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at that time there were some who assured us that Thespiae and Plataea would be rebuilt, that Philip, if he gained the mastery, would protect the Phocians and break up Thebes into villages, and that you would retain Oropus and receive Euboea in exchange for Amphipolis. Led on by these false hopes and cajoleries, you abandoned the Phocians against your own interests and against justice and honor. But you will find that I neither took part in this deception, nor passed it over in silence, but spoke out boldly, as I am sure you remember, saying that I had neither knowledge nor expectation of such results and that all such talk was nonsense.
But it may be urged, by someone who claims to know all about it, that he acted on that occasion, not from ambition or from any of those motives with which I find fault, but because the claims of the Thebans were more just than ours. Now that is precisely the one argument that he cannot use now. What! The man who orders the Lacedaemonians to give up their claims to Messene, how could he pretend that he handed over Orchomenus and Coronea to Thebes because he thought it an act of justice?
That is just what he is “waiting” to do, and will go on “waiting,” in my opinion. But he is not “waiting” to help the Messenians and Argives against the Lacedaemonians: he is actually dispatching mercenaries and forwarding supplies, and he is expected in person with a large force. What! The Lacedaemonians, the surviving enemies of Thebes, he is engaged in destroying; the Phocians, whom he has himself already destroyed, he is now engaged in preserving! And who is prepared to be
But the Thessalians aimed at the aggrandizement neither of Thebes nor of Philip, because they felt that all that would tell against them; but they were anxious to control the council at Thermopylae and the Delphian templeThe Amphictyonic Council met in autumn at the temple of Demeter near Thermopylae, and at Delphi in spring.—two clear gains for them; and it was this ambition that led them to join in the war. So you will find that each of these powers was induced for private reasons to do much that it did not wish. That, however, is emphatically what we must avoid
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.
Are not tyrannies already established in Euboea, an island, remember, not far from Thebes and Athens? Does he not write explicitly in his letters, “I am at peace with those who are willing to obey me”? And he does not merely write this without putting it into practice; but he is off to the Hellespont, just as before he hurried to Ambracia; in the Peloponnese he occupies the important city of Elis; only the other day he intrigued against the Megarians. Neither the Greek nor the barbarian world is big enough for the fellow's ambiti
Some of us spread the rumor that Philip is negotiating with the Lacedaemonians for the overthrow of Thebes and the dissolution of the free states, others that he has sent an embassy to the Great King, others that he is besieging towns in Illyria; in short, each of us circulates his own piece of fiction.
It would not have been safe in Olynthus to plead Philip's cause, unless the Olynthian democracy had shared in the enjoyment of the revenues of Potidaea. It would not have been safe in Thessaly to plead Philip's cause, if the commoners of Thessaly had not shared in the advantages that Philip conferred when he expelled their tyrants and restored to them their Amphictyonic privileges. It would not have been safe at Thebes, until he gave them back Boeotia and wiped out the Phocians.
It would not have been safe in Thessaly to plead Philip's cause, if the commoners of Thessaly had not shared in the advantages that Philip conferred, when he expelled their tyrants and restored to them their Amphictyonic privileges. It would not have been safe at Thebes, until he gave them back Boeotia and wiped out the Phocians.