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Φωκίων). An Athenian general and statesman, son of Phocus. He was a man of humble origin, and appears to have been born in B.C. 402. He studied under Plato and Xenocrates. He distinguished himself for the first time under his friend Chabrias, in 376, at the battle of Naxos; but he was not employed prominently in any capacity for many years afterward. In 354 (according to others in 350) he was sent into Euboea in the command of a small force in consequence of an application from Plutarchus, tyrant of Eretria; and he was subsequently employed on several occasions in the war between the Athenians and Philip of Macedon. He frequently opposed the measures of Demosthenes, and recommended peace with Philip; but he must not be regarded as one of the mercenary supporters of the Macedonian monarch. His virtue is above suspicion, and his public conduct was always influenced by upright motives. When Alexander was marching upon Thebes in 335, Phocion rebuked Demosthenes for his invectives against the king; and after the destruction of Thebes he advised the Athenians to comply with Alexander's demand for the surrender of Demosthenes and other chief orators of the antiMacedonian party. This proposal was indignantly rejected by the people, and an embassy was sent to Alexander, which succeeded in deprecating his resentment. According to Plutarch, there were two embassies, the first of which Alexander refused to receive, but to the second he gave a gracious audience and granted its prayer, chiefly from regard to Phocion, who was at the head of it. Alexander ever continued to treat Phocion with the utmost consideration, and to cultivate his friendship. He also pressed upon him valuable presents; but Phocion persisted in refusing his presents, begging the king to leave him no less honest than he found him, and only so far availed himself of the royal favour as to request the liberty of certain prisoners at Sardis, which was immediately granted to him. After Alexander's death Phocion opposed vehemently, and with all the caustic bitterness which characterized him, the proposal for war with Antipater. Thus, to Hyperides, who asked him tauntingly when he would advise the Athenians to go to war, he answered, “When I see the young willing to keep their ranks, the rich to contribute of their wealth, and the orators to abstain from pilfering the public money.” When the Piraeus was seized by Alexander, the son of Polysperchon, in 318, Phocion was suspected of having advised Alexander to take this step; whereupon, being accused of treason by Agnonides, he fled, with several of his friends, to Alexander, who sent them with letters of recommendation to his father Polysperchon. The latter, willing to sacrifice them as a peace-offering to the Athenians, sent them back to Athens for the people to deal with them as they would. Here Phocion was sentenced to death. To the last he maintained his calm and dignified and somewhat contemptuous bearing. When some wretched man spat upon him as he passed to the prison, “Will no one,” said he, “check this fellow's indecency?” To one who asked him whether he had any message to leave for his son Phocus, he answered, “Only that he bear no grudge against the Athenians.” And when the hemlock which had been prepared was found insufficient for all the condemned, and the jailer would not furnish more until he was paid for it, “Give the man his money,” said Phocion to one of his friends, “since at Athens one cannot even die for nothing.” He perished in the year 317, at the age of eighty-five.

The Athenians are said to have repented of their conduct. A brazen statue was raised to the memory of Phocion, and Agnonides was condemned to death. Phocion was twice married, and his second wife appears to have been as simple and frugal in her habits as himself; but he was less fortunate in his son Phocus, who, in spite of his father's lessons and example, was a thorough profligate. As for Phocion himself, commendation of him must be almost wholly confined to his private qualities. His fellow-citizens may have been degenerate, but he made no effort to elevate them. His life is written by Plutarch. See also Morell, Vita Phocionis (Leyden, 1869); and Thirlwall, vii. pp. 256 foll.

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