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For our prosperity is inherited from our ancestors, and is of an earlier date than the prosperity not only of Philip, but, roughly speaking, of all the kings that have ever reigned in Macedonia. Those kings actually paid tribute to Athens, but Athens never paid tribute to any power in the world. Moreover, we have a more secure claim than Philip upon the favour of heaven, in so far as our conduct has always been guided by greater regard for religion and for justice.
but you should refuse to defend with vigor those advantages which they justly won and bequeathed to you; what a disgrace if one, with only the tradition of Macedonia behind him, so cheerfully courts danger that, in the task of extending his sway, he has been wounded in every limb on the battle-field, but Athenians, whose ancestral boast it is in war to yield to none and conquer all, should renounce, through indolence or cowardice, alike the deeds of their ancestors and the interests of their fatherland.
On an earlier occasion, when Perdiccas,According to Herodotus, it was the Thracians, not the Macedonians, who harassed the retreating Persians, and the king of Macedonia was Alexander, the father of Perdiccas. who was king of Macedonia at the time of the Persian invasions, destroyed the barbarians who were retreating after their defeat at Plataea and so completMacedonia at the time of the Persian invasions, destroyed the barbarians who were retreating after their defeat at Plataea and so completed the discomfiture of the Great King, they did not vote him the citizenship, but only gave him immunity from taxes; because, I presume, they regarded their own country as great, glorious, and venerable, and as something greater than any service rendered. But now, Athenians, you make citizens of the scum of mankind, menial sons of menial fathers, charging a price for it as for any other
For they cannot allege as their excuse that there is plenty of timber for shipbuilding at Athens, where we import it with great trouble from distant parts, but that it is scarce in Macedonia, where there is a cheap supply for all who want it. No, they thought that they would build their ships here and also furnish them with crews in our harbor, though it is expressly stipulated in the joint agreement that nothing of the kind should be permitted; and they thought too that it would always be more and more in their power to do this. Thus on every hand they treat our city with contempt, thanks to their prompters here, who suggest to them everything they should do;
My object in moving this decree was to serve Athens, not Philip. Nevertheless these excellent envoys took so little heed of it that they loitered in Macedonia for three whole months, until Philip returned from Thrace, having subdued the whole country; though they might have reached the Hellespont in ten or perhaps in three or four days, and rescued the outposts by receiving the oaths of ratification before Philip captured them. He dared not have touched them in our presence, or we should not have accepted his oath, and so he would have missed his peace, instead of gaining both his objects—peace and the strongholds as well
When Philip had sworn to the peace, having first secured Thrace because of their disobedience to my decree, he bribed them to postpone our departure from Macedonia until he had made ready for his expedition against the Phocians. He was afraid that, if we reported that he intended and was already preparing to march, you would turn out and sail round with your fleet to Thermopylae, and block the passage, as you did before; and his object was that you should not receive our report until he had reached this side of Thermopylae and you were powerless.
Now read the letter sent to Athens afterwards by Philip.Letter[Philip, King of Macedonia, to the Council and People of Athens, greeting. Know that we have passed within the Gates, and have subdued the district of Phocis. We have put garrisons in all the fortified places that surrendered voluntarily; those that did not obey we have stormed and razed to the ground, selling the inhabitants into slavery. Hearing that you are actually preparing an expedition to help them, I have written to you to save you further trouble in this matter. Your general policy strikes me as unreasonable, to agree to peace, and yet take the field against me, and that although the Phocians were not included in the ill terms upon which we agreed. Therefore if you decline to abide by your agreements, y
for when Philip was moving hither and thither, subduing Illyrians and Triballians, and some Greeks as well, when he was gradually getting control of large military resources, and when certain Greek citizens, including Aeschines, were availing themselves of the liberty of the peace to visit Macedonia and take bribes, all these movements were really acts of war upon the states against which Philip was making his preparations. That they failed to perceive it is another story, and does not concern me.