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THE Philippus is the complement of the Panegyricus. As the latter had contained an appeal for united action on the part of the Greeks against Persia, so this calls upon Philip of Macedon to put himself at the head of that movement, and take the command of the combined forces. The speech was commenced in April, B.C. 346, soon after the conclusion of the so-called Peace of Philocrates, and finished before the Phocian campaigns of Philip in July of the same year. Isocrates had previously been engaged upon a letter addressed to Philip (B.C. 347) on the subject of Amphipolis, with the object of bringing about the end of a war ruinous to both the contending parties, in which it was pointed out that the possession of Amphipolis was not of sufficient importance either to Athens or Philip to make it worth fighting about; the conclusion of peace rendered this letter unnecessary. We have the express testimony of Isocrates himself that "the Philippus" was actually sent to the king.
In the first part of the speech Isocrates tells Philip that it is not only his duty to bring about the reconciliation of the Hellenic states, but that it is in his power to do so; this, he says, will bring him great renown, and at the same time put a stop to the calumnies of his enemies.
In the second part he commences by pointing out the ease with which barbarian forces can be overcome, as shown in the case of Cyrus and Clearchus, and the present weakness of the Great King, and appeals to Philip to act up to the glorious deeds of his ancestors, and gain renown for himself and Hellas.
The Argument of the discourse to Philip
By an unknown writer
It should be known that this discourse was written to Philip by Isocrates after the peace which was brought about by the followers of Aeschines and Demosthenes; in consequence of which he took the opportunity to write to him, Philip, as having become a friend of Athens. Under the guise of an eulogy upon him, he exhorts him to reconcile the great Hellenic states which were quarrelling with each other, and to take the field against thc Persians. "For it becomes you," he says, "to do this, being an Heraclid and possessed of such power." Now Philip, after receiving and reading the discourse, was not persuaded by its contents, but delayed for a while; but afterwards his son Alexander read the discourse, and fired with enthusiasm, made war against the later Darius, who was also callcd Ochus. For his proper name was Ochus, but in flattery thc Persians gave him the name of Darius, after his early ancestors.
The character of the discourse is practical, in the form of advice. It was written by Isocrates when an old man, a short while before his own and Philip's death, as Hermippus tells us.
1. Do not wonder, Philip, that I am going to begin, not with the speech which I propose to address to you, and which is now about to be set before you, but with what I have written about Amphipolis. (1)
On this subject I wish first to say a few words, that I may prove to you and to the world that it is not through ignorance or under a delusion as to my present infirmity that I have undertaken the task of writing the discourse addressed to you, but advisedly and led on by slow degrees.
2. For, seeing that the war in which you and this state were involved about Amphipolis was producing many evils, I essayed the task of using concerning that city and its territory arguments bearing no resemblance to those which were in the mouths of your friends or of the orators among us, but as far as possible removed from their line of thought. 3. For they were inciting you to the war, advocating the cause of your passions; I, on the contrary, expressed no opinion at all on disputed matters, but devoted my attention to the argument which of all others I supposed to be most likely to produce peace, urging that both of you were mistaken in your judgment of affairs, and that while you, Philip, were fighting in furtherance of our interests, the state was fighting in support of your power; for that it was to your advantage that we should possess the territory in question, and to ours not to acquire it by any means whatever. 4. And the opinion of my pupils as to my treatment of this question was such as to lead no one of them to praise the argument or the style for accuracy and clearness, as some are wont to do, but to cause them to admire the truth of the matter expressed, 5. and to consider that the only way for you to cease on either side from your rivalry was for you, Philip, to be convinced that the friendship of our state would be worth more to you than the revenues accruing from Amphipolis, and for our state to be able to recognise the policy of avoiding the kind of settlements which have brought ruin four or five times over on those domiciled in them, and of looking for places lying far from neighbours with a capacity for ruling, and near those who have become accustomed to slavery, such as the place to which the Lacedaemonians have removed the Cyreneans; (2)
6. and besides this, you should recognise that a verbal renunciation of this territory to us will enable you in reality to become master of it, and moreover to earn our goodwill (for all the colonists that we send within reach of your power will be so many hostages of friendship for you from us), and our people should be taught that, if we take Amphipolis, we shall be compelled to observe the same kind of friendliness to your policy for the sake of the inhabitants of that place, that we had to observe towards Amadocus (3)
of old for the sake of those who tilled the soil of the Chersonese. 7. By the use of many arguments of this character I caused all that heard them to hope that, after my discourse had been circulated, you would conclude the war, change your opinions, and adopt some common policy for your mutual good. Whether they were foolish or sensible in thinking thus, they are the proper persons to bear the responsibility; but while I was engaged on this business you anticipated me by making peace before my discourse was finally completed, and in that you were wise; for it was better that peace should be concluded in any way whatever than that we should be exposed to the evils arising in consequence of the war. 8. Rejoicing then at the resolutions to which you had come concerning peace, and thinking that they would be to your advantage, and to that of all the rest of Hellas as well as to ours, I was unable to divert my thoughts from what was connected with it, but was in such a frame of mind that I set to work to consider at once how to give permanence to what we had achieved and to prevent our state from again, after a short interval, desiring other wars; 9. an examination of these questions in my own mind led me to the conclusion that there was no other way for her to live in quiet, except by the determination of the leading states to make up their mutual quarrels and carry the war into Asia, and by their resolving to win from the barbarians the selfish advantages which they now look for at the expense of Hellenes; which was the policy I have already advised in the Panegyric discourse.
10. On these reflections, thinking that I could never find a subject nobler than this, or one of more general application or more conducive to the interests of us all, I was moved to write upon it again, not in any ignorance of my own deficiencies, but knowing that this discourse was not suited to one of my age, but required a man in the prime of life and with powers far beyond those of other men, 11. and aware that it is difficult to utter two discourses on the same subject in any fashion that can be tolerated, especially if the one first published has been written in such a manner that it is imitated and admired even more by our detractors than by our most extravagant eulogists. 12. But nevertheless, overlooking these disabilities, I have become so ambitious in old age that I resolved to combine with the observations I should address to you some hints to those who have worked with me, (4) and to make it clear that to trouble the Great Festivals with oratory, and to speak to the crowds who come together there, is to speak without an audience; speeches of this kind are as ineffectual as laws and constitutions written out by the sophists; (5)
13. those who wish, on the contrary, to do some practical good instead of idly trifling, and those who think they have formed ideas of value to the community, must leave others to figure at the Festivals, and must take a champion for their cause from among those who are powerful in speech and action and who have great reputations, if, that is to say, anyone is to pay attention to them. 14. Knowing these things, I elected to address my discourse to you, not making this choice to win your favour, although it is true, I should consider it of great importance to speak in a manner acceptable to you, but it was not to this end that I directed my thoughts. But I saw that all the other men of repute were living under the rule of states and laws, without power to do anything but obey orders, and besides were far too weak for the enterprise which I shall propose, 15. while to you alone had fortune given full power to send ambassadors to whomsoever you chose and to receive them from whomsoever you pleased, and to say whatever you should deem it expedient to say, and besides this, that you were the possessor to a greater degree than any man in Hellas of wealth and power, the only two things in existence which can both persuade and compel; things, too, which I think will be required by the enterprise which I am going to propose. 16. For my intention is to advise you to take the lead both in securing the harmony of Hellas and in conducting the expedition against the barbarians; and persuasion is expedient with the Greeks, and force useful with the barbarians. Such, then, is the general scope of my discourse.
17. Now I will not hesitate to tell you what has been an occasion for some annoyance to me from a portion of my followers; for I think it will be of some advantage to mention it. When I made known to them my intention to send you an address, not with a view of making a display of my art, or of celebrating the wars which you have carried out (others will do this), but in order to try to lead you to lines of policy more proper, more noble, and more advantageous than those which you have hitherto adopted, 18. they were so struck with the fear that old age had caused my senses to desert me that they ventured to upbraid me, a thing which they have never before been accustomed to do. They accused me of attempting a strange and exceedingly foolish task, "in that you," said they, " are proposing to send a letter of advice to Philip, who, even if he ever considered himself the inferior of any man in wisdom, must now on account of the greatness of the good fortune which has befallen him think himself better able to take counsel than anyone else. 19. Further, he has also at his side the most competent men in Macedonia, who, it is probable, even though unversed in other matters, understand his interests at least better than you do. Moreover, you will also find many of the Hellenes living in that country, men not devoid of reputation or good sense, but men by the help of whose counsels he has not diminished the power of his throne, but has achieved things worth praying for. 20. For what is wanting to complete his success? Has he not caused the Thessalians, (6)
whose rule formerly extended over Macedonia, to be so friendly disposed to him, that they one and all have more confidence in him than in their own compatriots? And as to the cities in that locality, (7) has he not either won them over by kindness to alliance with him, or when they grievously vexed him reduced them to ruins? (8)
and brought them all into subjection, become lord and master of the Illyrian people (11)
except those who live on the shores of the Adriatic, and placed the whole of Thrace under despots of his own choosing? (12)
Do you not think then," say they, "that one who has accomplished such high achievements will hold the sender of this pamphlet to be guilty of great folly and will consider that he has much mistaken the power of oratory and his own ability?" 22. How on hearing these criticisms I was dumbfounded for the moment, and again how I recovered myself and replied to each point, I will let pass, lest some should even think me too complaisant in courteously defending myself against my opponents; having, however, so I persuaded myself, delivered a moderate attack upon those who ventured to upbraid me, I finally promised that I would show my discourse to no one in the city but to them, and would take no further step in the matter except with their approval.
23. On hearing this they went away with I know not what opinion. But when, not many days afterwards, I had completed the discourse and shown it to them, they so entirely changed their opinions that they were ashamed of their audacious comments, repented of all that they had said, confessed that they had never yet been so much mistaken in any matter, and were more eager than I myself that this discourse should be sent to you, expressing their expectation that not only you and our state, but all Hellas, would be grateful to me for what I had said.
24. Now my reason for telling you this is, that if any of my opening suggestions should appear incredible, or impossible, or unbecoming for you to follow, you may not turn away in disgust from the rest, or fall into the same error as my friends, but may continue undisturbed in your mind until you have heard to the end all that I have to say. For I think I shall say what the occasion and your interests require. 25. Now I have not forgotten the great advantage which spoken discourses have over written for purposes of persuasion, nor the universal impression that the former are delivered in reference to serious and pressing affairs, the latter composed merely for display or for the sake of gain. 26. And these conclusions are not without reason; for when the discourse is robbed of the personal repute of the speaker, of the tones of his voice, and of the changes of expression which oratory can command, and has lost, moreover, the advantages of time and place, and of the enthusiasm aroused by the business in hand, and when everything is absent that can fight on the speaker's side and further his arguments,--when the discourse is bare and destitute of all that I have mentioned, and is read in an unpersuasive way, without conveying any moral impression of the writer, and with the air of one who is telling over an inventory, it naturally appears to the audience to be a poor production. 27. These causes will especially injure the discourse which is now put forward, and make it appear poorer than it is; for we have not adorned it with the rhythmic harmonies and varied ornaments of style, which I not only used myself in my younger days, but taught to others as a means of making their discourses at once more attractive and more convincing. 28. Of these things I am no longer capable on account of my age, but I am so far content, if I can put before you in plain language the actual subject matter of my address. And I think that you on your part ought to apply your mind to this subject only to the neglect of everything else. Now the most accurate and best method of considering whether there is anything in what we say, 29. is to dismiss the prejudices concerning sophists and published discourses, and to take each of my discourses into your consideration and subject them to scrutiny, not regarding the task as one for leisure hours, nor pursuing it in any light-hearted spirit, but applying reasoning and philosophy, of which, too, they say you have acquired a share; for by these aids to your inquiry you will be better enabled to form an opinion than by the opinion of the majority. This, then, concludes what I wished to say by way of preface.
30. I will now direct my remarks to my subject itself. I say that, while neglecting none of your private interests, you ought to try to effect a reconciliation between Argos, Sparta, Thebes, and our state; for if you are able to bring these together, you will have no difficulty in causing the other states to agree; 31. for they are all under the influence of those which I have mentioned, and when in fear take refuge with one or other of those states, and draw their succours from thence. So that if you can persuade four states only to be wise, you will release the rest also from many evils.
32. Now you will feel that there is no one of these states that you should despise, if you trace back their conduct towards your ancestors; for you will find that each one is to be credited with much friendship and great kindnesses towards your house: Argos (13)
is your fatherland, for which it is right for you to have as much regard as for your own parents; the Thebans honour the founder of your race both with processions and with sacrifices more than all the other gods; 33. the Lacedaemonians (14) have bestowed on his descendants both royalty and leadership for all time; and our state, say those whom we trust in matters of ancient history, contributed to win immortality for Heracles (in what way, it is easy for you to learn once more, but not seasonable for me now to tell) and deliverance for his children. 34. For by sustaining alone the most severe struggles against the power of Eurystheus, she made him to cease from his insolence, and released the children of Heracles from the fears which were continually coming upon them. For these services we deserve the gratitude not only of those who were then preserved, but also of those of the present generation; for it is owing to us that they both live and enjoy their present prosperity; for it would not have been possible for them to have been born at all if the men of old had not been saved.
35. Since therefore this has been the behaviour of all these states, there ought not ever to have been any quarrel between you and any one of them. But we are all so constituted by nature as to go wrong more often than right; so that it is but fair to place past events to a common account, and for the time to come to take care that nothing of the kind shall befall you, and to consider what kindness you can render them by which you may display conduct worthy of yourself and of their services. 36. And you have a good opportunity; for on account of the length of time which has intervened, they will suppose, when you are repaying your obligations, that you are making the first advances; and it is a good thing to appear as the benefactor of the leading states, and at the same time to be furthering your own interests no less than theirs. 37. Besides this, you will remove any unpleasant relations that you have had with any of them; for services rendered at the present juncture will cause the offences you have formerly committed against each other to be forgotten. Moreover, it is also beyond question, that there is nothing which all men remember so well as kindnesses received in times of trouble. 38. And you can see how they have been reduced to distress by the war, and how like they are to individual combatants. For the latter, too, when their wrath is rising, cannot be reconciled by anyone; but when they have used each other severely, they separate of their own accord without the need of anyone's mediation. This is just what I think these states will do, if you do not anticipate them by taking the matter in your own hands.
39. Now someone will perhaps venture to oppose what I have said, on the ground that I am endeavouring to induce you to undertake an impossible task: "the Argives can never," he may say, "be friends with the Lacedaemonians, or the Lacedaemonians with the Thebans, nor, in a word, can those who have been accustomed always to seek their selfish interests ever cast in their lot with one another." 40. I think, however, that nothing of this kind could have been effected when our state, or again when Lacedaemon, held the supremacy in Hellas; for either of them could have easily prevented what was going forward; but now I no longer have the same opinion of them. For I know that they have all been brought to a level by their misfortunes, so that I think they will much prefer the benefits of union to the selfish advantages of their former policy.
41. Then again I admit that there is no one else who could reconcile these states, but to you no such undertaking is hard. For I see that you have accomplished many things which others considered hopeless and beyond expectation, so that it would not be strange if you alone should be capable of effecting this union.
Now men of high aspirations and eminent position should not attempt enterprises which any ordinary man could carry out, but should confine themselves to those which no one would attempt but men of abilities and power like yours.
42. Now I am surprised that those, who consider it impossible that any such policy should be effected, do not know from their own experience, or have not heard from others, that there have been indeed many terrible wars the parties to which have become reconciled and done each other great services. What could exceed the enmity between Xerxes and the Hellenes? Yet everyone knows that both we and the Lacedaemonians were more pleased with the friendship of Xerxes than of those (15) who helped us to found our respective empires. 43. And why need we refer to ancient history or to our relations with the barbarians? An examination and inquiry into the misfortunes of Hellas as a whole will show that they bear no proportion to the evils which have befallen us through Thebes and Lacedaemon. (16)
Yet none the less, when the Lacedaemonians made war against the Thebans with the intention of ravaging Boeotia and breaking up its cities, we gave our help and disappointed their desires; (17)
44. and when fortune changed again, and the Thebans and all the Peloponnesians attempted to lay Sparta in ruins, we alone in Hellas made an alliance even with our ancient foes and contributed to their preservation. (18)
nor anything else but what they suppose to be for their advantage, caring only for that, and devoting all their energies to that end, and not suppose that they would be of the same mind now as they always have been, especially with you to preside over the settlement of their disputes, which expediency recommends and present necessity compels. For I think that with these influences fighting on your side everything will turn out as you wish.
46. Now I think that the best way for you to learn whether these states are disposed to peace or war among themselves would be for me to give an account, not merely in general terms, nor yet too much in detail, of the chief features of their present position. And first let us consider the position of the Lacedaemonians.
47. This people, not so long ago the rulers of Hellas by land and sea, suffered such a reversal of fortune, when defeated in the battle of Leuctra, that they were deprived of the supremacy in Hellas, and lost such men among them as chose to die rather than to live in subjection to those whose masters they formerly were. 48. Besides this, they had to look on and see all the Peloponnesians, who formerly followed in their train against the rest of Hellas, joining the Thebans in invading their country, against whom they were compelled to fight, not in the country for the harvest, but in the midst of their city, even at the seat of government, to save their wives and children, a struggle in which failure would have been immediate destruction while victory has not released them from their miseries; 49. they are subjected to war by the dwellers around (20) their country, distrusted by all the Peloponnesians, and hated by the majority of the Hellenes; they are robbed and harried night and day by their own slaves, (21) and no time passes but they are either making expeditions or fighting battles, or helping their perishing fellow-countrymen. 50. But the greatest of their woes is this: they continue in dread lest the Thebans should settle their quarrel with the Phocians, (22) come against them again, and involve them in greater disasters than those they have already incurred.
Now how can one fail to suppose that men in such a position would gladly see negotiations for peace presided over by a man of consideration, able to bring to a close the wars which threaten them? 51. The Argives, moreover, you will find to be in some respects in a like condition with those we have mentioned, and in other respects worse off than they; for ever since they have occupied their city they have been engaged in war with their neighbours, as the Lacedaemonians have, but with this difference, that the foes of the former were weaker than themselves, those of the latter stronger; which everyone will admit to be the greatest misfortune. They have been so unfortunate in war, that almost every year they have stood by to see their territory ravaged and laid waste. 52. But the worst of all is to come: whenever their enemies cease from injuring them, they themselves put to death the most distinguished and wealthy of their citizens, and feel more pleasure in doing this than any other people feel in slaying their enemies. (23)
Now the reason of their living in such a state of confusion is no other than the war; and if you put an end to this, you will not only release them from these miseries, but you will also cause them to be better advised in their general conduct. 53. Now the condition of the Thebans even you are acquainted with. After having won a splendid victory, (24) and gained great glory from it, through not making good use of their successes they are no better situated than those who were defeated and unsuccessful. For they had hardly overcome their enemies, when, neglecting everything, they proceeded to annoy the Peloponnesian states, (25) ventured to reduce Thessaly to slavery, (26)
threatened their neighbours the Megarians, robbed our state of a portion of its territory, (27)
with the intention of mastering the cities in a short time, occupying the whole of the surrounding district, and overcoming the Delphic treasure by the contributions they could levy from their own resources. None of these hopes were realized; instead of having taken the cities of the Phocians they have lost their own, and they inflicted less injury upon their enemies by invading their country than they suffer themselves in returning to their own; 55. for in Phocis they killed some of the mercenaries, to whom death is more profitable than life, but on their way home they lost the most distinguished of their own citizens, and those most ready to die for their country. Their affairs have come to such a pass that, from hoping that all Hellas would be at their feet, they now rest on you their hopes for their own preservation. So that I think they too will speedily do whatever you urge and advise. 56. It would have still remained for us to speak about our own state, had she not wisely made peace before the others. And now I think she would even contend in support of your policy, especially if she can feel that you are settling these matters with a view to the campaign against the barbarian.
57. So then I think that it has been made clear to you from what I have said, that it is not impossible for you to bring these states into union; nay more, I think that by many illustrations I shall bring you to the opinion that you can even do so easily. For if I can show that others among those who have lived before you have engaged in no enterprise either more honourable or more hallowed than that which I have advised, but have accomplished things greater and more difficult than these, what argument will remain for those who contend in reply that you will not accomplish the easier tasks more quickly than they accomplished the harder ones?
When he fled from our state, seeing that all others who had suffered the same punishment before him had been cowed into submission by reason of the greatness of the state, he was not of the same mind with them, but thinking that he must try to return home by force, he determined to make war upon her. 59. Now if one should attempt to recount in detail the events of that time, one would not be able to describe them accurately, and in view of the present occasion might perhaps cause weariness; but into such confusion did he throw not only our state, but also the Lacedaemonians and the rest of Hellas, that we fared as everyone knows, and the other states met with such troubles that the disasters caused among them by that war are not even yet forgotten, 60. and the Lacedaemonians who then appeared fortunate have, owing to Alcibiades, fallen into their present misfortunes; for, persuaded by him to aim at the dominion of the sea, they lost even their supremacy by land, 61. so that if one were to say that the beginning of their present troubles was when they began to acquire the empire of the sea, he would not be convicted of falsehood. Well, then, Alcibiades, after having been the cause of so many evils, returned home from exile, having obtained great reputation but not universally commended. Not many years afterwards Conon (30)
did the like. 62. Having been unsuccessful in the sea-fight at the Hellespont, (31) not by his own fault but by that of his fellow-commanders, he was ashamed to come home, and, sailing to Cyprus, spent some time in attention to his private affairs, but learning that Agesilaus (32) with a large force had crossed over to Asia and was laying waste the country, he showed such a lofty spirit that, 63. having no other resources than his own body and mind, he hoped to out-fight the Lacedaemonians, rulers of Hellas by land and sea, and this in a message to the king's generals (33) he promised to do. And why is there any need to finish the story? Collecting a fleet off Rhodes (34) and winning the sea-fight, he deposed the Lacedaemonians from their empire and liberated Hellas, 64. and not only did he restore the walls of his country, (35)
but he raised the state to the same height of renown from which it had fallen. Now who would have expected that by a man who was brought so low the affairs of Hellas would be revolutionized, and some Hellenic states be humiliated and others brought to the front? 65. Further, Dionysius (for I wish you to be convinced by many examples of the easiness of the undertaking to which I am urging you), in birth, reputation, and everything else merely one among a crowd of other Syracusans, (36)
unreasonably and insanely set his heart upon monarchy, dared everything which might lead to that position of power, became master of Syracuse, overthrew all the cities in Sicily that were of Hellenic origin, (37) and surrounded himself with a more powerful force, both military and naval, than any man before him. 66. Then again, Cyrus (that we may remember the barbarians too), exposed by his mother on the public way, and taken up by a Persian woman, experienced such a change of fortune that he became lord of all Asia.
67. Now when Alcibiades the exile, Conon the defeated general, Dionysius the undistinguished nonentity, and Cyrus the man of so wretched an origin, rose to such greatness and wrought such great achievements, how can you, a man of illustrious birth, king of Macedonia, master over so many, fail to expect that you will easily effect the union which I have suggested to you?
68. Now consider the fitness of devoting yourself mainly to enterprises of that kind, in which by success you will place your reputation in competition with the first and foremost, and if you fail in your expectation you will at least win the goodwill of Hellas, the acquisition of which is a far nobler thing than the forcible capture of many Greek cities. For such achievements bring envy and ill-will and much evil speaking, but the course which I have advised involves none of these things. Nay, if some god should give you the choice of the kind of pursuit and occupation in which you would long to pass your life, you would choose no other, if you took my advice, in preference to this. 69. For not only will you be deemed happy by others, but you will recognise your own bliss. For what could surpass the happiness of your position, when from the greatest states the men of most renown are come as ambassadors to your throne, and you take counsel with them about the common welfare, for which no other man will appear to have taken such thought: 70. when, further, you perceive that the whole of Hellas is on tiptoe in regard to the proposals you may make, and no one is indifferent to what is decided upon at your court, but some make inquiries concerning the state of affairs, others pray to Heaven that you may not fail to obtain the object of your desires, while others are afraid that something may happen to you before you have accomplished your undertaking? 71. If you should succeed, you would have a right to be proud, and could not help feeling highly delighted all your life in the knowledge that you had been at the head of so great an undertaking. Who of the number of those who are endowed with even moderate reasoning powers would not exhort you to give the preference to such actions as are able to produce at the same time the fruits of surpassing pleasure and imperishable honour ?
72. I should be satisfied with what I have already said on this subject, had I not omitted one point, not from forgetfulness, but from a certain unwillingness to mention it. However, I think I ought to disclose it now, for I am of opinion that it is as much to your advantage to hear what I have to say concerning it, as it is becoming to me to speak with my accustomed freedom.
73. I perceive that you are calumniated by those who are jealous of you and are accustomed to throw their own cities into confusion, who regard the peace which is for the public advantage as a war against their own private interests, and, unconcerned about everything else, speak of nothing but your power, asserting that its growth is not for the interests of Hellas but against them, and that you have been already for a long time plotting against us, 74. and that, while you pretend to be anxious to assist the Messenians, as soon as you have settled with the Phocians, (38)
you are in reality endeavouring to get Peloponnesus into your power. They further assert that the Thessalians, Thebans, and all the members of the Amphictyonic league (39)
are ready to follow you, and that the Argives, Messenians, Megalopolitans and many others are prepared to fight on your side and to exterminate the Lacedaemonians; and, if you do this, they say that you will easily overcome the rest of the Hellenes. 75. By talking such nonsense and pretending that they possess an accurate knowledge of affairs, and by speedily overthrowing everything in their speech, (40)
they persuade many, in the first place, those who desire the same evils as the speech-makers; in the next place, those who exercise no judgment in regard to public affairs, but are altogether apathetic and exceedingly grateful to those who pretend fear and anxiety on their behalf; and lastly, those who do not reject the idea that you are plotting against the Hellenes, but think that what you are charged with is not unworthy of your efforts. 76. The judgment of the latter is so far from being correct, that they are not aware that, by means of the same statements, a man might hurt some and benefit others. For instance, in the present case, if one were to assert that the king of Asia was plotting against the Hellenes and was preparing to march against us, in that he would say nothing to his disparagement, but would make him appear more courageous and deserving of greater consideration; but if, on the other hand, anyone were to bring such a charge against one of the descendants of Heracles, who proved himself the benefactor of all Hellas, he would bring the greatest shame upon him. 77. For who could help feeling indignation and hatred if a man were seen to be plotting against those on whose behalf his ancestor elected to undergo perils, and, instead of endeavouring to maintain the legacy of goodwill which he bequeathed to his posterity, were to pay no heed to this and to devote his attention to disgraceful and evil undertakings?
78. This you must bear in mind, and not view with indifference the growth of such a report concerning yourself, which your enemies seek to fix upon you, and which every one of your friends would venture to contradict on your behalf. However, you will best discern the truth in regard to your interests by considering the views held by both.
79. Now, you perhaps consider it weak-minded to pay attention to detractors and babblers and those who listen to them, especially when you are conscious of no offence on your part. You must not, however, despise the multitude, nor think it of little importance to be in good repute amongst all; and you ought not to consider that you enjoy an honourable and great reputation, such as is worthy of yourself, your ancestors, and their glorious deeds, 80. until you have so disposed the Hellenes towards you, as you see the Lacedaemonians are disposed towards their kings and your own friends towards yourself. And this result is not difficult of attainment, if you once show your willingness to make yourself accessible to all, and cease to be on friendly terms with some states, while showing yourself strange towards others; and if, further, you elect to act in a manner whereby you will both gain the confidence of the Hellenes and inspire the barbarians with fear.
81. And do not be surprised that I, who am neither a general nor a public speaker, nor in any other respects a man of influence, have addressed you more boldly than the rest in the same manner as I have also written to Dionysius, (41)
who acquired supreme power for himself. For, in regard to political life, I am by nature less fitted for it than any of the citizens, since I possess neither a sufficiently strong voice nor nerve to enable me to mix with the crowd, to endure its contamination, and to bandy abuse with those who haunt the public platform; 82. but, as to correct judgment and good education, at the risk of seeming to express myself too bluntly, to that I lay claim, and am inclined to rank myself not among the last but among the foremost. And this is why I endeavour to give counsel to the city, to the Hellenes, and to the most distinguished among mankind as far as my natural powers permit me.
83. In regard to myself and the course of action you ought to pursue in reference to the Hellenes, you have heard nearly all I have to say; concerning the expedition to Asia, I will give my advice to the cities, which I said it should be your task to reconcile, as to the proper manner of carrying on war against the barbarians, when I see them united; at present, I will address myself to you, although not with the same feelings as at the time when I wrote on the same subject. (42) 84. For then I invited my hearers to cover me with laughter and contempt, if I should appear to have spoken in a manner unworthy of the position of affairs, of my own reputation, and of the time spent on the composition of my speech, whereas now I am afraid that perhaps my discourse may fall far short of the claims I have advanced. Besides, the speech I delivered at the festival, which has afforded abundant material to those who devote themselves to the study of practical philosophy, (43) has greatly crippled my own resources. For I neither wish to repeat what I have already written, nor can I find anything new to say. 85. However, I must not on that account shrink from the duty, but must say whatever presents itself as likely to assist in persuading you to undertake the task which is the subject of my speech. For even should I fall short in any respect, and prove unable to write after the style of my former publications, yet I think that I shall at least be able to give an interesting outline to those who are able to fill in and complete it.
86. I think that I have commenced my whole discourse in such a manner as befits those who recommend a campaign against Asia. For nothing ought to be done until one finds the Hellenes doing one of two things: either rendering actual assistance, or showing themselves decidedly favourable to the undertaking. Agesilaus, (44) although he had the reputation of being the most prudent amongst the Lacedaemonians, neglected this, not from feebleness of intellect, but from ambition. 87. This prince was possessed by two desires, both honourable, but incompatible, and incapable of being realized at the same time; for he proposed at one and the same time to make war against the Great King, (45) and to restore his partisans to their cities, and to make them masters of affairs. The result of his efforts on behalf of his friends was to involve the Hellenes in calamities and dangers, and owing to the confusion arising therefrom they had neither leisure nor means to carry on the war against the barbarians. 88. From this it is easy to see, in the light of what was not understood at that time, that those who would counsel aright ought not to carry war into the King's country, until someone has reconciled the Hellenes and made them desist from their present folly. And this is just the advice I have given to you.
89. On this point no sensible man would venture to contradict me, but I think that it would occur to any others who should propose to offer advice concerning the expedition to Asia, to recommend it, by pointing out that all whose lot it has been to undertake war against the barbarians, from obscurity have gained renown, from poverty wealth, and from low estate the ownership of many lands and cities. 90. Now I do not propose to encourage you by means of such instances, but rather by reminding you of the fortune of those who are considered to have been unfortunate, I mean those who accompanied the expedition of Cyrus and Clearchus. (46) It is agreed that they gained as complete a victory over the whole of the King's forces as if they had fought against the Persian women, but that, when they seemed to have the mastery of affairs already within their grasp, they failed owing to the impetuosity of Cyrus; for in his exultation he carried his pursuit beyond the rest, and, falling into the midst of the enemy, met his death. 91. But, in spite of the great disaster that had befallen his foes, (47) the King had such a contempt for his own power, that he invited Clearchus and the other commanders to a conference, promising to bestow upon them valuable presents, and full pay and release from service to the rest of the soldiers. Having allured them by such expectations and given them the most solemn pledges of the country, he seized and put them to death, preferring to sin against the gods rather than to engage in battle with soldiers who were thus destitute.
92. What encouragement could be better and more convincing than this? For it is clear that they also would have overthrown the power of the King, had it not been for Cyrus. But for you it is not difficult to avoid the disaster that then occurred, and it is easy for you to equip an army far stronger than that which overthrew his forces. Since, then, you will be able to do both, how can you help undertaking this expedition with the fullest confidence?
93. Let no one, however, suppose that I wish to conceal the fact that some of my statements are repetitions of previous ones. For, when I came to consider the same subject, I preferred not to weary myself in the endeavour to express differently what has been already set forth satisfactorily. For, even if I were composing a show-speech, I should endeavour to avoid everything of the kind; 94. but, when giving advice to you, I should be a fool if I were to devote more attention to the style than to the subject-matter, and still more if, when I saw others adopting my arguments, I were to be the only one who did not make use of what I have said before. I might perhaps, therefore, avail myself of my own words, should there be pressing need for it, and should it appear suitable, but I would not appropriate the arguments of strangers, a thing I have never done even in times past.
95. Such, then, is the state of the case. In the next place, it appears my duty to speak of the means you will have at your disposal as compared with those they (48) had. The most important thing to observe is, that you will have the goodwill of the Hellenes if you will follow my advice concerning them, while they had incurred their bitterest hostility on account of the decarchies (49) established under the Lacedaemonians. For they thought that, if Cyrus and Clearchus succeeded, they would be still further enslaved, but that, if the King proved victorious, they would be freed from their present evils, which actually happened to them. 96. And further, you will find as many soldiers as you desire in readiness; for such is the condition of Hellas, that it is easier to get together a larger and better force from wanderers than from settled inhabitants. In those times, on the contrary, there were no hired forces, so that, when compelled to raise mercenaries from the towns, they spent more on presents made to those who levied them than on the actual pay of the soldiers. 97. And lastly, should we desire to consider the matter, and institute a comparison between you who are now destined to conduct the expedition and to give advice on everything, and Clearchus, who was in command at that time, we shall find that he had never before been master of a force by sea or land, but that he only became famous from the disaster which overtook him on the mainland; 98. while you, on the contrary, have carried out so many glorious undertakings, that, if I were addressing others, it would be well to recount them, but, as my words are directed to you, I should rightly be looked upon as senseless and meddlesome if I were to give you an account of your own acts.
99. But it is right to say something about both the Kings, the one against whom I am advising you to undertake the expedition, as well as the one against whom Clearchus waged war, that you may learn the disposition and power of each. The father (50) of the present King defeated our city and that of the Lacedaemonians, while the present ruler has not yet become master of any of the armies that devastate his country. 100. In the next place, the former recovered the whole of Asia from the Hellenes by treaty, (51) while the latter, so far from ruling others, cannot even retain the mastery of the cities that have been surrendered to him; so that everyone would be in doubt whether to think that he has abandoned them from lack of energy, or that they have despised and contemned the power of the barbarians.
101. And who could hear of the condition of the country without being encouraged to make war upon him? For, although Egypt was in a state of revolt even at that time, the inhabitants were afraid that the King might some time or other undertake a campaign in person and overcome the difficulties of the position that were caused by the river (52) and all the other equipments of war; but the present ruler has relieved them from this apprehension. For, after having collected as large a force as he could and taken the field against them, he has departed from thence, not only defeated, but an object of ridicule, and with the reputation of being neither fit to rule nor to command an army. 102. As for Cyprus, Phoenicia, Cilicia, and the district from which they procured their fleet, (53) they were then subject to the King, but now some have revolted, while others are at war and in such straits that none of these peoples is of any service to him, while they will be of great use to you, if you desire to make war against him.
103. Further, Idrieus, (54) the most prosperous of the princes of the continent, ought to be more hostile to the cause of the King than those who are at war with him; he would else be the most apathetic of all men, if he did not desire the overthrow of this rule, which maltreated his brother, (55) made war against himself, and is all the time plotting against him, and desirous of becoming master of his person and of all his treasures. 104. In fear of this, he is now compelled to pay court to him, and to send him every year a large tribute of money; but if you were to cross over to the continent, he would see it with joy, thinking that you were come to assist him, and you will induce many of the other satraps to revolt, if you promise them freedom, and scatter this word broadcast in Asia, which, falling on the soil of Hellas, has broken up our empire as well as that of the Lacedaemonians.
105. I would endeavour to set forth in greater detail the mode of warfare by which you might most speedily overcome the King's forces, were I not afraid that some might blame me if I, who have never yet had anything to do with military matters, were to venture to give advice to you, who have accomplished the greatest achievements in war. I think, therefore, that I need say nothing further about this.
In regard to other matters, however, I think that your father, the founder of your kingdom, and the ancestor of your race (56)--if the former had the right, and the two last the power--would give you the same counsel as myself. 106. I take the policy they carried out as a proof of this. Your father was on friendly terms with all these states, to which I advise you to give your attention; and the founder of your empire, whose aspirations were higher than those of his own countrymen, (57) and who desired undivided authority, did not adopt the same course of action as others whose projects were equally ambitious. 107. While they endeavoured to gain this exalted position by causing strife, disturbance, and bloodshed in their cities, he left Hellas alone altogether and devoted himself to establishing his kingdom in Macedonia; for he knew that the Hellenes were not accustomed to put up with monarchies, while the rest were unable to order their life aright without such a form of government. 108. The result was that, owing to his peculiar views on these subjects, his rule was one of quite a different character from the rest; for he alone among the Hellenes claimed to rule over a people not of kindred race, (58) and alone was able to escape the dangers that beset monarchy. For we should find that, amongst the Hellenes, those who have managed to acquire such authority have not only been destroyed themselves, but that their race has been utterly blotted out from amongst mankind, while he not only passed his own life in happiness and prosperity, but bequeathed to his children the same honours as he himself enjoyed.
109. As for Heracles, while others are ever singing the praises of his valour and recounting his labours, no one, either among poets or prose writers, will be found to have made any mention of his intellectual excellence. I, however, see in this a distinct and altogether untilled field of literature, no unimportant or unfruitful one, but full of praise and glorious deeds, and one that requires a man who would be able to speak worthily on such a theme. 110. Had I thought of it in my younger days, I could easily have shown that your ancestor was distinguished above all his predecessors by his wisdom, honourable ambition, and justice, rather than by his bodily strength; but when I approached the subject now, and saw how much there was to say, I blamed my present capabilities, feeling that the theme would require a speech twice the length of that which is now put before you. For these reasons I abandoned the rest, and selected one single act, which seemed connected with and suitable to what I have said before, and to be appropriate and duly proportioned to my present speech.
111. Now, when Heracles saw that Hellas was full of wars, seditions, and many other evils, he not only put an end to these and reconciled the different states, but showed posterity with whom and against whom they ought to carry on war. For, having undertaken an expedition against Troy, which at that time was the greatest power in Asia, he showed such superiority in generalship over all those who afterwards made war against that city, 112. that, whereas they, with all the forces of Hellas, with difficulty succeeded in taking it after a ten years' siege, he easily captured it by force in less than as many days, although he took the field with only a small force, and, afterwards slew all the princes of the tribes who dwelt on the coast of either continent, whom he would never have been able to destroy had he not overcome their might. After these achievements he set up the pillars of Heracles, (59)
as they are called, a trophy of his victory over the barbarians, a memorial of his valour and perils in war, and the boundary of the land of Hellas.
113. I have spoken to you at some length on this subject, that you may know that in my speech I am exhorting you to such actions as your forefathers are seen to have selected as the noblest in carrying out their undertakings. (60)
Now, all sensible men, setting before themselves the example of the noblest of mankind, should endeavour to become like him, and you above all it behoves to do so. For, as there is no necessity for you to use foreign examples, but you have one ready to hand in your own family, it is only natural that you should be stimulated by it and show an honourable ambition to make yourself like your ancestor. 114. I do not mean that you will be able to imitate all the acts of Heracles, for even some of the gods would be unable to do that; but, in intellectual character, love of mankind, and goodwill such as he showed towards the Hellenes, you might approach his aims. And, if you listen to my advice, it is possible for you to win such a reputation as you yourself might desire, 115. for it is easier for you to gain the fairest fame from your present position than, starting from that which you previously occupied, (61)
to attain to the reputation you at present enjoy. Consider that I am exhorting you to an undertaking wherein you will take the field, not with barbarians against those whom you have no just cause to attack, but with Hellenes against those upon whom it becomes the descendants of Heracles to make war.
116. And do not be surprised if, throughout my discourse, I endeavour to lead you to mildness, love of mankind, and good services towards the Hellenes; for I see that harshness is equally grievous to those who show it and to those who experience it, while mildness is in good repute, not only amongst mankind and all other living creatures, 117. but even amongst the gods, those who bestow blessings upon us are called Olympian, (62)
while those who have control of calamities and punishments are called by more hateful names; and, while in honour of the former individuals and states have erected temples and altars, the latter are honoured neither by vows nor sacrifices, but we endeavour to avert their influence. 118. Bearing this in mind, you ought to accustom yourself to and to practice that whereby all men may have such an opinion of you even in a greater degree than at present. And those who desire a greater reputation than others should embrace such deeds in thought as are possible, and at the same time accord with their wish, and seek to carry them out, according as opportunities present them. (63)
119. You might learn from many instances that this is the manner in which you ought to act, but above all from the fortunes of Jason. (64) He, without having achieved anything like yourself, gained the highest renown, not from his deeds, but from his utterances; for he spoke as if he intended to cross over to the continent and to make war against the King. 120. Since Jason, then, increased his power to such an extent merely by words, what opinion must we think all will have of you, if you do this in reality, and endeavour, if possible, to destroy the whole kingdom, or, if not, to take away from it as much territory as possible, to separate from it Asia from-Cilicia-to-Sinope (as some call it), and in addition to build cities throughout the district, and to send thither as colonists those who are now wanderers from want of their daily bread, and who harass all whom they meet? 121. For, if we do not put a stop to their massing together by providing them with sufficient to live upon, they will imperceptibly become so numerous that they will be as great a cause of alarm to the Hellenes as the barbarians; we, however, pay no attention to them, and are ignorant of the existence of a cause of alarm that affects us all, and a danger that is growing up against us. 122. Therefore it is the duty of a man of high aspirations, and a friend of the Hellenes, and of one whose mind sees further than others, to make full use of the services of such men against the barbarians, and, having taken away from the latter the amount of territory mentioned just before, to free those who serve in a foreign land from the evils which they themselves are suffering, as well as those which they inflict upon others, to form communities out of them, and to make these the boundaries of Hellas, and to set them in front of us all as a bulwark. 123. For if you do this, you will not only make them happy, but will also insure the safety of us all. Even should you fail in this, at least you will easily secure the liberation of the cities of Asia. Whichever of these undertakings you may be able to carry out or even only attempt, you will assuredly gain greater reputation than the rest, and that deservedly, if you apply yourself earnestly to the task, and encourage the Hellenes to do the same. 124. For everyone would naturally feel surprise at the situation of affairs and contempt for us, if amongst the barbarians, whom we consider effeminate, inexperienced in war, and corrupted by luxury, men have arisen who aspired to rule Hellas, while none of the Hellenes has aimed so high 125. as to attempt to make us masters of Asia, but we have been so far left behind by them that, while they did not hesitate to commence hostilities against us first, we do not even venture to take vengeance upon them for the evils we have suffered, but, although they acknowledge that in all their wars they possessed neither soldiers nor generals nor anything else of service for war, 126. but had to apply to us for all these, we have come so to desire to do ourselves harm that, when it is in our power to possess what is theirs without apprehension, we are fighting with one another about trifles, helping to subdue those who have revolted from the rule of Persia, and, without knowing it, sometimes assist our hereditary foes to destroy our own kinsmen.
127. For these reasons I think that it is to your interest, when everyone else is so cowardly minded, to put yourself at the head of the expedition against the King. And while it is the duty of the others, who are descendants of Heracles, (65) and are united by polity and laws, to love that state in which they happen to dwell, it behoves you, as one who has been released from individual obligations, (66)
to look upon the whole of Hellas as your fatherland, in the same manner as the father of your race, and to be ready to face danger on its behalf as readily as on behalf of those who are your especial care.
128. Perhaps some of those who are fit to do nothing else may venture to blame me, because I have chosen to exhort you to undertake the campaign against the barbarians and the care of all the Hellenes, and have passed over my own city. 129. Now, if I were undertaking to address myself on these points to others rather than to my own native city, which has thrice freed Hellas, twice from the barbarians, and once (67) from the rule of Lacedaemon, I would allow that I was wrong; but, as it is, it will be seen that I have exhorted Athens before all other cities, with the greatest earnestness of which I was capable, to undertake the task, but, when I perceived that she thought less of what I said than of those who rave upon the platform, I left her alone, but, notwithstanding, did not abandon my efforts. 130. Wherefore all might fitly praise me because, as far as the powers I possess permitted me, I have persistently waged war against the barbarians, accused those who did not hold the same opinion as myself, and endeavoured to induce those, whom I hope will be best able to do so, to render some service to the Hellenes, and to deprive the barbarians of their present prosperity. 131. For this reason I now address my words to you, well aware that many will be jealous of them when uttered by me, but that all will rejoice alike at the same undertakings when accomplished by you. For, although no one has taken part in what I have proposed, everyone will think that he is entitled to a share in the advantages that will result from it.
132. Consider, again, that it is disgraceful to look on with indifference when Asia fares better than Europe, when the barbarians are more flourishing than the Hellenes, and further, when those who derive their rule from Cyrus, who was exposed by his mother on the public way, are addressed as the Great Kings, while the descendants of Heracles, whom his father raised to the gods for his virtue, are addressed by humbler titles than they. This must not be permitted, but must be entirely altered and done away with.
133. Be assured that I would never have attempted to persuade you to anything of the kind had I seen that the only result would be power and wealth; for I think that you have even now more than enough of these at your command, and that whosoever elects to undergo perils to win them or to lose his life in the attempt is most insatiable. 134. However, I am not speaking with reference to the acquisition of these advantages, but in the belief that the greatest and most honourable reputation will accrue to you from what I say. And bear in mind that, although the body that we all possess is mortal, by means of commendation, praise, fame, and the memory that attends us with the course of time we partake of immortality, which we ought to strive after as far as we are able, and to endure anything to attain it. 135. You may see even the most respectable private individuals, who would risk their lives for nothing else, ready to die in battle in order to win honourable renown, and, generally, those who show themselves desirous of still greater honour than they enjoy, are commended by all, while those who exhibit an insatiable longing for anything else whatever are considered to be proportionately inferior and lacking in self-control. 136. The most important thing to notice is that, while our enemies often obtain possession of power and riches, the good will of mankind and the other honours mentioned above are bequeathed as an inheritance to none but our own posterity. I should therefore be ashamed if I did not for these reasons advocate this campaign and the hazard of war.
137. And you will best make up your mind on these points if you consider that not only does this speech exhort you, but also the example of your forefathers and the cowardice of the barbarians, as well as those men of the greatest renown who are looked upon as demigods (68)
on account of their campaign against them, and, above all, the favourable moment, when you possess a larger force than any of the dwellers in Europe, and he, against whom you are going to make war, is more universally hated and despised than any of the former Kings.
138. I would have given much to be able to combine all the speeches I have delivered on this subject; for the present one would then appear more worthy of its theme. However, you must give your attention to whatever in all of them has reference to and advocates this war; for by so doing you will best form your resolutions.
139. I am well aware that many of the Hellenes consider the King's forces to be invincible. Such would deservedly be regarded with astonishment if they think that these same forces, which have been overthrown by an ill-reared barbarian and collected with the object of enslaving them, cannot be broken up by a Hellene of great experience in warfare with the object of setting them free, especially as they know that in all things it is difficult to join, but easy to put asunder.
140. And bear in mind that those are honoured and respected above all others who are able both to govern a state and to command an army. Since, then, you see that, in a single city, those who possess these qualities are in great repute, what commendation ought you to expect will be bestowed upon you when you are seen to have distinguished yourself as a statesman by benefits conferred upon all the Hellenes, and to have subdued the barbarians by your generalship? 141. I think that this will be the furthest limit, beyond which none will ever be able to advance. For neither amongst the Hellenes will so great an undertaking be seen as that of reconciling all of us after so many wars, nor is it likely that so large a force will ever again be got together for the barbarians, if you destroy their present force. 142. Thus, no one of those who come after us, even though distinguished by his talents above the rest, will be able to carry out anything of the kind. And further, I can show that the deeds of those who lived before us at any rate have been surpassed by what you have already achieved, not by means of trickeries, but in a straightforward manner; for, seeing that you have subdued more nations than anyone else has captured cities, it would be easy for me to show, by comparing you with each of them, that you have accomplished greater things than they. 143. However, I have preferred to avoid this mode of representation (69) for two reasons: partly on account of those who make an unseasonable use of it, and partly because I do not desire to represent those who are looked upon as demigods as inferior to the men of the present day.
144. Further (to make mention of the events of olden times), bear in mind that the wealth of Tantalus, the rule of Pelops, and the might of Eurystheus would not be praised by any, whether an inventor of words (70) or a poet, while all, next to the surpassing prowess of Heracles and the excellence of Theseus, would glorify those who took the field against Troy and those who showed themselves like them. 145. And we know that the most renowned and the bravest amongst them had their dominion in little towns and islands, but that notwithstanding they have left behind them a reputation equal to that of the gods and are held in honour amongst all; for it is not those who have won the greatest power for themselves, but those who have brought the greatest blessings upon the Hellenes that are universally beloved.
146. Not only, however, in their case, but in the case of all alike you will see that men hold this opinion; for no one would praise even our city, either because she has been mistress of the sea, or because she has collected such large sums of money (71) from the allies and deposited it in the Acropolis, or again, because she had power over many cities, to dismantle some, to aggrandize others, and to treat others as she wished; 147. for all this it was in her power to do; but, in consequence of this, many charges have been brought against her, while on account of the battle of Marathon and the naval engagement at Salamis, and especially because the Athenians abandoned their city to save Hellas, she is eulogized by all. The same opinion is also held concerning the Lacedaemonians; 148. for in their case their defeat at Thermopylae is more admired than their other victories, and the trophy erected over them by the barbarians (72)
is an object of esteem and frequent visits, while those set up by the Lacedaemonians over others, far from being commended, are regarded with displeasure; for the former is considered to be a sign of valour, the latter of a desire for self-aggrandizement.
149. If, in the course of your examination and consideration of the matter, anything of what I have said should appear to be somewhat feeble or inadequate, lay the blame upon my age, for which all might fairly make excuse; but if this discourse resembles those previously circulated, you must not think that my old age has discovered it, but that the Deity has prompted it, not out of regard for myself, but out of care for Hellas, and from a desire to set it free from its present evils, and to invest you with greater renown than you at present enjoy. 150. And I think you know in what manner the gods conduct the affairs of men. For they do not of their own act bestow the blessings or inflict the evils that befall them, but inspire all of us with such thoughts that each falls to our lot by means of one another. 151. For instance, they have assigned to me discourses, while to you they allot the sphere of action, considering that you would best undertake the control of it, and that my discourses would be least wearisome to the audience. But I think that even your earlier undertakings would never have acquired such importance had not one of the gods assisted you to carry them out, 152. not in order that you might be constantly at war only with the barbarians who inhabit Europe, but that, having practiced upon them, gained experience, and come to know what manner of man you are, you might be eager for the course I have advocated. It is a disgrace to stay behind when Fortune honourably leads the way, and not to show yourself ready to advance in whatever direction she wishes.
153. I think that, while you ought to honour all those who speak well of what you have done, you ought to consider that the most honourable eulogy is that of those who consider your talents worthy of still greater deeds than those which you have already accomplished, great as they are, and who express themselves grateful to you, not only in the present, but who will cause posterity to admire your acts beyond those of all who have lived in former times. Although there are many things of this kind that I desire to say, I am unable to do so; the reason of this I have already stated more often than is necessary.
154. It remains to summarize what I have said before, that, in as few words as possible, you may understand,the chief point of my advice. I say that you ought to be the benefactor of the Hellenes, the king of Macedonia, and the ruler over as many barbarians as possible. If you succeed in this, all will be grateful to you, the Hellenes by reason of advantages enjoyed, the Macedonians, if you govern them like a king and not like a despot, and the rest of mankind, if they are freed by you from barbarian sway and gain the protection of Hellas. 155. How far my composition is duly proportioned (73) and accurate in expression, I may reasonably expect to learn from you my hearers; but that no one could give you advice that is better than this, or more adapted to present circumstances, of that I feel convinced.
1.''Amphipolis was a city at the head of the Strymonic Gulf. It had been built formerly by an Athenian colony (B.C. 437, under Hagnon), and was taken by the Spartan general Brasidas in the Peloponnesian war. Ever since Athens regained her character of an imperial state, she had desired to recover Amphipolis, which was important for its maritime position, its exportation of iron, and especially from the vicinity of the forests near the Strymon, which afforded an inexhaustible supply of ship-timber. But she had never been able to accomplish that object. Philip, who at the time possessed no maritime town of importance, was anxious to gain Amphipolis for himself; and he got possession of it partly by force of arms, partly by the treachery of certain Amphipolitans who were attached to his interest. It seems the Athenians had been fooled by a promise of Philip to give up the town to them. The non-performance of this compact led to their first long war with him."--C.R.K.
2.The city of Cyrene in Africa was founded by Battus about B.C. 630. lt was a colony from the island of Thera (formerly Calliste) in the Aegean, which was itself a colony from Sparta. It planted several colonies in the adjoining district, the most important of which was Barca.
3.Amadocus was king of the Odrysian Thracians. In B.C. 392 Thrasybulus sailed to the Hellespont, effected a reconciliation between him and Seuthes, a neighbouring prince, and concluded an alliance with both of them, in order to protect Athenian interests in that quarter. The Thracian Chersonese had been colonized by Athens in the time of Solon. There was also a younger Amadocus, who appears as an opponent of Philip.
4.i.e., his pupils.
5."Sophists" is not here used in a disparaging sense. Isocrates is expressing his regret that speeches like the Panegyricus and the views expressed by philosophers and rhetoricians are equally ineffectual.
6.Amyntas, the father of Philip, had been expelled from his kingdom by the Thessalians. In later times, when Lycophron succeeded Jason as Tagus of Pherae, the great families (especially the Aleuadae of Larissa) of the north, being discontented with his rule, invoked the aid of Philip, who defeated and drove him out. At the close of the Sacred War Philip restored Magnesia (a peninsula on the east of Thessaly) to them.
7.In the Thracian Chersonese.
8.Such as Olynthus and Methone. He lost an eye during the siege of the latter.
9.They dwelt in the Thessalian provinces of Hestiaeotis and Pelasgiotis.
10.With the Paeonians (who inhabited the valley of the Axius) Philip made peace by bribery and persuasion; but soon afterwards, on the death of their king, violated the peace and subdued the country.
11.Philip undertook a successful expedition into Illyricum, and annexed all the country from Lake Lychnitis to the Ionian sea.
12.Cp. Dem. Olynth. i. 13 for the whole passage "Having first taken Amphipolis, then Pydna, Potidaea next, Methone afterwards, he invaded Thessaly. Having ordered matters at Pherae, Pagasae, Magnesia, everywhere exactly as he pleased, he departed for Thrace, where, after displacing some kings and establishing others, he fell sick."--C. R. K.
13.Caranus, or (according to a different story) Perdiccas, the founder of the royal house of Macedonia, originally came from Argos. He was a descendant of the Temenidae. Temenus was one of the Heraclidae, and thus Heracles was the ancestor of the Macedonian kings.
14.See "Panegyricus," §61.
15.Pausanias and Themistocles.
16.After the capture of Athens by Lysander, the Thebans and Corinthians proposed that the inhahitants should be sold into slavery, and the city razed to the ground.
17.In the summer of B.C. 378, Agesilaus invaded Boeotia with a large army, but was unable to effect anything decisive. The Athenians sent Chabrias with 5,000 infantry to assist Thebes, and forced Agesilaus to withdraw after devastating the country.
18.Two years after the battle of Leuctra, Epaminondas, assisted by the Argives, Arcadians, and Eleans, invaded Lacedaemon. The Spartans, in their distress, invoked the aid of the Athenians, who sent Iphicrates into Peloponnesus with 12,000 men, and checked the progress of Epaminondas.
19.Peace was concluded on more than one occasion between Sparta and Athens, but was soon broken.
20.The Argives and Messenians joined Philip against Sparta.
21.i.e., the Helots.
22.See § 54.
23.There was a perpetual feud between the supporters of oligarchy and democracy in Argos.
24.At Leuctra (B.C. 371).
25.With especial reference to the founding of Megalopolis by Epaminondas.
26.Referring to the defeat of Alexander, the tyrant of Pherae, by Pelopidas in B.C. 364.
27.The reference is to Oropus. "This town was on the confines of Attica and Boeotia, on the coast opposite Eretria in Euboea. It anciently belonged to Athens, but frequently changed masters. In the twentieth year of the Peloponnesian war it was betrayed to the Boeotians and Euboeans. It became independent at the close of the war; but a few years after, the Thebans took advantage of some internal disturbances to seize the city, which they removed nearly a mile from the coast, and annexed to the Boeotian confederacy. A new revolution some time after restored it to Athens. But in B.C. 366 Themison, ruler of Eretria, got possession of it by the aid of some exiles. The Athenians marched against him, but, the Thebans also making their appearance with an army, they were induced to leave Oropus under Theban protection, until the dispute could be amicably settled. The Thebans, however, kept it in their own hands; and so it remained until after the battle of Chaeronea, when Philip give it up to the Athenians."--C. R. K.
28.The Sacred War (B.C. 356-346). Owing to the influence of Thebes the Amphictyonic Council (who looked after the rights of the Delphian God) were induced to impose a heavy fine upon the Phocians for having cultivated a portion of the Cirrhaean plain, which had been consecrated and was to lie waste for ever. The Phocians refused to pay the fine. This led to a war, in which the Phocians under Philomelus captured Delphi, and appropriated the treasures of the temple to furnish pay for mercenaries. The Thebans in the end sought the aid of Philip, who, after having made peace with the Athenians (who had supported the Phocians), entered Phocis, which surrendered unconditionally and was severely punished. The result of this war was to render Macedon the leading power of Greece.
29.Alcibiades was accused (B.C. 415) of having profaned the Eleusinian Mysteries, and was ordered to return from Sicily to stand his trial. He succeeded, however, in making his escape to Cyllene in Peloponnesus, where he received a special invitation to Sparta. On his arrival he revealed all the plans of Athens, and advised the Lacedaemonians to send an army into Sicily, and to establish a fortified post at Decelea, in Attic territory.
30.Alcibiades returned in B.C. 407: Conon fled to Cyprus B.C. 405, was intrusted with the command of the Persian fleet B.C. 396. and gained the victory of Cnidus B.C. 394.
31.The battle of Aegospotami.
32.See "Panegyricus," §144.
34.See "Panegyricus," §142.
35.In B.C. 393 Conon "carried his victorious fleet (with the permission of Pharnabazus) to Athens, and with the help of his seamen and a large supply of Persian gold restored the long walls which connected Athens and Piraeus " (C. R. K.).
36.Dionysius the Elder was originally a scribe or secretary in a public office. His father Hermocrates was a donkey driver.
37.Such as Aetna, Catana, Naxos, Leontini.
38.When Philip commenced operations against the Phocians (B.C. 352) the Spartans were involved in a war with the Messenians, who concluded a treaty with Philip.
39. "The Amphictyonie league was a federal union of Hellenic tribes, having for its object the maintenance of a common religion and nationality. The various deputies met twice a year, not only to celebrate games and festivals, but to transact the business of the league, to determine questions of international law and religion. The oracular sanctity of Delphi gave a dignity to these meetings, but the rivalry and jealousies of the more powerful Hellenic states did not in general permit them to be controlled by Amphictyonic decrees. The three Sacred Wars were instances in which their decrees were enforced by combination; but in the two last, for which Philip's aid was invited, there was but little enthusiasm in the cause from any motive of religion or patriotism."--C. R. K.
40. These words are explained by Benseler to mean: "Without more ado they make out that everything is brought into subjection to you." Lange renders, "give a distorted account of everything."
41.Dionysius I. of Syracuse, who in B.C. 405 made himself master of Syracuse, and established himself as a "tyrant," a word not to be taken in the modern sense, but as defined by Professor Freeman, "one who exercises regal functions in a state where royalty is not recognised by the laws." He died B.C. 367, and was succeeded by his son Dionysius the Younger, who, after having been expelled from Syracuse, recovered possession of it in B.C. 346, the year in which this speech was written. The reference here is to the "letter" sent by Isocrates (Epistle I.) to Dionysius the Elder a little before his death.
42.Referring to the "Panegyricus " (see §14 of that speech).
43.For the "philosophy" of Isocrates, see Introduction, § 6.
44.His reign lasted from B.C. 398 to B.C. 361.
46.See "Panegyricus," § 145.
47.Wolf renders: "The good fortune that had befallen him."
48.Cyrus and Clearchus.
49.See "Panegyricus," §110.
50.Artaxerxes Mnemon (B.C. 405 to B.C. 362). His son was Artaxerxes Ochus (n.c. 362 to B.C. 339).
51.The peace of Antalcidas.
52.In Or. xi. 12 the Nile is called "the everlasting wall " of Egypt.
54.Prince of Caria.
55.Mausolus, who revolted from Persia in B.C. 362.
56.Amyntas, Caranus, and Heracles.
57.Caranus, as well as Perdiccas, came from Argos.
58.The Macedonians were partly a Thracian and partly an Illyrian stock.
59.Two rocks in the Straits of Gibraltar, one on the African (Abyla), the other on the Spanish coast (Calpe).
60.Others render "by their deeds," i.e., as their deeds show them to have done.
61.Lit., "from what you acquired" or "received" on your accession to the throne.
62.i.e., dwellers on Mount Olympus (Zeus, Hera, Apollo), as distinguished from the gods of the nether world.
63."Them," i. e., the deeds. Others render "present themselves."
64.Jason of Pherae.
65.The Spartan kings. See "Panegyricus," § 61.
66.The word aphetos (lit. let loose) is applied to sacred animals (and also to human beings) who are allowed to wander at will by themselves, without custodian or protector. The meaning here is, that as Philip's ancestors resolved to found a kingdom outside Hellas, and thus to be free from any particular ties, so he himself is at liberty to look upon Hellas as a single whole, and need not attach himself to the interests of any particular city.
67.At the battle of Cnidus.
68.Achilles and the heroes of the Trojan War, who fought against the Asiatics.
69.i.e., instituting a comparison between Philip and the demigods.
70.i.e., a sophist, or professed rhetorician.
71.Twelve hundred talents (about £300,000) yearly.
72.i.e., the pillars bearing an inscription set up by the Greeks over the Spartans who fell at Thermopylae. The Persians can only be said to have "erected the trophy" in so far as the Spartans fell fighting against them.
73.Others render "suited to the present emergency."
From Isocrates' Orations Vol. I, translated by J. H. Freese. London: George Bell & Sons, 1894.
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