History – Demosthenes

History – Demosthenes


In this article we will see: “Demosthenes “, history, the chronicle of human civilization, serves as a window to the past, illuminating the triumphs, struggles, and evolution of societies over millennia. Through the study of historical events, we unravel the complexities of our collective heritage and gain insight into the forces shaping our present and future.

Summary : History – Demosthenes

In the tumultuous era of ancient Greece, two towering figures emerged: Philip of Macedonia and Demosthenes of Athens. Philip, a formidable conqueror, sought to expand his kingdom and fulfill his ambition of invading Persia. Demosthenes, a brilliant orator, stood as his staunchest opponent, rallying Athens against the Macedonian threat. Their clash epitomized the struggle for Greek independence and sovereignty. Through eloquent speeches and military prowess, they shaped the course of history in a time of political intrigue and power struggles.

History – Demosthenes

Many Greeks viewed Philip as the only man capable of saving them. One day, during an Assembly meeting in Athens, someone praised him, declaring him a fine speaker, greatly beautiful, and unmatched in holding his wine. Immediately, a man named Demosthenes cut off the chatterbox and took his place at the podium.

“Bravo for all these charming qualities!” he began. “But do you believe they add much to the worth of a Greek or a leader? Philip is beautiful, you say? But beauty suits a woman more than a man. He can drink a lot? What a fine advantage! If he’s compared to a sponge, he’d still come off worse!”

Never in all of Greece did Philip have a more relentless enemy than Demosthenes. Athens regarded Demosthenes as its finest orator, and it was a city of connoisseurs! Citizens spent their time exercising their tongues. In his youth, it was said that Demosthenes had certain speech difficulties.

But he overcame them through very personal methods. He practiced articulating words with his mouth full of pebbles. He strengthened his voice by reciting verses, loudly to overpower the sound of the sea waves. He had tremendous breath because he practiced speaking while running or climbing steep hillsides.

And he never stopped studying his own gestures in front of a mirror, knowing exactly which ones to make to capture and hold an audience’s attention. Day after day, week after week, Demosthenes employed his talent to discredit Philip of Macedonia. However, Demosthenes’ speeches did not have an immediate effect.

He faced as much difficulty trying to push the Athenians to war as Nicias had once encountered preaching peace to them. The citizens did not vote for Philip, but they did not vote against him either.

In 338 BC, tired of waiting, Philip invaded central Greece at the head of his troops. Consequently, the Athenians heeded Demosthenes’ advice. They allied with Thebes to stop the invader, offering brave but hopeless resistance. The Thebans and Athenians were pitifully defeated.

Philip was determined to invade Persia, continually planning for it. But he did not live long enough to undertake this much-desired campaign… A jealous noble from his circle stabbed him while he was following a procession. The next day, Philip was dead. Athens rejoiced. Songs filled the streets. They were rid of Philip, and his son, Alexander, was barely twenty. Certainly, they wouldn’t be obeying him.

Last word about : History – Demosthenes

The rivalry between Philip of Macedonia and Demosthenes of Athens encapsulates the complexity and dynamism of ancient Greek politics. As Philip’s conquests expanded and Demosthenes’ resistance faltered, their struggle reverberated throughout Greece, leaving an indelible mark on its history. Though Philip met a tragic end, his legacy endured through his son, Alexander the Great, whose conquests would reshape the known world.

Meanwhile, Demosthenes’ unwavering dedication to Athenian democracy cemented his place as one of history’s greatest orators, inspiring generations to come in the pursuit of freedom and justice.

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