Classics Demosthenes
by
Michael Gagarin
  • LAST MODIFIED: 29 June 2015
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389661-0014

Introduction

Demosthenes (384–322 BCE) was one of the leading public figures in Athens in the third quarter of the 4th century—a statesman who led the Athenians in their ultimately unsuccessful struggle against Philip of Macedon, as well as the greatest of ancient Greek orators. Judgments of his public career have ranged from declaring him the heroic defender of Greek freedom to a failed strategist and manipulator of the people. Much less controversial is the judgment, common since Antiquity, of his preeminence as an orator.

Bibliographies

The most thorough review of work on Demosthenes, Jackson and Rowe 1969, is well organized and user-friendly. It is now dated, but its careful and balanced assessment of scholarship before 1965 is still very helpful. Schindel 1987 has a bibliography of works since 1965, but the bare list, without annotation, is much less useful. Hernández Muñoz 1999 also lacks annotation but is helpfully organized into categories.

  • Hernández Muñoz, Felipe G. 1999. Demóstenes 1965–1997: Repertorio bibliográfico. Tempus 21:37–76.

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    This update to Jackson and Rowe has no annotations but has a fairly complete list of works up to 1997 organized in two parts: works on specific speeches, and more general works in seven categories (editions; influence; iconography; manuscripts; language and style; historical and political aspects; and legal, economic, social and religious aspects). Brief introduction in Spanish will not hinder users with no Spanish, but the journal may be hard to obtain.

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    • Jackson, Donald F., and Galen O. Rowe. 1969. Demosthenes 1915–1965. Lustrum 14:5–109.

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      Excellent review of work from this period, organized by topic, including texts and textual studies, Demosthenes’ life by periods, studies of individual works or groups of works, style, argument, and influence. Lists in each category are followed by substantial, well-organized discussions of general trends and the place of individual works within them. A model review of scholarship.

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      • Schindel, Ulrich, ed. 1987. Demosthenes. Darmstadt, Germany: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft.

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        A collection of previously published essays in German (essays originally in English translated into German). Bibliography lists mainly works published after 1965 (the cutoff date of Jackson and Rowe 1969), alphabetically by author. Includes a small group of editions and commentaries and a much longer list of monographs and articles. No annotation or discussion.

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        Life and Career

        The study of Demosthenes tends to be divided into two separate areas—Demosthenes: Statesman and orator, as the title of Worthington 2000 puts it—a duality already present in Plutarch’s account. Plutarch pairs his Life of Demosthenes (available in many different translations) with a Life of Cicero, a comparison generally favorable to the former.

        • Plutarch (L. Mestrius Plutarchus). 1919. Life of Demosthenes. Translated by Bernadotte Perrin. Loeb Classical Library, 7. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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          Plutarch devotes the first part of his Life to Demosthenes’ oratorical training and accomplishments, the second part to his career opposing Philip and Alexander. Also available in the Dryden translation.

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          • Worthington, Ian, ed. 2000. Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. London: Routledge.

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            A collection of nine papers of generally high quality. Stronger on the career of Demosthenes than on his oratory.

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            General Overviews

            The figure of Demosthenes has long attracted the interests of statesmen as well as historians. Among the former, the French World War I leader Georges Clemenceau’s study (Clemenceau 1926) is still worth reading for its soaring prose, if nothing else. For the latter, Schaefer 1856–1858 is still worth consulting. More recently, both MacDowell 2009 and Worthington 2013 would be excellent starting points, and the two together can be read with profit.

            • Clemenceau, Georges. 1926. Demosthenes. Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin.

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              Original French edition, 1924. Presents Demosthenes as a tragic figure defeated only by the ineptness of his fellow Athenians (“Demosthenes would have saved his country had it consented to be saved”).

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              • MacDowell, Douglas M. 2009. Demosthenes the Orator. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                Primarily focused on Demosthenes’ speeches and their legal context with episodes from his life woven in.

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                • Schaefer, Arnold. 1856–1858. Demosthenes und seine Zeit. 4 vols. Leipzig: Teubner.

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                  Second edition of vols. 1–3, 1885–1887; reprint of vols. 1–4, Hildesheim: Olms, 1966; CD-ROM edition, Göttingen: Duehrkopf and Radicke, 2001 [ISBN: 9783897440210]. A massive study (vol. 4 is Appendices) of Greek history from 387 to 322 BCE. Still unequaled in scope and thoroughness, Schaefer is the starting point for all historians after him.

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                  • Worthington, Ian. 2013. Demosthenes of Athens and the fall of Classical Greece. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                    The emphasis is on Demosthenes’ political career, but all the speeches receive some attention.

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                    Historical Context

                    In order to understand Demosthenes’ career within its historical context, a thorough knowledge of the course of Athenian history at the time is essential. Harris 1995, a balanced and detailed study of Demosthenes’ great rival Aeschines, is by far the best work for this. Also essential is an understanding of the Macedonian empire, against the threat of which Demosthenes struggled during much of his career. The best treatment of Demosthenes’ main enemy, Philip II, and his role in the rise of Macedon, is the overly long but balanced treatment by Griffith in Hammond and Griffith 1979. Cawkwell 1978 gives a clear picture but is written for nonspecialists and gives no indication of differing views. Hammond 1994 is more scholarly, but his extremely rosy view of Philip has found few followers. Ryder 2000 is more narrowly focused on those aspects of Philip’s career that directly affected Demosthenes.

                    • Cawkwell, George. 1978. Philip of Macedon. London and Boston: Faber and Faber.

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                      A very readable study that stresses Philip’s role in bringing Greek civilization to Macedonia and preparing it to conquer the world under his son Alexander.

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                      • Hammond, Nicholas G. L. 1994. Philip of Macedon. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Univ. Press.

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                        The culmination of a lifetime of work on the history of Macedonia; thoroughly researched but tends to ignore any negative aspects of Philip.

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                        • Hammond, N. G. L., and G. T. Griffith. 1979. A history of Macedonia. Vol. 2. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                          Fifteen of the sixteen chapters in part 2 (“The reign of Philip the Second”) are by Griffith.

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                          • Harris, Edward Monroe. 1995. Aeschines and Athenian politics. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                            Harris carefully sifts through the evidence to produce a solid historical account of the period in which Demosthenes was most active.

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                            • Ryder, T. T. B. 2000. Demosthenes and Philip II. In Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. Edited by Ian Worthington, 45–89. London: Routledge.

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                              A detailed account of Philip’s maneuverings and Demosthenes’ opposition to them in the period 351–336; presents the latter in a far more favorable light than the former.

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                              Specialized Treatments

                              In addition to the works listed below, commentaries on individual speeches or groups of speeches often include historical information about the period and issues addressed by that speech.

                              Early Career

                              Detailed studies of episodes in or periods of Demosthenes’ career are abundant. For his early career, a good place to begin is the fairly comprehensive essay by Badian (Badian 2000). The essays of Burke 1998 and Harris 1996 are more narrowly focused on specific episodes in Demosthenes’ career.

                              • Badian, Ernst. 2000. The road to prominence. In Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. Edited by Ian Worthington, 9–44. London: Routledge.

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                                Presents Demosthenes’ early career as driven largely by self-interest, and argues that in the absence of any coherent political views, Demosthenes used his rhetorical abilities mostly for self-promotion.

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                                • Burke, Edmund M. 1998. The looting of the estate of the elder Demosthenes. Classica et Mediaevalia 49:45–65.

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                                  Argues rather unconvincingly that Demosthenes’ guardians did not loot his estate primarily because of greed, as generally thought, but because they disapproved of the untraditional (and unaristocratic) means by which Demosthenes’ father had accumulated his fortune—mostly through lending money rather than traditional land-based activities—and they sought to reverse his practices.

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                                  • Harris, Edward M. 1996. Demosthenes and the theoric fund. In Transitions to empire: Essays in Greco-Roman history, 360–146 B.C. in honor of E. Badian. Edited by Robert W. Wallace and Edward M. Harris, 57–76. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.

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                                    Harris examines comments about the use of the Theoric Fund (money raised to support festivals) made by Demosthenes in his First and Third Olynthiac and Fourth Philippic (speeches 10, 3, 10) and by Apollodorus in Against Neaira (59). He argues that these speeches are consistent in their understanding of the fund, that there were no major differences between Demosthenes and Eubulus about the fund, and that Demosthenes shared the view of poor Athenians that distributions from the fund for festivals were crucial to maintaining social peace in Athens.

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                                    • Sealey, Raphael. 1955. Athens after the Social War. Journal of Hellenic Studies 75:74–81.

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                                      A careful examination of the period following the end of the Social War in 355, with emphasis on the political alliances of Demosthenes and others.

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                                      The Struggle against Macedon and Against Aeschines

                                      The long struggle against Philip was the central issue of Demosthenes’ career from the mid-340s to the battle of Chaeroneia in 338 and beyond. Ryder 2000 is a good place to start. Harris 1995 treats the same period from the perspective of Demosthenes’ great rival Aeschines, and Buckler 2000 gives a briefer but good treatment of this rivalry. Worthington 2000 considers the period after Philip’s death in 336, and Worthington 1992 gives a full account of the Harpalus affair that shook Athens and ended Demosthenes’ career in 323.

                                      • Buckler, John. 2000. Demosthenes and Aeschines. In Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. Edited by Ian Worthington, 114–158. London: Routledge.

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                                        A close analysis of the speeches and policies of these political rivals that downplays the element of personal rivalry between the two.

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                                        • Harris, Edward Monroe. 1995. Aeschines and Athenian politics. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                          Harris carefully sifts through the evidence to produce a solid historical account of the period in which Demosthenes was most active.

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                                          • Ryder, T. T. B. 2000. Demosthenes and Philip II. In Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. Edited by Ian Worthington, 45–89. London: Routledge.

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                                            A detailed account of the Philip’s maneuverings and Demosthenes’ opposition to them in the period 351–336 that presents the latter in a far more favorable light than the former.

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                                            • Worthington, Ian. 1992. A historical commentary on Dinarchus: Rhetoric and conspiracy in late fourth-century Athens. Ann Arbor: Univ. of Michigan Press.

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                                              Worthington has written several articles about the Harpalus affair, but his account of the trial in this translation of Dinarchus’s speech for the prosecution of Demosthenes from that trial is his fullest discussion of the episode.

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                                              • Worthington, Ian. 2000. Demosthenes’ (in)activity during the reign of Alexander the Great. In Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. Edited by Ian Worthington, 90–113. London: Routledge.

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                                                Argues that by 330 Demosthenes had realized that opposition to Macedonia and Alexander was futile and he thus refrained from speaking in opposition.

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                                                Works

                                                The Demosthenic corpus that has come down to us today includes sixty-one works; these include fifty-nine speeches written for delivery in the assembly or the law courts, a letter from Philip (Dem. 12), a funeral oration for those who died at Chaeroneia (60), an erotic essay (61), a collection of fifty-six short poems, and six letters from the period of Demosthenes’ exile at the end of his life. The court speeches can be divided into private and public. The former were mostly written for other clients, but Demosthenes himself delivered most of the public speeches. The authenticity of many of these works has been questioned (especially the court speeches), and as many as seven of the private speeches, including Against Neaira (59), are now generally agreed to have been written by Apollodorus (see Trevett 1992). For all sixty-one works, the best place to begin is now MacDowell 2009.

                                                • MacDowell, Douglas M. 2009. Demosthenes the Orator. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

                                                  DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199287192.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                  A comprehensive treatment of all sixty-one works organized around stages of Demosthenes’ life. Includes good brief discussions of issues affecting oratory in general, such as revisions of the speeches, and of Demosthenes’ style, together with an up-to-date bibliography. A very useful, comprehensive study.

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                                                  • Trevett, Jeremy. 1992. Apollodorus, the son of Pasion. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                    The only full-length study of Apollodorus, who appears often in Demosthenes’ speeches, sometimes as the speaker. Trevett concludes that speeches 45, 49, 50, 52, 53, and 59 were written by Apollodorus and compares them unfavorably with those of Demosthenes.

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                                                    Complete Texts and Translations

                                                    A new edition of the widely used Oxford Classical Text of Demosthenes by Dilts is in progress; three volumes with speeches 1–40 have appeared so far (Demosthenes 2002–2009). For the remaining works, vol. 3 of Demosthenes 1931 is generally used. English translations and Greek texts of all the works from the Loeb Classical Library are available online. Newer translations with fuller notes and introductions are available of all Demosthenes’ speeches except for 23–26 in the continuing series The Oratory of Classical Greece from the University of Texas Press. All of Demosthenes’ works are also included in the Budé series (Greek texts with facing French translations); particularly notable are the four volumes of private speeches, where Gernet’s notes on historical and especially legal matters in the private speeches are important (Demosthenes 1954–1960), and Demosthenes 1974–1987, three volumes of minor works and fragments translated by Clavaud.

                                                    • Demosthenes. 1930–1949. Demosthenes. Loeb Classical Library. 7 vols. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Univ. Press.

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                                                      Greek texts with facing English translations by different hands. Available online.

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                                                      • Demosthenes. 1931. Demosthenis orationes. Edited by W. Rennie. Vol. 3. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                        Still used for works not yet published in Dilts’s edition (Demosthenes 2002–2009).

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                                                        • Demosthenes. 1954–1960. Démosthène plaidoyers civils. Edited and translated by Louis Gernet. 4 vols. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

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                                                          Gernet was an outstanding scholar of Greek law, and his many notes on legal issues in Demosthenes’ private speeches still play a part in debates about these issues today.

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                                                          • Demosthenes. 1974–1987. Discours d’apparat. Prologues. Lettres et fragments. Edited and translated by Robert Clavaud. Paris: Les Belles Lettres.

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                                                            These three volumes (“ceremonial speeches,” prologues, letters and fragments) have very good texts, introductions, and notes.

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                                                            • Demosthenes. 2002–2009. Demosthenis orationes. Edited by Mervin R. Dilts. Vols. 1–3. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                              The standard Greek text.

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                                                              • Demosthenes. 2003. Speeches 50–59. Translated by Victor Bers. The Oratory of Classical Greece, 6. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                A translation with introduction and notes of ten private speeches.

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                                                                • Demosthenes. 2004. Speeches 27–38. Translated by Douglas MacDowell. The Oratory of Classical Greece, 8. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                  A translation with introduction and notes of twelve private speeches.

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                                                                  • Demosthenes. 2005. Speeches 18–19. Translated by Harvey Yunis. The Oratory of Classical Greece, 9. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                    A translation with introduction and notes of two major speeches from cases in which Demosthenes opposed Aeschines, including “On the Crown.”

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                                                                    • Demosthenes. 2006. Speeches 60–61, prologues, letters. Translated by Ian Worthington. The Oratory of Classical Greece, 10. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                      A translation with introduction and notes of a funeral oration, erotic speech, and other writings attributed to Demosthenes.

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                                                                      • Demosthenes. 2008. Speeches 20–22. Translated by Edward Monroe Harris. The Oratory of Classical Greece, 12. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                        A translation with introduction and notes of three major public speeches.

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                                                                        • Demosthenes. 2011a. Speeches 39–49. Translated by Adele Scafuro. The Oratory of Classical Greece, 14. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                          A translation with introduction and notes of eleven private speeches.

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                                                                          • Demosthenes. 2011b. Speeches 1–17. Translated by Jeremy Trevett. The Oratory of Classical Greece, 14. Austin: Univ. of Texas Press.

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                                                                            A translation with introduction and notes of all of Demosthenes’ assembly speeches.

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                                                                            Assembly Speeches

                                                                            The speeches written for delivery in the assembly between 354 and 341 are important for their information about the history of the period and for the study of Demosthenes’ style. The three Olynthiacs (pleading for Athens to resist Philip’s advance on the city of Olynthus) and four Philippics (pleading for resistance to Philip) are the best known and until the mid-20th century were popular as school texts; several school editions are still available (see Sandys 1898). Today the assembly speeches are little read except by historians, but the new commentary of Wooten 2008 on Philippic I seeks to change this.

                                                                            • Pearson, Lionel. 1964. The development of Demosthenes as a political orator. Phoenix 18:95–109.

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                                                                              A detailed study of the early assembly speeches, especially the Philippics and Olynthiacs, showing Demosthenes’ increasing effectiveness as a political speaker.

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                                                                              • Sandys, John Edwin. 1898. The First Philippic and the Olynthiacs of Demosthenes. London: Macmillan.

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                                                                                This remains the latest scholarly edition of these assembly speeches. A very popular school edition was published at the same time and has been reprinted many times. Reprinted, New York: Arno, 1979 [ISBN: 9780405114403].

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                                                                                • Sandys, John Edwin. 1900. On the peace, Second Philippic. On the Chersonesus, and the Third Philippic. London: Macmillan.

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                                                                                  This remains the latest scholarly edition of these assembly speeches. Reprinted, New York: Arno, 1979 [ISBN: 9780405114434].

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                                                                                  • Trevett, Jeremy. 1996. Did Demosthenes publish his deliberative speeches? Hermes 124:425–441.

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                                                                                    Argues that Demosthenes’ assembly speeches “are best understood as the unrevised drafts which he wrote before speaking in the Assembly.”

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                                                                                    • Wooten, Cecil. 2008. A commentary on Demosthenes’ Philippic I: With rhetorical analyses of Philippics II and III. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                      Greek text with introduction and commentary; especially good on rhetorical aspects of the speech. The commentary is followed by briefer discussions of Philippics II and III.

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                                                                                      Public Speeches

                                                                                      Commentaries on speeches or groups of speeches of Demosthenes, especially speeches that are of interest for the history of the period, were popular in the late 19th century. Interest in Demosthenes generally declined during most of the 20th century, as his nationalistic rhetoric became less appealing. But a growing interest in Greek law and social history revived interest in Demosthenes’ court speeches, and the late 20th and early 21st centuries have seen the publication of fuller commentaries on individual speeches (many with a translation), a trend that is likely to continue. Among the court speeches, 18–26 are generally designated the public speeches. The most widely read of these continues to be On the Crown (18); On the False Embassy (19), which represents an earlier stage in the battle between Demosthenes and Aeschines, is sometimes read as background. There has also been a recent revival of interest in Against Meidias (21) for the light it may shed on the legal theory and moral values of the period. Several other speeches—Against Leptines (20), Against Androtion (22), and Against Timocrates (24)—are now read primarily by historians or legal scholars.

                                                                                      18

                                                                                      On the Crown has been the most widely discussed of Demosthenes’ works. The four commentaries below differ in nature, but all have useful material. Gwatkin 1957 and Harris 1994 and Harris 2000 take opposing sides on the so-called legal arguments in the speech.

                                                                                      • Demosthenes. 1901. On the crown. Edited by William Watson Goodwin. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        Reprinted, New York: Arno, 1979 [ISBN: 9780405115479]. An abridged edition for use in schools was published in 1904 and has frequently been reprinted. Goodwin (Demosthenes 1901) has been superseded by Wankel 1976 and Yunis (Demosthenes 2001) but is still useful for textual and grammatical questions.

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                                                                                        • Demosthenes. 1993. On the crown. Edited by Stephen Usher. Warminster, UK: Aris and Phillips.

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                                                                                          This edition (Greek text, facing English translation, and notes) is aimed primarily at undergraduate students but is a useful introduction to the speech.

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                                                                                          • Demosthenes. 2001. On the crown. Edited by Harvey Yunis. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                            Far more concise than Wankel, Yunis seeks especially to provide a guide to Demosthenes’ argumentative strategy and rhetorical art. Yunis emphasizes Demosthenes’ forthright acknowledgment of responsibility for the Athenian defeat at Chaeronea.

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                                                                                            • Gwatkin, William E., Jr. 1957. The legal arguments in Aischines’ Against Ctesiphon and Demosthenes’ On the crown. Hesperia 26:129–141.

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                                                                                              Argues in detail for the commonly accepted view that Aeschines clearly has the stronger arguments on the two legal issues in this case.

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                                                                                              • Harris, Edward M. 1994. Law and oratory. In Persuasion: Greek rhetoric in action. Edited by Ian Worthington, 130–150. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                Makes a good case against Gwatkin, that Demosthenes’ position on the legal issues is as strong, if not stronger, than Aeschines’s.

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                                                                                                • Harris, Edward M. 2000. Open texture in Athenian law. Dike 3:27–79.

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                                                                                                  As part of his general argument that litigants and juries were guided by a fairly strict understanding of the law, Harris includes a revised version of his arguments about the legal arguments in this case.

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                                                                                                  • Wankel, Hermann. 1976. Demosthenes: Rede für Ktesiphon über den Kranz. 2 vols. Heidelberg, Germany: Winter.

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                                                                                                    With a total of 1,376 large pages, this is an immense work of scholarship. Wankel is rarely innovative and generally remains at the level of detail, but its abundance of parallel usages, citations of later orators and rhetoricians, and detailed discussions of many grammatical, historical and legal issues, this is an essential resource for anyone working on this speech.

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                                                                                                    19

                                                                                                    On the false embassy is from a case Demosthenes brought (unsuccessfully) against Aeschines in 343, accusing him of collusion with Philip in the negotiations for peace in 346 (see Demosthenes 2000). Aeschines’s speech from the trial, On the embassy (2), also survives (see Paulsen 1999).

                                                                                                    • Demosthenes. 2000. On the false embassy (Oration 19). Edited by Douglas M. MacDowell. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                      Greek text, translation, and substantial commentary. The issues in this speech are less generally controversial than in Demosthenes 21. As always, MacDowell’s scholarship is careful and his views are clearly expressed.

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                                                                                                      • Paulsen, Thomas. 1999. Die Parapresbeia-Reden des Demosthenes und des Aischines. Trier, Germany: Wissenschaftlicher Verlag.

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                                                                                                        A commentary with additional essays on the two speeches from this case (Aes. 2, Dem. 19). Although Paulsen’s commentary is aimed in part at students, there is considerable overlap between his comments and those of Demosthenes 2000. The two disagree often, but on relatively small points; both works are worth consulting.

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                                                                                                        20

                                                                                                        The speech Against Leptines was the first public speech that Demosthenes delivered himself. It raises important questions about the process of legislation in the 4th century. Kremmydas 2012 has now replaced the older commentary by Sandys.

                                                                                                        21

                                                                                                        The work of David Cohen (Cohen 1991) and others has stimulated interest and opposing viewpoints (Harris 2005) on the speech Against Meidias, in which Demosthenes discusses several important issues at length, including competitive honor, public and private interests, and violence.

                                                                                                        • Cohen, David. 1991. Demosthenes’ Against Meidias and Athenian litigation. In Symposion 1990: Vorträge zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte. Edited by Michael Gagarin, 155–164. Cologne: Bölau.

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                                                                                                          Places Demosthenes’ prosecution of Meidias in the context of an ongoing feud that originated in his attempt to recover his patrimony from his guardians. Cohen’s controversial conclusion that Athenian law was conditioned by feuding and standards of honor are elaborated in Cohen 1995 (see Private Speeches).

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                                                                                                          • Demosthenes. 1906. Against Midias. Edited by William Watson Goodwin. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                            Although superseded by Demosthenes 1990, Goodwin is still worth consulting on grammatical questions. Reprinted, New York: Arno, 1979.

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                                                                                                            • Demosthenes. 1990. Against Meidias (Oration 21). Edited by Douglas M. MacDowell. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                              Greek text, translation, and substantial commentary. MacDowell’s careful scholarship and clearly expressed views must always be taken into consideration, though Harris (in Demosthenes 2008, cited under Complete Texts and Translations) frequently takes issue with his conclusions in his translation of the speech.

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                                                                                                              • Harris, Edward M. 1989. Demosthenes’ speech against Meidias. Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 92:117–136.

                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/311355Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                Harris rejects the prevailing view (relying on a later remark of Aeschines) that the trial never took place and the speech was never delivered.

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                                                                                                                • Harris, Edward M. 2005. Feuding or the rule of law? The nature of litigation in Classical Athens, an essay in legal sociology. In Symposion 2001: Vorträge zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte. Edited by Robert W. Wallace and Michael Gagarin, 125–141. Vienna: Austrian Academy of Science.

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                                                                                                                  A vigorous attack on Cohen’s thesis of Athenian litigation as feud.

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                                                                                                                  • Ober, Josiah. 1994. Power and oratory in democratic Athens: Demosthenes 21, Against Meidias. In Persuasion: Greek rhetoric in action. Edited by Ian Worthington, 85–108. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                    Analyzes Demosthenes’ rhetorical strategy in the speech, especially in negotiating the complex relationship between elite values and popular power.

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                                                                                                                    • Wilson, Peter J. 1991. Demosthenes 21 (Against Meidias): Democratic abuse. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philological Society 37:164–195.

                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.1017/S0068673500001577Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                      An interesting analysis of Demosthenes’ attack on Meidias in terms of civic ideology.

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                                                                                                                      22, 24

                                                                                                                      The speeches Against Androtion and Against Timocrates attack two of Demosthenes’ prominent political opponents. See Wayte (Demosthenes 1893) for the text with notes.

                                                                                                                      • Demosthenes. 1893. Against Androtion and Against Timocrates. Edited by William Wayte. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                        Wayte’s scholarship is not on the same level as that of Goodwin or Sandys, but his notes remain useful in the absence of any more recent edition. Reprinted, New York: Arno, 1979.

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                                                                                                                        • Rowe, Galen O. 2000. Anti-Isocratean sentiment in Demosthenes’ Against Androtion. Historia 49:278–302.

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                                                                                                                          Argues that Demosthenes’ early career was shaped by his opposition to a group of Isocrates’s students and allies, among whom were his three guardians and Androtion, and that Demosthenes 22 reflects this hostility.

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                                                                                                                          23

                                                                                                                          The speech Against Aristocrates is relatively little read these days, though it is an important source for our knowledge of Athenian homicide law. Papillon 1998 is a good introduction.

                                                                                                                          • Papillon, Terry L. 1998. Rhetorical studies in the Aristocratea of Demosthenes. New York: Peter Lang.

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                                                                                                                            Primarily studies rhetorical features of the speech, such as organization, style, and methods of proof.

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                                                                                                                            Private Speeches

                                                                                                                            Several of Demosthenes’ private speeches have recently attracted considerable interest, particularly for their vivid portrayal of aspects of Athenian life in the 4th century. Especially popular are Against Neaira (59), which was almost certainly written by Apollodorus, and Against Conon (54). The works of Carey and Reid (Demosthenes 1985), Kapparis (Apollodoros 1999), Paley and Sandys (Demosthenes 1896–1898), Pearson (Demosthenes 1972), and Thompson 1976 are directed at scholars who know Greek. Carey (Apollodoros 1992) is usable by those who do not. Cohen 1995 has been influential but should be used with caution.

                                                                                                                            • Apollodoros. 1992. Against Neaira [Demosthenes] 59. Edited by Christopher Carey. Warminster, UK: Aris and Phillips.

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                                                                                                                              This edition (Greek text, facing English translation, and notes) is aimed primarily at undergraduate students, but is a useful introduction to the speech.

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                                                                                                                              • Apollodoros. 1999. Against Neaira [D. 59]. Edited by Konstantinos A. Kapparis. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                Like Carey’s edition, Kapparis provides a Greek text, English translation, and notes. His text is substantially improved from Rennie’s Oxford Classical Text (cited under Complete Texts and Translations), and his commentary is much fuller than Carey’s.

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                                                                                                                                • Cohen, David. 1995. Law, violence and community in Classical Athens. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511620300Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                  Places Athenian litigation in the context of aristocratic ideas of feuding and honor, and pays particular attention to Demosthenes 54 (Against Conon).

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                                                                                                                                  • Demosthenes. 1896–1898. Select private orations of Demosthenes. Edited by Frederick Apthorp Paley and John Edwin Sandys. 3d edition. 2 vols. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                    Contains Greek texts with notes of Demosthenes 34, 35, 36, 37, 39, 40, 45, 46, 53, 54, 55, 56. The two volumes were conveniently reprinted together as one volume (New York: Arno, 1979 [ISBN: 9780405114427]). For most of these speeches there is no more recent commentary, but see Carey and Reid (Demosthenes 1985) and Pearson (Demosthenes 1972).

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                                                                                                                                    • Demosthenes. 1972. Six private speeches. Edited by Lionel Pearson. Norman: Univ. of Oklahoma Press.

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                                                                                                                                      Greek texts with notes of Demosthenes 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 36. Directed primarily at students, but also of interest to scholars.

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                                                                                                                                      • Demosthenes. 1985. Selected private speeches. Edited by Christopher Carey and R. A. Reid. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                        Texts and very useful commentaries for Demosthenes 37, 39, 54, 56. This was the first volume of the series Cambridge Greek and Latin Classics (the “Green and Yellow Series”) to be devoted to Attic oratory, and its success paved the way for others.

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                                                                                                                                        • Thompson, Wesley E. 1976. De Hagniae hereditate: An Athenian inheritance case. Mnemosyne Supplement 44. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill.

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                                                                                                                                          A running commentary (without Greek text or translation) on Demosthenes 43 and Isaeus 11, two speeches from the same inheritance case (concerning the estate of Hagnias). Worth consulting for points of detail, but of limited value.

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                                                                                                                                          Letters

                                                                                                                                          The authenticity of the six letters included among the works of Demosthenes has long been doubted, but most scholars have been persuaded by the defense in Goldstein 1968 of letters 1–4. Nonetheless, the letters remain little studied.

                                                                                                                                          • Goldstein, Jonathan A. 1968. The letters of Demosthenes. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                            This is the fundamental study of the letters. Goldstein argues for the authenticity of letters 1–4 (but not 5 and 6) and provides a translation and commentary for these four, together with a substantial group of essays.

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                                                                                                                                            Demosthenes the Orator

                                                                                                                                            Studies of Demosthenes as an advocate concentrate on speeches written for others; studies of his style tend to concentrate on his assembly speeches and speeches written for his own cases, especially the two public speeches against Aeschines (18, 19).

                                                                                                                                            Advocacy

                                                                                                                                            As a logographer writing speeches for others to use in court, Demosthenes has often been compared to a modern advocate. Mirhady 2000 and Wolff 1968 discuss the methods and strategies he commonly employed on his clients’ behalf.

                                                                                                                                            • Mirhady, David. 2000. Demosthenes as advocate: The private speeches. In Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. Edited by Ian Worthington, 181–204. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                              DOI: 10.4324/9780203187692Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                              Takes up Wolff’s analysis but argues that the effectiveness of Demosthenes’ advocacy stemmed from his mastery of the technical aspects of law, and particularly from his ability to use the various forms of documentary evidence available to him.

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                                                                                                                                              • Wolff, Hans Julius. 1968. Demosthenes als Advokat. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

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                                                                                                                                                English translation in Oxford readings in the Attic orators. Edited by Edwin Carawan, pp. 91–115 (Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press, 2007). Makes the case that as an advocate (in the private speeches) Demosthenes’ arguments were necessarily constrained by the available evidence, which often forced him to rely on more indirect approaches. Wolff analyzes how Demosthenes responds to these constraints, especially in speeches 38 and 54.

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                                                                                                                                                Rhetoric and Style

                                                                                                                                                Demosthenes was one of the acknowledged masters of Greek prose style, and many scholars have sought to describe various aspects of his art. But style remains one of the most poorly understood aspects of Greek oratory, and there is much room for further work. For an introduction to Demosthenes’ style, Kennedy 1963 is still very good; also good is Usher (Demosthenes 1993), who focuses on the speech On the crown (Dem. 18), which is generally considered the stylistic height of Demosthenes’ oratory. For more advanced treatments, Pearson 1964 is a good beginning and Usher 1999 is useful for specific speeches. McCabe 1981, Pearson 1964, Ronnet 1971, Wooten 1977, and Wooten 1989 are all more specialized.

                                                                                                                                                • Demosthenes. 1993. On the crown. Edited by Stephen Usher. Warminster, UK: Aris and Phillips.

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                                                                                                                                                  The introduction to this edition (Greek text, facing English translation, and notes) has an excellent short introduction to the style of the speech

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                                                                                                                                                  • Kennedy, George A. 1963. The art of persuasion in Greece. Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                    This groundbreaking study of Greek rhetoric includes a historical account of Demosthenes with a brief examination of many of the speeches, culminating with a study of the arguments in On the crown. A good place for someone unfamiliar with Demosthenes to get an introduction to his oratory.

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                                                                                                                                                    • McCabe, Donald F. 1981. The prose-rhythm of Demosthenes. New York: Arno.

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                                                                                                                                                      A detailed study of certain prose rhythms and related questions concerning the authenticity of works in the corpus. The circularity and limitations of such a study are evident.

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                                                                                                                                                      • Pearson, Lionel. 1964. The development of Demosthenes as a political orator. Phoenix 18:95–109.

                                                                                                                                                        DOI: 10.2307/1085912Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                        A detailed study of the early assembly speeches, especially the Philippics and Olynthiacs, focusing on Demosthenes’ increasingly effective construction of arguments.

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                                                                                                                                                        • Pearson, Lionel. 1976. The art of Demosthenes. Meisenheim am Glan, Germany: A Hain.

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                                                                                                                                                          A broad consideration of Demosthenes’ style and rhetorical strategies, focusing on the narratives of the private speeches and the arguments of the assembly speeches and the two speeches against Aeschines (18 and 19). Reprinted, Scholars Press, 1981.

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                                                                                                                                                          • Ronnet, Gilberte. 1971. Étude sur le style de Démosthène dans les discours politiques. Paris: Éditions E. de Boccard.

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                                                                                                                                                            Originally published 1951. A catalogue of features of Demosthenes’ style—vocabulary, syntax, word order, fullness, sentence structure, figures of thought, and “coloration” (metaphors and similes)—with examples drawn in chronological order from the assembly speeches and the two speeches against Aeschines.

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                                                                                                                                                            • Usher, Stephen. 1999. Greek oratory: Tradition and originality. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                                                              A brief review of every speech in the corpus of Attic oratory. Usher summarizes each speech, noting examples of traditional or innovative rhetorical devices. Two chapters are devoted to Demosthenes.

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                                                                                                                                                              • Wooten, Cecil W. 1977. A few observations on form and content in Demosthenes. Phoenix 31:258–261.

                                                                                                                                                                DOI: 10.2307/1087106Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                A brief note on some passages from the First and Third Philippics in which style reinforces the argument.

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                                                                                                                                                                • Wooten, Cecil W. 1989. Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Hermogenes on the style of Demosthenes. American Journal of Philology 110:576–588.

                                                                                                                                                                  DOI: 10.2307/295281Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                  Uses the criticisms of two later Greek scholars, which Wooten generally finds unenlightening, as the starting point for studying Demosthenes’ style.

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                                                                                                                                                                  Demosthenes in Antiquity and Modern Times

                                                                                                                                                                  Beginning soon after his death, Demosthenes was greatly admired and became a popular subject of study in antiquity and into the modern period. In addition to Plutarch’s Life of Demosthenes (see Life and Career), ancient studies of style often featured the oratory of Demosthenes, and he remained a popular model and subject of study through the 19th century. Adams 1927 is handy for a quick overview; Harding 2000 is more selective and more detailed. Cooper 2000 gives a good survey of the Hellenistic period; Dilts 1983–1986 is fundamental for those who know Greek; and Gibson 2002 and Harding (Didymos 2006) usefully present Greek texts from the period in translation.

                                                                                                                                                                  • Adams, Charles Darwin. 1927. Demosthenes and his influence. New York: Longmans.

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                                                                                                                                                                    This short overview of Demosthenes’ influence in antiquity and modern times is a good place to begin.

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                                                                                                                                                                    • Cooper, Craig. 2000. Philosophers, politics, academics: Demosthenes’ rhetorical reputation in Antiquity. In Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. Edited by Ian Worthington, 224–245. London: Routledge.

                                                                                                                                                                      DOI: 10.4324/9780203187692Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                      A discussion of Demosthenes’ reputation primarily in the Hellenistic period, when (in contrast to later antiquity) he was not generally admired.

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                                                                                                                                                                      • Didymos. 2006. On Demosthenes. Edited by Phillip Harding. Oxford: Clarendon.

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                                                                                                                                                                        A very useful Greek text, translation, and commentary on the substantial papyrus fragments of this ancient commentary on four of Demosthenes’ assembly speeches (9, 10, 11, 13).

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                                                                                                                                                                        • Dilts, Mervin R. 1983–1986. Scholia Demosthenica. 2 vols. Leipzig: Teubner.

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                                                                                                                                                                          This edition of scholia, or explanatory notes written by ancient critics, is useful for specialists.

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                                                                                                                                                                          • Gibson, Craig A., ed. and trans. 2002. Interpreting a classic: Demosthenes and his ancient commentators. Berkeley: Univ. of California Press.

                                                                                                                                                                            DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520229563.001.0001Save Citation »Export Citation »E-mail Citation »

                                                                                                                                                                            An edition of six ancient commentaries on Demosthenes, with a Greek text, translation, and commentary for all except the longest fragments (P. Berol. 9780), for which see Didymos 2006.

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                                                                                                                                                                            • Harding, Phillip. 2000. Demosthenes in the underworld: A chapter in the Nachleben of a Rhētōr. In Demosthenes: Statesman and orator. Edited by Ian Worthington, 246–271. London: Routledge.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Examines the ups and downs of Demosthenes’ reputation from Roman times to the present, and argues that differing views of him are largely traceable to people’s feelings about politicians in their own time.

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