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When, Athenians, will you take the necessary action? What are you waiting for? Until you are compelled, I presume. But what are we to think of what is happening now? For my own part I think that for a free people there can be no greater compulsion than shame for their position. Or tell me, are you content to run round and ask one another, “Is there any news today?” Could there be any news more startling than that a Macedonian is triumphing over Athenians and settling the destiny of Hellas
For I suppose he learns from history and from report that your ancestors, when they might, at the price of submission to the Great King, have become the paramount power in Greece, not only refused to entertain that proposal, conveyed to them by Alexander, an ancestor of Philip's line, but chose to quit their homes and endure every hardship, and thereafter wrought those deeds which all men are always eager to relate, though no one has ever been able to tell them worthily; and therefore I shall not be wrong in passing them over, for they are indeed great beyond any man's power of speech. On the other hand, he learns that the ancestors of these Thebans and Argives either fought for the barbarians or did not fight against them.
Unfortunately all our national affairs have now reached to such a pass, that the more completely and manifestly Philip is convicted of violating the peace with us and of plotting against the whole of Greece, the more difficult it is to suggest the right course of action.
Yet your hegemony in Greece lasted seventy-five years, that of Sparta twenty-nine, and in these later times Thebes too gained some sort of authority after the battle of Leuctra. But neither to you nor to the Thebans nor to the Lacedaemonians did the Greeks ever yet, men of Athens, concede the right of unrestricted action, or anything like it.
Such was their rank in the world of Hellas: what manner of men they were at home, in public or in private life, look round you and see. Out of the wealth of the state they set up for our delight so many fair buildings and things of beauty, temples and offerings to the gods, that we who come after must despair of ever surpassing them; yet in private they were so modest, so careful to obey the spirit of the constitution,
but we idly watch the growing power of this man, each bent （or so it seems to me） on profiting by the interval afforded by another's ruin, taking not a thought, making not an effort for the salvation of Greece. For that Philip, like the recurrence or attack of a fever or some other disease, is threatening even those who think themselves out of reach, of that not one of you is ignora
Ay, and you know this also, that the wrongs which the Greeks suffered from the Lacedaemonians or from us, they suffered at all events at the hands of true-born sons of Greece, and they might have been regarded as the acts of a legitimate son, born to great possessions, who should be guilty of some fault or error in the management of his estate: so far he would deserve blame and reproach, yet it could not be said that it was not one of the blood, not the lawful heir who was acting thus.
Yet what is wanting to crown his insolence? Not content with the destruction of cities, is he not organizing the Pythian games, the common festival of the Greeks, and if he cannot be present in person, sending his menials to act as stewards? [Is he not master of Thermopylae and the passes into Greece, holding those places with his garrisons and his mercenaries? Has he not the right of precedence at the Oracle, ousting us and the Thessalians and the Dorians and the rest of the Amphictyons from a privilege which not even all Greek states can claim?]
And it is not only his outrages on Greece that go unavenged, but even the wrongs which each suffers separately. For nothing can go beyond that. Are not the Corinthians hit by his invasion of Ambracia and Leucas? The Achaeans by his vow to transfer Naupactus to the Aetolians? The Thebans by his theft of Echinus? And is he not marching even now against hisThis translation is justified by Dem. 18.87. Others “their allies,” since the Byzantines are known to have helped the Thebans with money in the Sacred War. （Cauer, Del. Inscr. Gr. 353.） allies the Byza