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Demosthenes, Speeches 60 and 61, Prologues, Letters

Translated by Ian Worthington

Publication Year: 2006

This is the tenth volume in the Oratory of Classical Greece. This series presents all of the surviving speeches from the late fifth and fourth centuries BC in new translations prepared by classical scholars who are at the forefront of the discipline. These translations are especially designed for the needs and interests of today’s undergraduates, Greekless scholars in other disciplines, and the general public. Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, law and legal procedure, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have recently been attracting particular interest: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few. Demosthenes is regarded as the greatest orator of classical antiquity. This volume contains his Funeral Oration (Speech 60) for those who died in the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC, in which Philip of Macedonia secured his dominance over Greece, as well as the so-called Erotic Essay (Speech 61), a rhetorical exercise in which the speaker eulogizes the youth Epicrates for his looks and physical prowess and encourages him to study philosophy in order to become a virtuous and morally upright citizen. The volume also includes fifty-six prologues (the openings to political speeches to the Athenian Assembly) and six letters apparently written during the orator’s exile from Athens. Because so little literature survives from the 330s and 320s BC, these works provide valuable insights into Athenian culture and politics of that era.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: The Oratory of Classical Greece


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Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. vii-viii

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Series Editor's Preface

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pp. ix-x

This is the tenth volume in a series of translations of The Oratory of Classical Greece. The aim of the series is to make available primarily for those who do not read Greek up-to-date, accurate, and readable translations with introductions and explanatory notes of all the surviving works and major fragments of the Attic orators of the classical...

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Translatpr's Acknowledgements

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pp. xi-xii

I am very grateful to Michael Gagarin for the amount of time he spent on an earlier draft of this book and for his myriad suggestions on the translations, all of which were to its and my own benefit: I owe him at least two red pens. I am also indebted to the anonymous referee for many thoughtful suggestions. I consider the person to whom this book...

Speech Numbers and Titles

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pp. xiii-xvi

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Series Introduction: Greek Oratory

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pp. xvii-2

From as early as Homer (and undoubtedly much earlier) the Greeks placed a high value on effective speaking. Even Achilles, whose greatness was primarily established on the battlefield, was brought up to be “a speaker of words and a doer of deeds” (Iliad 9.443); and Athenian leaders of the sixth and fifth centuries,1 such as Solon, Themistocles...

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Introduction to Demosthenes

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pp. 3-7

Since antiquity Demosthenes (384 –322 BC) has usually been judged the greatest of the Attic orators. Although the patriotic and nationalistic tenor of his message has been more highly regarded in some periods of history than in others, he is unique in his mastery of so many different rhetorical styles and his ability to blend them into a powerful...

Introduction to This Volume

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pp. 8-18

Demosthenes, Speeches 60 and 61, Prologues, Letters

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60. Funeral Oration

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pp. 21-37

Demosthenes was chosen by the Athenians to deliver the Funeral Oration (epitaphios) over those Athenians who had died fighting Philip II of Macedonia at the Battle of Chaeronea in September 338 (Dem. 18.285, Plut., Demosthenes 21.2). Athens was the only polis in Greece to honor those who had recently died in battle with a public...

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61. Erotic Essay

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pp. 38-54

As with the Funeral Oration, the Erotic Essay is an example of epideictic or demonstrative oratory. The aim was not to persuade the audience to adopt a particular viewpoint but to exhort it and excite its admiration.1 This essay was not a speech as such but a rhetorical exercise, to be read out perhaps at a symposium. It takes the form of a didactic...

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pp. 55-98

The following are prologues to political speeches delivered in the Assembly.1 Here, citizens over the age of 18 debated and voted on all matters of domestic and foreign policy. An Assembly meeting started at about dawn and lasted until the mid-afternoon. An agenda was carefully worked through, proposals were put to the people and speeches...

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Letters 1– 6

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pp. 99-134

We have six letters attributed to Demosthenes, of which five (1, 2, 3, 4, and 6) deal with public matters and are addressed to the Council (Boule) and Assembly of Athens, where such letters were commonly read. They give advice on matters affecting the state, and thus are similar to a deliberative speech before the people. The other letter (5) is a...

Bibliography for This Volume

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pp. 135-138


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pp. 139-142

E-ISBN-13: 9780292795761
E-ISBN-10: 0292795769
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292713314
Print-ISBN-10: 0292713312

Page Count: 180
Publication Year: 2006

Series Title: The Oratory of Classical Greece
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OCLC Number: 427509773
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Demosthenes, Speeches 60 and 61, Prologues, Letters

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Subject Headings

  • Athens (Greece) -- Politics and government -- Early works to 1800.
  • Demosthenes -- Translations into English.
  • Speeches, addresses, etc., Greek -- Translations into English.
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