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Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Demosthenes (384-322 BC) profoundly shaped one of the most eventful epochs in antiquity. His political career spanned three decades, during which time Greece fell victim to Macedonian control, first under Philip II and then Alexander the Great. Demosthenes' courageous defiance of Macedonian imperialism cost him his life but earned for him a reputation as one of history's outstanding patriots. He also enjoyed a brilliant and lucrative career as a speechwriter, and his rhetorical skills are still emulated today by statesmen and politicians. Yet he was a sickly child with a challenging speech impediment, who was swindled out of much of his family's estate by unscrupulous guardians. His story is therefore one of triumph over adversity.

In this new biography--the first written in English for almost a century--Ian Worthington brings the great orator's career vividly to life. He provides a moving narrative of Demosthenes' humble and difficult beginnings, his fierce rivalries with other Athenian politicians, his victories and defeats in the public Assembly, and finally his posthumous influence as a politician and orator. In doing so, Worthington offers new insights into Demosthenes' motives and how he shaped his policy to achieve political power. Set against the rich backdrop of late classical Athens and Macedonia, this biography will appeal to all readers interested in the history and heritage of ancient Greece. All quotations from Demosthenes' speeches are translated and briefly discussed in order for both professional and non-professional readers to appreciate his rhetorical genius.

Synopsis:

Demosthenes (384-322 BC) profoundly shaped one of the most eventful epochs in antiquity. His political career spanned three decades, during which time Greece fell victim to Macedonian control, first under Philip II and then Alexander the Great. Demosthenes' courageous defiance of Macedonian imperialism cost him his life but earned for him a reputation as one of history's outstanding patriots. He also enjoyed a brilliant and lucrative career as a speechwriter, and his rhetorical skills are still emulated today by statesmen and politicians. Yet he was a sickly child with a challenging speech impediment, who was swindled out of much of his family's estate by unscrupulous guardians. His story is therefore one of triumph over adversity.

In this new biography--the first written in English for almost a century--Ian Worthington brings the great orator's career vividly to life. He provides a moving narrative of Demosthenes' humble and difficult beginnings, his fierce rivalries with other Athenian politicians, his victories and defeats in the public Assembly, and finally his posthumous influence as a politician and orator. In doing so, Worthington offers new insights into Demosthenes' motives and how he shaped his policy to achieve political power. Set against the rich backdrop of late classical Athens and Macedonia, this biography will appeal to all readers interested in the history and heritage of ancient Greece. All quotations from Demosthenes' speeches are translated and briefly discussed in order for both professional and non-professional readers to appreciate his rhetorical genius.

About the Author

Ian Worthington is Professor of History at the University of Missouri and author of, most recently, Alexander the Great: Man and God and Philip II of Macedonia.

Table of Contents

Preface

Acknowledgements

List of Illustrations and Maps

Demosthenes' Life: The Main Events

Speech Numbers and Titles

Quotations and Abbreviations

Chapter 1. Preamble: "Politicians and Heroes"

Chapter 2. Demosthenes, Son of Demosthenes

Chapter 3. Greece and the Awakening of Macedonia

Chapter 4. Into the Public Eye

Chapter 5. The Aspiring Politician

Chapter 6. Swaying the Assembly

Chapter 7. An Uneasy Peace

Chapter 8. Resisting Philip

Chapter 9. "Speeches Like Soldiers"

Chapter 10. The End of Greek Freedom

Chapter 11. "For the Conqueror, Death"

Chapter 12. Demosthenes and Alexander the Great

Chapter 13. The Crown Trial

Chapter 14. Decline and Fall

Chapter 15. Poison from the Pen

Appendix: Ancient Coinage and Months of the Attic Year

Bibliography

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780199931958
Author:
Worthington, Ian
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Subject:
Ancient - Greece
Subject:
Classical Studies | Ancient History | Greek
Subject:
Biography-Historical
Subject:
World History-Ancient Near East
Publication Date:
20121231
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
17 illus., 4 maps
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
6.5 x 9.3 x 1.3 in 1.65 lb

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Related Subjects

Biography » Historical
Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Western Civilization » Ancient Greece
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient Near East
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece New Hardcover
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Product details 416 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780199931958 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Demosthenes (384-322 BC) profoundly shaped one of the most eventful epochs in antiquity. His political career spanned three decades, during which time Greece fell victim to Macedonian control, first under Philip II and then Alexander the Great. Demosthenes' courageous defiance of Macedonian imperialism cost him his life but earned for him a reputation as one of history's outstanding patriots. He also enjoyed a brilliant and lucrative career as a speechwriter, and his rhetorical skills are still emulated today by statesmen and politicians. Yet he was a sickly child with a challenging speech impediment, who was swindled out of much of his family's estate by unscrupulous guardians. His story is therefore one of triumph over adversity.

In this new biography--the first written in English for almost a century--Ian Worthington brings the great orator's career vividly to life. He provides a moving narrative of Demosthenes' humble and difficult beginnings, his fierce rivalries with other Athenian politicians, his victories and defeats in the public Assembly, and finally his posthumous influence as a politician and orator. In doing so, Worthington offers new insights into Demosthenes' motives and how he shaped his policy to achieve political power. Set against the rich backdrop of late classical Athens and Macedonia, this biography will appeal to all readers interested in the history and heritage of ancient Greece. All quotations from Demosthenes' speeches are translated and briefly discussed in order for both professional and non-professional readers to appreciate his rhetorical genius.

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