By Edward M. Harris
Filling a massive hole in scholarship, this can be the 1st full-length examine of the Athenian baby-kisser Aeschines. in addition to Isocrates, Aeschines was once essentially the most well-liked Athenian politicians who endorsed pleasant ties with the Macedonian king Philip II. notwithstanding overshadowed via his well-known rival Demosthenes, Aeschines performed a key position within the decisive occasions that marked the increase of Macedonian strength in Greece and shaped the transition from the Classical to the Hellenistic interval. 3 lengthy speeches through Aeschines, all added in court docket battles together with his opponent Demosthenes, were preserved and supply us with invaluable information regarding Athenian politics in the course of an incredible turning element in Greek historical past. This learn of Aeschines' political occupation examines the reliability of court docket speeches as old facts and exhibits how they assist display how democratic associations really functioned in Athens while confronted with the increase of Macedonian energy.
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Additional info for Aeschines and Athenian Politics
In that year, Plutarch of Eretria asked the Athenians to ward off the threat of his neighbor Callias of Chalcis. The Assembly granted his request and sent a force of hoplite and cavalry to Euboea under the command of Phocion. Aeschines joined the expedition, possibly as a volunteer. He was about forty-two at the time, and men thirty-five and older were usually called up only in emergencies. It was not Aeschines' first campaign. He had previously fought with distinction on an expedition to bring supplies to Phleious in 366, at the Battle of Mantinea in 362, and on an earlier campaign in Euboea in 357.
The Athenians of the Classical period did not elect officials to make crucial political decisions for them. They met at least forty times a year to listen to debates and make collective decisions directly. The Council of Five Hundred and the magistrates only reported to the Assembly and carried out its policies. Not only could every citizen vote in the Assembly; anyone who wished to could also make a proposal and submit it to the Athenian people for consideration. If the proposal gained a majority of the votes cast by the Assembly, it became official policy.
The most powerful political institution in Athens was the Assembly, where all major decisions regarding important issues, both foreign and domestic, were voted on by the citizens of Athens. The Athenians of the Classical period did not elect officials to make crucial political decisions for them. They met at least forty times a year to listen to debates and make collective decisions directly. The Council of Five Hundred and the magistrates only reported to the Assembly and carried out its policies.