previous next

Περὶ εἰρήνης

. [Or. VIII.] — ‘On the Peace’. Like the Areopagiticus, this is a political pamphlet with the form of a deliberative speech. In 357 B.C. Chios, Cos, Rhodes and Byzantium revolted from Athens. The Social War was concluded about midsummer, 355 B.C., by a treaty which declared the independence of the seceding states. The Speech On the Peace was probably written while negotiations for peace were pending, i.e. in the first half of 355 B.C.

The leaders of the War Party — esp. Chares and the orator Aristophon of Azenia — are the men against whom Isocr. directs this vigorous appeal. Athens, he urges, must resign pretensions to foreign domination (ἀρχή), and be content with the headship (ἡγεμονία) of a free league. The following passage is his censure on the corrupt public men of the day.

§§ 121 — 131.

ὧν ἐνθυμουμένους ‘Remembering these things’ — the dangers of an ambitious foreign policy, as illustrated by the experience of Athens and Sparta, §§ 74 — 120.

τὴν ἐπὶ τοῦ βήμ. δυναστ ‘the mastery of the platform’ (in the Ecclesia): ‘the ear of the House’. Cp. Philipp. § 81, δυνάστηςτοῖς ἐπὶ τοῦ βήματος καλινδουμένοις, note, p. 320.

προήγαγον Cp. Panegyr. § 174, note, p. 314.

καὶ πάντων, κ.τ.λ. ‘And, just for that reason, nothing is more surprising than that you elect’, etc. , acc. referring to the whole preceding statement, lit. ‘and as to these things’ (like quod before si and nisi): cp. Thuc. II. 40 § 3, διαφερόντως γὰρ δὴ καὶ τόδε ἔχομεν ὥστε τολμᾶν τε οἱ αὐτοὶ μάλιστα, καὶ περὶ ὧν ἐπιχειρήσομεν, ἐκλογίζεσθαι: [acc., as to which thing, ‘whereas’] τοῖς ἄλλοις ἀμαθία μὲν θράσος λογισμὸς δὲ ὄκνον φέρει.

προχειρίζεσθε ‘elect’, lit. ‘make ready for yourselves’: cp. [Dem.] In Aristog. I. § 13, ὁρῶν ὑμᾶς κατατάττοντάς με (designating) καὶ προχειριζομένους ἐπὶ τὴν τούτου κατηγορίαν.

ἐπὶ μὲν ἐκείνων ‘in their time’ — i.e. when they were in the ascendant: cp. Philipp. § 95, δεκαρχίας τὰς ἐπὶ Λακεδαιμονίων, note, p. 325.

δὶς ἤδη καταλ By the Four Hundred in 411 B.C., and the Thirty in 404 B.C. Cp. Lysias or. XXXIV. § I, p. 52.

τὰς φυγάς, κ.τ.λ. ‘and that the exiles who were sent into banishment in the time of the tyrants [the Four Hundred], and in the time of the Thirty, were restored, not through the mercenary adventurers, but through those who hate such men’. — φυγάς...κατελθούσας=φυγάδας...κατελθόντας. — τῶν τυράννων would more naturally mean the Peisistratidae; but ἐν ὀλίγῳ χρόνῳ, with δίς, excludes that view.

ἑκατέρων i.e. the supporters of an imperial policy (ἀρχή), and its opponents.

οὐδὲ φθονοῦμεν ‘nor are jealous’ — with a righteous jealousy or envy: cp. the use of φθονεῖν in Panegyr. § 184, note, p. 317.

δασμολογεῖ ‘levies imposts’, an invidious mode of describing the collection of the σύνταξις, as the tribute of the allies (φόρος) was euphemistically called under the revived Athenian Confederacy. Cp. Panegyr. § 132, χρὴ...τοιούτοις ἔργοις ἐπιχειρεῖν πολὺ μᾶλλον τοὺς νησιώτας δασμολογεῖν. So δασμοφορεῖν, Aesch. Pers. 586.

οἷς δ᾽ οὐδὲν ὑπῆρχεν ἀγαθόν ‘while men who began with no property — these, on the other hand [δέ in apodosis], have been raised from a low estate to wealth, through our folly’: a common topic of accusation against the demagogues, and often probably a false one. Cp. Lysias, or. XIX. § 48, speaking of the demagogue Cleophon (condemned to death by the oligarchs in 405 B.C.), προσεδοκᾶτο χρήματα πάμπολλα ἔχειν ἐκ τῆς ἀρχῆς, ἀποθανόντος δ᾽ αὐτοῦ οὐδαμοῦ δῆλα τὰ χρήματα, ἀλλὰ καὶ οἱ προσήκοντες καὶ οἱ κηδεσταί, παῤ οἷς κατέλιπεν (his legatees), ὁμολογουμένως πένητές εἰσι.

Περικλῆς...δημαγωγός ‘Pericles, who preceded such men as these in the leadership of the people’. Thuc. uses δημαγ. only in IV. 21, Κλέων...ἀνὴρ δημαγωγὸς...καὶ τῷ πλήθει πιθανώτατος, where it has not necessarily a bad sense: cp. what he says of Pericles, II. 65, οὐκ ἤγετο μᾶλλον ὑπὸ τοῦ πλήθους αὐτὸς ἦγε. Lysias or. XXVII. § 10, καίτοι οὐ ταῦτα ἀγαθῶν δημαγωγῶν ἐστι, τὰ ὑμέτερα ἐν ταῖς ὑμετέραις συμφοραῖς λαμβάνειν. Isocr. has the word again in Panath. § 148, Πεισιστράτου...ὃς δημαγωγὸς γενόμενος καὶ πολλὰ τὴν πόλιν λυμηνάμενος καὶ τοὺς βελτίστους τῶν πολιτῶν ὡς ὀλιγαρχικοὺς ὄντας ἐκβαλών, τελευτῶν τὸν δῆμον κατέλυσε, κ.τ.λ. Cp. Helen. Encom. § 37 (of Theseus), τῇ τῶν πολιτῶν εὐνοίᾳ δορυφορούμενος, τῇ μὲν ἐξουσίᾳ τυραννῶν, ταῖς δ᾽ εὐεργεσίαις δημαγωγῶν, ‘having for his body-guard the affection of the citizens, — placed in authority above the laws, but leading the people by acts of kindness’. Plato never uses the word. In Arist. the bad sense is usu. marked, e.g. Polit. VIII [V] II. § 12 (the flatterer is popular both in democracies and tyrannies), παρὰ μὲν τοῖς δήμοις δημαγωγὸς (ἔστι γὰρ δημαγωγὸς τοῦ δήμου κόλαξ), παρὰ δὲ τοῖς τυράννοις οἱ ταπεινῶς ὁμιλοῦντες.

πρὸ τῶν τοιούτων meaning e.g. Cleon, Hyperbolus, Cleophon, and, among contemporaries, esp. Aristophon of Azenia. In this speech Isocr. distinguishes practically three stages of Athenian statesmanship: (1) the stage before Athens was imperial — represented by Aristeides, Miltiades, Themistocles, § 75: (2) the best period of the empire — under Pericles: (3) the period of its decline, and then of unbridled democracy, represented by the πονηροὶ δημαγωγοί (§ 129).

ἐλάττω...κατέλιπεν Thuc. II. 65, χρημάτων...διαφανῶς ἀδωρότατος γενόμενος. Cp. Plat. Gorg. 515 E, ταυτὶ γὰρ ἐγὼ ἀκούω, Περικλέα πεποιηκέναι Ἀθηναίους ἀργοὺς καὶ δειλοὺς καὶ λάλους καὶ φιλαργύρους, εἰς μισθοφορίαν πρῶτον καταστήσαντα: but even his enemies admitted his personal probity.

εἰς τὴν ἀκρόπολιν...χωρὶς τῶν ἱερῶν i.e. to the Treasury, the ὀπισθόδομος, or chamber at the back of the Parthenon (Boeckh, I. 575), ἱερὸν τὸ ὄπισθεν τοῦ ἀδύτου, ἐν καὶ τὰ δημόσια ἀπέκειτο χρήματα, schol. Lucian Tim. 53. See Thuc. II. 13, where Pericles tells the Athenians that they have (1) 600 talents a year from the φόρος of the allies; (2) 6000 talents [about £1,400,000] in money ἐν τῇ ἀκροπόλει, — the greatest total having been 9700: (3) χρυσίον ἄσημον [uncoined] καὶ ἀργύριον in sacred offerings, vessels, etc., to the value of 500 talents. Cp. Grote VI. 165.

τὰ ἀμελούμενα...ἠξίωσαν ‘these neglected affairs, however, [ironical,=τὰ ἴδια αὑτῶν, their private fortunes,] are found to have increased in a measure for which formerly [i.e. in the early days of their poverty, § 125] they would not have presumed even to pray to the gods’. — τὴν ἐπίδοσιν: see on ἐπιδόσεις, Evag. § 48, note, p. 291. — οὐδ᾽ ἂν εὔξασθαι: cp. Panegyr. § 182, εὐχῆς ἄξια, note, p. 317.

οἱ μὲν...οἱ δέ οἱ μὲν...οἱ δέ are the two classes of the πολῖται: οἱ μέν are the very poor, who suffer positive want: οἱ δέ, the comparatively rich, who are oppressed by public burdens.

πενίας...ἐνδείας ‘their narrow circumstances and their privations’: for the plural, cp. Antid. § 283, ταῖς ἀληθείαις, note, p. 303. — πρὸς σφᾶς αὐτούς, ‘to themselves’, i.e. ‘among themselves’ — since they find no sympathy from their so-called patrons, the δημαγωγοί.

τὸ πλῆθος τῶν προσταγμάτων καὶ τῶν λειτ ‘the number of arbitrary imposts and of public services’: προστάγματα, lit. ‘dictates’ (cp. Panegyr. § 176, προστάγματα καὶ μὴ συνθήκας, p. 132), i.e. special taxes imposed at the will of the demagogues, and, in general, extraordinary demands on the citizen's purse or labour: λειτουργίαι, the ordinary or regular services (αἱ ἐγκύκλιοι λειτουργίαι, Dem. In Mid. § 21) for the festivals — χορηγία, γυμνασιαρχία, etc., — not including the trierarchy, which is indicated by τὰ περὶ τὰς συμμορίας. The λειτουργίαι may be classified as (1) ‘recurring’ or annual, ἐγκύκλιοι: (2) periodic at longer intervals, as the sacred missions, θεωρίαι, to the great festivals: (3) extraordinary: e.g. missions to the Delphic oracle, and the trierarchy. See my note on Theophrastus Char. XXIX. (=XXVI.) p. 227.

τὰ κακὰ τὰ π. τ. συμμορίας...ἀντιδόσεις ‘the vexations of the Navy Boards and Exchanges of property’. The duty of a trierarch was to maintain in efficiency, for one year, a trireme found, rigged, and manned by the State (Dem. In Mid. § 156), — the average cost being about £240 (ib.). Till 358 B.C. the trierarchy had been discharged by one person, or by two persons jointly. In 358 B.C. the 1200 richest citizens were divided into 20 συμμορίαι (‘partnerships’, ‘associations’) of 60 each, for the division of the burden, — a company (συντέλεια), usu. of 15, jointly defraying the cost of each trireme. This plan proved unfair to the poorer men, as the simple or dual trierarchy had been hard on the rich. Demosth. or. XIV. περὶ συμμοριῶν points this out (354 B.C., the year after this speech of Isocr.). A subsequent reform (340 B.C.?) distributed the burden acc. to assessed property, at the rate of one trireme to about £2400 of taxable capital. (Cp. my note on Theophr. Char. XXV.=XXII. p. 253.) — ἀντιδόσεις: challenges to exchange properties with the person on whom a λειτουργία had been laid, or else to relieve him of it: see introd. to Isocr. περὶ ἀντιδόσεως, above, p. 299.

συνιδεῖν ‘see at a glance’ [i.e. comprehending in one view all that you know]: cp. Nicocles § 17, note, p. 284: Plataicus § 63, p. 332.

ῥητόρων Thuc. has the word thrice, — always of the regular speakers in the Ecclesia, and always in a more or less unfavourable sense: III. 40, VI. 29, VIII. 1. Cp. Isocr. Panathenaicus, § 12, πάντες ἴσασι τῶν μὲν ῥητόρων τοὺς πολλοὺς οὐχ ὑπὲρ τῶν τῇ πόλει συμφερόντων ἀλλ᾽ ὑπὲρ ὧν αὐτοὶ λήψεσθαι προσδοκῶσι, δημηγορεῖν τολμῶντας. Philipp. § 81, p. 136, μήτε στρατηγός... μήτε ῥήτωρ...μήτε δυνάστης.

τῆς πόλεως ὄντας ‘are on the side of the Commonwealth and of its best advisers’ — opp. to ὑφ᾽ αὑτοῖς εἶναι, servile to the demagogues.

εἰσαγγελίαιςγραφαῖςσυκοφαντίαις ‘the impeachments [for offences more directly against the State], the indictments, and, generally, the vexatious proceedings of which they are the instruments’. Cp. Lysias Pro Mantith. § 12, p. 59, οὔτε δίκην αἰσχρὰν οὔτε γραφὴν οὔτε εἰσαγγελίαν.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: