desires to see what has hitherto been a hidden thing from them--the conduct of their generals.
  10. "ten captains and generals, &c". There was one general ([Greek: "strat".gos".) and one captain ([Greek: "taxiarchos".) of infantry, and one general of cavalry ([Greek: "phylarchos".), for each of the ten tribes. There were two regular masters of the horse ([Greek: "hipparchoi".), and a third appointed for the special command of the Athenian troops in Lemnos. The generals ([Greek: "strat".goi".) had various civil duties, among them the organization of the military processions at the Panathenaea and other great festivals.
  11. "Menelaus". Either a Macedonian chieftain, who had assisted the Athenian commander Timotheus against Poteidaea in 364, and probably received Athenian citizenship; or else Philip's half-brother Menelaus. But there is no evidence that the latter ever served in the Athenian forces, and probably the former is meant.
  12. "Etesian winds". These blow strongly from the north over the Aegean from July to September.
  13. "the whole force in its entirety". So with Butcher's punctuation. But it is perhaps better to place a comma after [Greek: "dynamin"., and translate, 'after making ready ... soldiers, ships, cavalry--the entire force complete--you bind them,' &c.
  14. 14.0 14.1 See Introd. to the Speech. Geraestus was the southernmost most point of Euboea. The 'sacred trireme', the Paralus, when conveying the Athenian deputation to the Festival of Delos, put in on its way at Marathon, where there was an altar of the Delian Apollo, to offer sacrifice.
  15. The festival of the Panathenaea was managed by the Athlothetae, who were appointed by lot, and consequently could not be specially qualified; whereas the stewards ([Greek: "epimel".tai".) who assisted the Archon in the management of the Dionysia, were at this time elected, presumably on the ground of their fitness.
  16. "an amount of trouble" ([Greek: "ochlon".). Possibly 'a larger crowd'. But there is no point in mentioning the crowd; the point lies in the pains taken; and Thucyd. vi. 24 ([Greek: "upo tou ochl".dous t".s parhaskeu".s".) confirms the rendering given.
  17. 17.0 17.1 The choregus paid the expenses of a chorus at the Dionysiac (and certain other) festivals. The gymnasiarchs, or stewards of the games, managed the games and torch-races which formed part of the Panathenaea and many other festivals. The offices were imposed by law upon men who possessed a certain estate, but any one who felt that another could bear the burden better might challenge him either to perform the duty or to exchange property with him. (See Appendix to Goodwin's edition of Demosthenes' Speech against Meidias.)
  18. "independent freedmen". lit. 'dwellers apart,' i.e. freedmen who no longer lived with the master whose slaves they had been.
  19. "empty ships". If these are the ships referred to in Olynth. III, Section 4, the date of the First Philippic must be later than October 351 B.C.
  20. "promises". The 'promises of Chares' became almost proverbial.
  21. "examination", or 'audit'. A general, like every other responsible official, had to report his proceedings, at the end of his term of office, to a Board of Auditors, and might be prosecuted before a jury by any one who was dissatisfied with his report.
  22. "negotiating with Sparta, &c". As a matter of fact, Philip had evidently come to an understanding with Thebes by this time; but he may have caused some such rumours to be spread, in order to get rid of any possible opposition from Sparta. The 'breaking-up of the free states' probably refers to the desire of Sparta to destroy Megalopolis, which was in alliance with Thebes.
  23. "sent ambassadors to the king". Arrian, ii. 14, mentions a letter of Darius to Alexander, recalling how Philip had been in friendship and alliance with Artaxerxes Ochus. It is possible, therefore, that the rumour to which Demosthenes alludes had some foundation.