Aeschines

Aeschines

Overview
Aeschines was a Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 and one of the ten Attic orators
Attic orators
The ten Attic orators were considered the greatest orators and logographers of the classical era . They are included in the "Alexandrian Canon" compiled by Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace.-The Alexandrian "Canon of Ten":* Aeschines* Andocides* Antiphon* Demosthenes*...

.

Although it is known he was born in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, the records regarding his parentage and early life are conflicting; but it seems probable that his parents, though poor, were respectable. Aeschines' father was Atrometus, an elementary school teacher of letters. His mother Glaukothea assisted in the religious rites of initiation for the poor.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Aeschines'
Start a new discussion about 'Aeschines'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Aeschines was a Greek
Ancient Greece
Ancient Greece is a civilization belonging to a period of Greek history that lasted from the Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity. Immediately following this period was the beginning of the Early Middle Ages and the Byzantine era. Included in Ancient Greece is the...

 statesman
Statesman
A statesman is usually a politician or other notable public figure who has had a long and respected career in politics or government at the national and international level. As a term of respect, it is usually left to supporters or commentators to use the term...

 and one of the ten Attic orators
Attic orators
The ten Attic orators were considered the greatest orators and logographers of the classical era . They are included in the "Alexandrian Canon" compiled by Aristophanes of Byzantium and Aristarchus of Samothrace.-The Alexandrian "Canon of Ten":* Aeschines* Andocides* Antiphon* Demosthenes*...

.

Life


Although it is known he was born in Athens
Athens
Athens , is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, as its recorded history spans around 3,400 years. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state...

, the records regarding his parentage and early life are conflicting; but it seems probable that his parents, though poor, were respectable. Aeschines' father was Atrometus, an elementary school teacher of letters. His mother Glaukothea assisted in the religious rites of initiation for the poor. After assisting his father in his school, he tried his hand at acting
Acting
Acting is the work of an actor or actress, which is a person in theatre, television, film, or any other storytelling medium who tells the story by portraying a character and, usually, speaking or singing the written text or play....

 with indifferent success, served with distinction in the army
Army
An army An army An army (from Latin arma "arms, weapons" via Old French armée, "armed" (feminine), in the broadest sense, is the land-based military of a nation or state. It may also include other branches of the military such as the air force via means of aviation corps...

, and held several clerkships, amongst them the office of clerk to the Boule
Boule (Ancient Greece)
In cities of ancient Greece, the boule meaning to will ) was a council of citizens appointed to run daily affairs of the city...

.
Among the campaigns that Aeschines participated in were Phlius in the Peloponnese
Peloponnese
The Peloponnese, Peloponnesos or Peloponnesus , is a large peninsula , located in a region of southern Greece, forming the part of the country south of the Gulf of Corinth...

 (368 BC), Battle of Mantinea (362 BC)
Battle of Mantinea (362 BC)
The Battle of Mantinea was fought on July 4 362 BC between the Thebans, led by Epaminondas and supported by the Arcadians and the Boeotian league against the Spartans, led by King Agesilaus II and supported by the Eleans, Athenians, and Mantineans...

, and Phokion's campaign in Euboea (349 BC). The fall of Olynthus
Olynthus
Olynthus was an ancient city of Chalcidice, built mostly on two flat-topped hills 30–40m in height, in a fertile plain at the head of the Gulf of Torone, near the neck of the peninsula of Pallene, about 2.5 kilometers from the sea, and about 60 stadia Olynthus was an ancient city of...

 (348 BC) brought Aeschines into the political arena, and he was sent on an embassy to rouse the Peloponnese against Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon
Philip II of Macedon "friend" + ἵππος "horse" — transliterated ; 382 – 336 BC), was a king of Macedon from 359 BC until his assassination in 336 BC. He was the father of Alexander the Great and Philip III.-Biography:...

.

In spring of 347 BC, Aeschines addressed the assembly of Ten Thousand in Megalopolis
Megalopolis, Greece
Megalópoli is a town in the western part of the peripheral unit of Arcadia, southern Greece. It is located in the same site as ancient Megalopolis . "Megalopolis" is a Greek word for Great city. When it was founded, in 371 BC, it was the first urbanization in rustic and primitive Arcadia. In...

, Arcadia
Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

 urging them to unite and defend their independence against Philip. In the summer 347 BC, he was a member of the peace embassy to Philip, who seems to have won him over entirely to his side. His dilatoriness during the second embassy (346 BC) sent to ratify the terms of peace led to him being accused by Demosthenes
Demosthenes
Demosthenes was a prominent Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His orations constitute a significant expression of contemporary Athenian intellectual prowess and provide an insight into the politics and culture of ancient Greece during the 4th century BC. Demosthenes learned rhetoric by...

 and Timarchus on a charge of high treason
High treason
High treason is criminal disloyalty to one's government. Participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to overthrow its government, spying on its military, its diplomats, or its secret services for a hostile and foreign power, or attempting to kill its head of state are perhaps...

. Aeschines counterattacked by claiming that Timarchus had forfeited the right to speak before the people as a consequence of youthful debauches which had left him with the reputation of being a whore and prostituting himself to many men in the port city of Piraeus
Piraeus
Piraeus is a city in the region of Attica, Greece. Piraeus is located within the Athens Urban Area, 12 km southwest from its city center , and lies along the east coast of the Saronic Gulf....

. The suit succeeded and Timarchus was sentenced to atimia and politically destroyed, according to Demosthenes. This comment was later interpreted by Pseudo-Plutarch
Pseudo-Plutarch
Pseudo-Plutarch is the conventional name given to the unknown authors of a number of pseudepigrapha attributed to Plutarch.Some of these works were included in some editions of Plutarch's Moralia...

 in his Lives of the Ten Orators as meaning that Timarchos hanged himself upon leaving the assembly, a suggestion contested by some modern historians

This oration, Against Timarchus, is considered important because of the bulk of Athenian laws it cites. As a consequence of his successful attack on Timarchus, Aeschines was cleared of the charge of treason.

In 343 BC the attack on Aeschines was renewed by Demosthenes in his speech On the False Embassy. Aeschines replied in a speech with the same title and was again acquitted. In 339 BC, as one of the Athenian deputies (pylagorae) in the Amphictyonic Council, he made a speech which brought about the Sacred War
Third Sacred War
The Third Sacred War was fought between the forces of the Delphic Amphictyonic League, principally represented by Thebes, and latterly by Philip II of Macedon, and the Phocians...

.

By way of revenge, Aeschines endeavoured to fix the blame for these disasters upon Demosthenes. In 336 BC, when Ctesiphon
Ctesiphon (orator)
Ctesiphon was an orator in Athens during the reign of Alexander the Great. He is best known for sparking the controversy that led to Demosthenes' speech On the Crown and Aeschines' speech Against Ctesiphon....

 proposed that his friend Demosthenes should be rewarded with a golden crown for his distinguished services to the state, Aeschines accused him of having violated the law in bringing forward the motion. The matter remained in abeyance till 330 BC, when the two rivals delivered their speeches Against Ctesiphon and On the Crown. The result was a complete victory for Demosthenes.

Aeschines went into voluntary exile at Rhodes
Rhodes
Rhodes is an island in Greece, located in the eastern Aegean Sea. It is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of both land area and population, with a population of 117,007, and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within...

, where he opened a school of rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

. He afterwards removed to Samos
Samos Island
Samos is a Greek island in the eastern Aegean Sea, south of Chios, north of Patmos and the Dodecanese, and off the coast of Asia Minor, from which it is separated by the -wide Mycale Strait. It is also a separate regional unit of the North Aegean region, and the only municipality of the regional...

, where he died aged seventy-five. His three speeches, called by the ancients "the Three Graces," rank next to those of Demosthenes. Photius knew of nine letters by him which he called the Nine Muses
The Nine Muses
The Nine Muses, Or, Poems Written by Nine severall Ladies Upon the death of the late Famous John Dryden, Esq. was an elegiac volume of poetry published pseudonymously. The contributors were English women writers, each of whom signed their poems with the names of Muses...

; the twelve published under his name (Hercher, Epistolographi Graeci) are not genuine.

Ancient Authorities


Demosthenes, De Corona and De Falsa Legatione; Aeschines, De Falsa Legations and In Ctesiphentem; Lives by Plutarch
Plutarch
Plutarch then named, on his becoming a Roman citizen, Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus , c. 46 – 120 AD, was a Greek historian, biographer, essayist, and Middle Platonist known primarily for his Parallel Lives and Moralia...

, Philostratus
Philostratus
Philostratus or Lucius Flavius Philostratus , , called "the Athenian", was a Greek sophist of the Roman imperial period. His father was a minor sophist of the same name. He was born probably around 172, and is said by the Suda to have been living in the reign of emperor Philip the Arab . His death...

 and Libanius
Libanius
Libanius was a Greek-speaking teacher of rhetoric of the Sophist school. During the rise of Christian hegemony in the later Roman Empire, he remained unconverted and regarded himself as a Hellene in religious matters.-Life:...

; the Exegesis of Apollonius
Apollonius of Rhodes
Apollonius Rhodius, also known as Apollonius of Rhodes , early 3rd century BCE – after 246 BCE, was a poet, and a librarian at the Library of Alexandria...

.

Editions

  • Gustav Eduard Benseler (1855–1860) (trans. and notes)
  • Andreas Weidner (1872)
  • Friedrich Blass
    Friedrich Blass
    Friedrich Blass was a German classical scholar.After studying at Göttingen and Bonn from 1860 to 1863, he lectured at several gymnasia and at the University of Königsberg. In 1876 he was appointed extraordinary professor of classical philology at Kiel, and ordinary professor in 1881...

     (Teubner, 1896)
  • Thomas Leland (1722–1785), Weidner (1872), (1878), G. A. Simcox and W. H. Simcox (1866), Drake (1872), Richardson (1889), G. Watkin and Evelyn S. Shuckburgh (1890).
  • Teubner ed. of Orationes: 1997, edited Mervin R. Dilts. ISBN 3-8154-1009-6

See also

  • Stechow, Aeschinis Oratoris vita (1841)
  • Marchand, Charakteristik des Redners Aschines (1876)
  • Castets, Eschine, l'Orateur (1875)


For the political problems see histories of Greece, esp. A. Holm, vol. iii (Eng. trans., 1896); A. Schafer, Demosth. und seine Zeit (Leipzig, 1856–1858).

On Timarchos see Aechines Encyclopedia of Homosexuality. Dynes, Wayne R. (ed.), Garland Publishing, 1990. pp. 15&16.

External links



  • Livius, Aeschines by Jona Lendering
  • Against Timarchus at the Perseus Project
    Perseus Project
    The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. It is hosted by the Department of Classics. It has suffered at times from computer hardware problems, and its resources are occasionally unavailable...

  • On the Embassy at the Perseus Project
    Perseus Project
    The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. It is hosted by the Department of Classics. It has suffered at times from computer hardware problems, and its resources are occasionally unavailable...

  • Against Ctesiphon at the Perseus Project
    Perseus Project
    The Perseus Project is a digital library project of Tufts University that assembles digital collections of humanities resources. It is hosted by the Department of Classics. It has suffered at times from computer hardware problems, and its resources are occasionally unavailable...


Sources