Demosthenes (384-322 BC) profoundly shaped one of the most eventful epochs in antiquity. His political career spanned three decades, during which time Greece fell victim to Macedonian control, first under Philip II and then Alexander the Great. Demosthenes' courageous defiance of Macedonian imperialism cost him his life but earned for him a reputation as one of history's outstanding patriots. He also enjoyed a brilliant and lucrative career as a speechwriter, and his rhetorical skills are still emulated today by statesmen and politicians. Yet he was a sickly child with a challenging speech impediment, who was swindled out of much of his family's estate by unscrupulous guardians. His story is therefore one of triumph over adversity.
In this new biography--the first written in English for almost a century--Ian Worthington brings the great orator's career vividly to life. He provides a moving narrative of Demosthenes' humble and difficult beginnings, his fierce rivalries with other Athenian politicians, his victories and defeats in the public Assembly, and finally his posthumous influence as a politician and orator. In doing so, Worthington offers new insights into Demosthenes' motives and how he shaped his policy to achieve political power. Set against the rich backdrop of late classical Athens and Macedonia, this biography will appeal to all readers interested in the history and heritage of ancient Greece. All quotations from Demosthenes' speeches are translated and briefly discussed in order for both professional and non-professional readers to appreciate his rhetorical genius.
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Published November 7, 2012
by Oxford University Press.
Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel.