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Demosthenes, Speeches 20-22

Translated by Edward M. Harris

Publication Year: 2008

This is the twelfth 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 three important speeches from the earliest years of his political career: Against Leptines, a prosecution brought against a law repealing all exemptions from liturgies; Against Meidias, a prosecution for aggravated insult (hybris) brought against an influential politician; and Against Androtion, an indictment of a decree of honors for the Council of Athens. Edward M. Harris provides contemporary English translations of these speeches, two of which (Leptines and Androtion) have not been translated into English in over sixty years, along with introductions and extensive notes that take account of recent developments in Classical scholarship.

Published by: University of Texas Press

Series: The Oratory of Classical Greece


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pp. ix-x

This is the twelfth 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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pp. xi-xii

I would like to express my gratitude to several scholars who were kind enough to help me at various stages in the preparation of this book. Fred Naiden read over some early drafts of the translations, pointed out errors and omissions, and offered suggestions for improvement. At a later stage, Peter J. Rhodes scrutinized the introductions ...

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pp. xiii-xxix

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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pp. 1-5

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 ensemble. ...

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pp. 6-14

The three speeches in this volume were delivered at trials during the decade following the Social War (357–355 BCE). This period marked an important transition in the history of Athenian democracy. Earlier in the fourth century the Athenians attempted to regain the hegemony that they had lost by their defeat in the Peloponnesian War.1 In 378 the ...

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20. Against Leptines

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pp. 15-74

The Athenians assigned many public duties called liturgies to wealthy citizens and metics (resident aliens). These were divided into military (e.g., the trierarchy) and festival liturgies. The festival liturgies were quite numerous: there were normally over 97 every year, but this number could rise to over 118 once every four years when ...

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21. Against Meidias

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pp. 75-166

Meidias, the defendant in this case, was born around 395 or later1 and came from a wealthy family; his father Cephisodorus served as trierarch.2 Meidias made enough money from mining in Attica (see 167) to perform liturgies (151, 156), to qualify for inclusion among the Three Hundred in the naval symmories (157), and to donate a trireme ...

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22. Against Androtion

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pp. 167-196

Androtion was a wealthy Athenian who was active in politics.1 His father Andron was associated with prominent intellectuals in the late fifth century2 and may have played a role in the Revolution of 411.3 Two sources make Androtion a student of the orator Isocrates,4 but in his Antidosis, Isocrates (15.93–94) does not list him among his pupils.5...


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pp. 197-206


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pp. 207-211

E-ISBN-13: 9780292794139
E-ISBN-10: 0292794134
Print-ISBN-13: 9780292717831
Print-ISBN-10: 0292717830

Page Count: 245
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: The Oratory of Classical Greece
See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 310089551
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Demosthenes, Speeches 20-22

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Subject Headings

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