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Do not be surprised, Philip, that I am going to begin, not with the discourse which is to be addressed to you and which is presently to be brought to your attention, but with that which I have written about Amphipolis.Amphipolis, a city in Macedonia near the mouth of the Strymon river, conquered and colonized by Athenians in 437 B.C. It was taken by Philip in 358 B.C., but the war with Athens was delayed until Philip seized Potidaea, 356 B.C. For I desire to say a few words, by way of preface, Amphipolis, a city in Macedonia near the mouth of the Strymon river, conquered and colonized by Athenians in 437 B.C. It was taken by Philip in 358 B.C., but the war with Athens was delayed until Philip seized Potidaea, 356 B.C. For I desire to say a few words, by way of preface, about this question, in order that I may make it clear to you as well as to the rest of the world that it was not in a moment of folly that I undertook to write my address to you, nor because I am under any misapprehension as to the infirmityIsocrates had now passed his ninetieth birthday. which now besets me, but that I was led advisedly and deliberately to this resolution.
For when I saw that the war in which you and our city had become involved over Amphipolis was proving the source of many evils, I endeavored to express opinions regarding this city and territory which, so far from being the same as those entertained by your friends, or by the orators among us, were as far as possible removed from their point of view.
For they were spurring you on to the war by seconding your covetousness, while I, on the contrary, expressed no opinion whatever on the points in controversy, but occupied myself with a plea which I conceived to be more than all others conducive to peace, maintaining that both you and the Athenians were mistaken about the real state of affairs and that you were fighting in support of our interests, and our city in support of your power; for it was to your advantage, I urged, that we should possess the territory of Amphipolis, while it was in no possible way to our advantage to acquire it.
In the first place, you, for your part, will have to be persuaded that the friendship of our city would be worth more to you than the revenues which you derive from Amphipolis, while Athens will have to learn, if she can, the lesson that she should avoid planting the kind of coloniesSuch as Amphipolis, surrounded by warlike tribes. which have been the ruin, four or five times over, of those domiciled in them, and should seek out for colonization the regions which are far distant from peoples whiould avoid planting the kind of coloniesSuch as Amphipolis, surrounded by warlike tribes. which have been the ruin, four or five times over, of those domiciled in them, and should seek out for colonization the regions which are far distant from peoples which have a capacity for dominion and near those which have been habituated to subjection—such a region as, for example, that in which the Lacedaemonians established the colony of Cyrene.Cyrene, in northern Africa. See Grote, Hist. iii. p. 445
In the next place, you will have to realize that by formally surrendering this territory to us you would in fact still hold it in your power, and would, besides, gain our good will, for you would then have as many hostages of ours to guarantee our friendship as we should send out settlers into the region of your influence; while someone will have to make our own people see that, if we got possession of Amphipolis, we should be compelled to maintain the same friendly attitude toward your policy, because of our colonists there, as we did for the elder AmadocusAn alliance was entered into between Athens and Amadocus, the powerful Thracian king, 390 B.C. （Xen. Hell. 4.8.26）. because of our landholders in the Chersone
Furthermore, what we are now unable to obtain through war and great outlay of money we shall readily secure for ourselves through peaceful embassies. For do not think that Cersobleptes will wage war with us over the Chersonese, or PhilipThese are singled out because both Cersobleptes, now virtually master of the Thracian Chersonnes, and Philip, with his growing empire in the north Aegean, were giving Athens trouble at this time. over Amphipolis,See the opening of the Address to Philip, Isoc. 5. when they see that we do not covet any of the possessions of other peoples. It is true that as things are now they have good reason to be afraid to make Athens a near neighbor to their dominions;
on the contrary, although we seek to rule over all men, we are not willing to take the field ourselves,The same complaint is repeatedly made by Demosthenes in the Philippics and the Olynthiacs. and although we undertake to wage war upon, one might almost say, the whole world,Between 363-355 B.C. Athens made war on Alexander of Thessaly, King Cotys in the Thracian Chersonnese, Amphipolis, Euboea, Chios, Byzantium, and Potidaea—to mention only the chief campaigns. we do not train ourselves for war but employ instead vagabonds, deserters, and fugitives who have thronged together here in consequence of other misdemeanors,See Introduction to the Panegyricus, Vol. I. p. 117. who, whenever others offer them higher pay, will follow their leadership against us.The Athenian general Chares with his mercenary troops actually enlisted during the Social War in the service of the Persian Satrap Artabazus, who paid them well. See Isoc. 7.8, note; Dem. 4.24