Letter III., To Philip.
9. To Philip.
[Ep. III.]—The biographical question raised by this Letter has been noticed in a former chapter1
. The Letter was written in 338 B.C., some time after Chaeroneia, when Isokrates had completed his ninety-eighth year. It is thus the latest of all his extant writings.
‘I have already had some talk with Antipater about
your interests and those of Athens. But I resolved to write
to you, too, regarding the course which, as I think, you ought to take after the peace. This letter will be to the same purpose as my discourse, but much shorter. (§ 1.) Formerly I urged you to bring about concord in Hellas by reconciling the chief states, Athens, Sparta, Thebes, Argos. Now, persuasion is no longer needed. The recent struggle has proved them to have no will but yours, and to admit that the war which they have been making upon each other ought to be turned against Asia. They ask me whether the idea of an expedition against the barbarians was originally yours or mine; and when I say that, to the best of my belief, it was yours, they entreat me to confirm you in it. No deed, they say, could be nobler, better for Hellas, or more timely. (§§ 2—3.) Had not my powers utterly failed, I would have come to you and urged this in person. In one thing it is good to be insatiable—in the desire of true glory; and your glory will be perfect only when you have
made the barbarians helots to the Greeks. To that result it will be an easier step than it was from the first to the present stage of your power. That result gained, nothing will remain for you but to become a god. I thank old age for this alone, that those youthful projects which I set forth in the Panegyrikos
and in the discourse sent to you are in course of completion by your agency, and will, I hope, be completed.’ (§§ 4—6.)