Demosthenes

Portrait
Born: 384 AD
Died: 322 AD.

Nationality: Greek
Categories: Orators, Politician


384 BCE – A prominent Greek diplomat and orator was born in Athens this year, during the last year of the 98th Olympiad or the first year of the 99th Olympiad. His father also named Demosthenes who belonged to the local tribe, Pandionis, and lived in the deme of Paeania in the Athenian countryside, was a wealthy sword-maker.

 

366 BCE - Demosthenes came of age in this year, he demanded they render an account of their management. According to Demosthenes, the account revealed the misappropriation of his property. His father left an estate of nearly fourteen talents, very roughly 3,000 pounds in gold, but he asserted his guardians had left nothing "except the house, and fourteen slaves and thirty silver minae.

 

364 BCE - At the age of 20, Demosthenes sued his trustees in order to recover his patrimony and delivered five orations, 3 Against Aphobus during 363 BC and 362 BC and 2 Against Ontenor during 362 and 361 BCE. The courts fixed Demosthenes' damages at ten talents.

 

363 BCE - Even before he turned 21 years in this year, Demosthenes had already demonstrated an interest in politics. He assumed the office of the trierarch until 357 BCE.

 

355 BC – He wrote Against Androtion and, in 354 BC, Against Leptines two fierce attacks on individuals who attempted to repeal certain tax exemptions.

 

354 BCE - Between this year and 350 BCE, he continued practicing law privately while he was becoming increasingly interested in public affairs. He mostly remained a judicial orator, but started participating in the politics of the Athenian democracy.

 

351 BCE – He felt strong enough to express his view concerning the most important foreign policy issue facing Athens at that time: the stance his city should take towards Philip II of Macedon.

 

348 BCE – He became a choregos, paying the expenses of a theatrical production.

 

344 BCE Demosthenes travelled to the Peloponnese, in order to detach as many cities as possible from Macedon's influence, but his efforts were generally unsuccessful

 

343 BCE – This year, Macedonian forces were conducting campaigns in Epirus and, in 342 BCE, Philip campaigned in Thrace. He also negotiated with the Athenians an amendment to the Peace of Philocrates.

 

324 BCE - Harpalus, to whom Alexander had entrusted huge treasures absconded, and sought refuge in Athens. Demosthenes, at first, advised that he be chased out of the city. Finally, Harpalus was jailed despite the dissent of Hypereides, an anti-Macedonian diplomat and former ally of Demosthenes. The ecclesia, after a proposal of Demosthenes, decided to take control of Harpalus' money, which was entrusted to a committee presided over by him.

 

323 BCE - After Alexander's death in this year, Demosthenes again urged the Athenians to seek independence from Macedonia in what became known as the Lamian War.

 

322 BCE – He died this year in the Island of Calauria, modern Poros.

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