Demosthenes : Statesman and Orator

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Demosthenes is often adjudged the statesman par excellence, and his oratory as some of the finest to survive from classical times. Contemporary politicians still quote him in their speeches and for some he is the supreme example of a patriot. This landmark study of this remarkable man and his long career, the first to focus on him for more than 80 years, looks at the background behind this reputation and asks whether it is truly deserved.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 16.26mm | 386g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New
  • 0415204577
  • 9780415204576
  • 1,225,947

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Was Demosthenes a cynical opportunist or a great patriot?

Why is Demosthenes' oratory the best to have survived from classical Greece?

The career of Demosthenes extended over a thirty year period, and coincided with the rise to dominance of Macedon under Philip II and Alexander the Great. In spite of the fact that this was a time which saw the loss of Greek autonomy, successive generations have judged him the statesman par excellence, and the supreme example of a patriot. His oratory is seen as among the finest to survive from the classical era, and it is still quoted by today's politicians.

In this volume, leading scholars provide a thorough, up-to-date study of the man and his career. They discuss Demosthenes' emergence on the political scene; the validity of his policy against Macedon; how his speeches came to be regarded so highly, and whether their reputation is justified; and his influence as both statesman and orator down to the present day.

Cohesive and comprehensive, this is a landmark study of one of the most important figures in both the history and literature of classical Greece.
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Table of contents

Introduction: Demosthenes, Then and Now, Ian Worthington 1. The Road to Prominence, E. Badian 2. Demosthenes and Philip II, T.T.B. Ryder 3. Demosthenes' (In)activity during the reign of Alexander the Great, Ian Worthington 4. Demosthenes and Aeschines, John Buckler 5. Demosthenes and the Social Historian, Mark Golden 6. Demosthenes as Advocate: The Private Speeches, David C. Mirhady 7. The Public Speeches of Demosthenes, R.D. Milns 8. Philosophers, Politics, Academics: Demosthenes' Rhetorical Reputation in Antiquity, Craig Cooper 9. Demosthenes in the Underworld: A Chapter in the Nachleben of a Rhetor, Phillip Harding
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