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LEAGUE OF THE GREEKS.
And having in other ways encouraged the people, and, as his manner was, raised their spirits up with hopes, he with some others was sent ambassador to Thebes : whither Philip also sent envoys to oppose him, two Macedonians, says Marsyas, Amyntas and Clearchus, and Daochus a Thessalian, and Thrasy dæus. The Thebans did not fail to see what course was most for their good, but every one had before his eyes the terrors of war, their losses in the Phocian troubles being still fresh in recollection. Such, however, was the force and power of the orator, fanning up, as Theopompus says, their courage and firing their emulation, that everything else was obscured, and casting away prudence, fear, and obligation, in a sort of divine possession they chose the path of honour, to which his words invited them. And this success, thus accomplished by an orator, was thought to be so glorious and of such consequence, that Philip immediately sent heralds to treat and petition for a peace; Greece was all aroused, and up in arms to help; the commanders of the forces, even those of the Bæotians, put themselves under the direction of Demosthenes and observed his orders; he managed all the assemblies of the Thebans, no less than those of the Athenians; he was beloved both by the one and by the other, and exercised the same supreme authority with both; and that not by unfair means, or without just cause, as Theopompus professes, but indeed it was no more than was due to his merit.
But there was, it should seem, some divinely-ordered 19 fortune, commissioned in the revolution of things to put of Chæa period at this time to the liberty of Greece, which monea; opposed and thwarted their actions, and foreshowed August.
also by many signs what was about to happen. The Pythian priestess uttered predictions of evil; and this old oracle was repeated out of the Sibyls' verses
The battle on Thermodon that shall be
Thermodon, they say, is a little rivulet here in our country in Chæronea, running into the Cephisus. But
we know of none so called at the present time; and can only conjecture that the streamlet now called Hæmon, which runs by the sanctuary of Hercules, where the Greeks were encamped, might perhaps in those days be called Thermodon, and after the fight, being filled with blood and dead bodies, upon this occasion, as we guess, might change its old name for that which it now bears.
Duris, however, says that this Thermodon was no river, but that some of the soldiers, as they were pitching a tent and digging a trench round it, found a small stone statue, which by some letters cut on it, appeared to be a figure of Thermodon carrying a wounded Amazon in his arms; and that there was another oracle current about it, as follows:
The battle on Thermodon that shall be,
In fine, it is not easy to determine how it stands. 20 But Demosthenes, we are told, was so full of confidence in the Grecian forces, and so elevated by the sight of the courage and resolution of so
brave men ready the enemy, that he would not have them give any heed to oracles or hearken to prophecies, but suspected even the prophetess herself as one of Philip's party *; and put the Thebans in mind of Epaminondas, and the Athenians of Pericles, who always took their measures and governed their actions by reason, looking upon things of this kind as pretexts for cowardice. Thus far he acquitted himself like a brave man. But in the fight he did nothing honourable, or answerable to his speeches; but fled, deserting his place disgracefully, and throwing away his arms, not ashamed, as Pytheas observed, to belie the motto, “With good fortune,” inscribed on his shield in gold letters. Philip, in the first moment of victory, was so transported with joy, that he grew extravagant, and going out, after he had drunk largely, to make a riotous visit to the dead
* The Pythoness, he said, was philippizing.
bodies, chanted the first words of the decree of Demosthenes,
The motion of Demosthenes, Demosthenes's son,* dividing it metrically into feet, and marking the beats. But when he came to himself, and reflected on the danger he had been in, he could not forbear from shuddering at the ability and power of the orator who had made him hazard his life and empire on the issue of a few brief hours. The fame of it also reached the court of Persia, and the king sent letters to his satraps, commanding them to supply Demosthenes with money and to pay every attention to him, as the one man of the Greeks who was able to give Philip occupation and find employment for his forces near home in the troubles of Greece. This afterwards came to the knowledge of Alexander by some letters of Demosthenes which he found at Sardis, and by other papers of the Persian officers, stating the large sums which had been given him.
At this time, however, after the disaster of the Greeks, the speakers of the party opposed to him, sought further to trample upon Demosthenes, and called him in various ways to an account for his conduct. But the people not only acquitted him upon these accusations, but continued towards him their former respect, and still invited him, as a lover of his country, to take a part in public affairs. When the bones of those who had been slain at Chæronea were brought home to be solemnly
* Demosthenés Demosthenous, Paiánieús, ta eipen. mosthenes, the son of Demosthenes, of the Pæanian township, made this motion,"—the usual form of the commencement of a vote or resolution of the Athenian Assembly.
interred, they chose Demosthenes to make the funeral oration. They did not show under the misfortunes which befell them a base and ignoble mind, as Theopompus writes in his exaggerated style, but, on the contrary, by the honour and respect paid to their counsellor, they made it
appear that they were not dissatisfied with the counsels he had given them. The speech therefore was spoken by Demosthenes. But the subsequent decrees he would not allow to be passed in his own name, but made use of those of his friends, one after another, looking upon his own as unfortunate and inauspicious; till at length he took courage again after the death of Philip, who did not long outlive his victory at Chæronea; this, it seems, being what was foretold in the last verse of the oracle,
Conquered shall weep, and conqueror perish there.
Demosthenes had secret intelligence of the death of 22 Philip, and laying hold of the opportunity to prepossess Death the people with courage and better hopes for the future, B.C.336.
, he came into the assembly with a cheerful countenance, pretending to have had a dream that presaged some great good fortune for Athens; and, not long after, arrived the messengers who brought the news of Philip's death. No sooner had the people received it, but immediately they offered sacrifice to the gods, and decreed that Pausanias* should be presented with a crown. Demosthenes appeared publicly in a rich dress, with a chaplet on his head, though it were but the seventh day since the death of his daughter, as is said by Æschines,
* The conspirator, who had killed Philip.
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