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. [Epist. III.] — A letter written to Philip of Macedon in 338 B.C., some time after the battle of Chaeroneia, when Isocrates had completed his ninety-eighth year. It is thus the latest of all his extant writings.

The genuineness of the Third Letter has been doubted (as by Prof. E. Curtius Hist. Gr. v. 459): but there seems to be no ground, internal or external, for doubting it, except the difficulty of reconciling it with the tradition that Isocrates committed suicide on learning the tidings of Chaeroneia. [Dionys. De Isocr. I.; Paus. I. 18. 8; Philostr. I. 17. 4; Lucian (?) Μακρόβιοι § 23; (Plut.) Vit. Isocr. § 14; Anon. Biogr.] According to the usual account, he was in the palaestra of Hippocrates at Athens when he heard the news of the fatal defeat. He repeated three verses of Euripides — verses commemorating three aliens who had been conquerors of Greeks, — Danaus, Pelops, Cadmus — and four days afterwards, on the burial-day of those who fell at Chaeroneia, he died of voluntary starvation. Undoubtedly Isocrates regretted the struggle between Athens and Philip: but the result of the struggle was that the idea of his life — a Panhellenic war against the barbarian — had been made possible. The conduct of Philip to Athens after Chaeroneia was studiously temperate and conciliatory; there was nothing in it to estrange Isocrates from his ideal leader, who, having struck one necessary blow, was now bent on healing the discords of Greece. It would be more easy to conceive that Isocrates should have destroyed himself because he saw Athens still resolved to resist, and could not support the anguish of a divided loyalty. But, to my mind, the Letter itself leaves little room for doubting that it was written after the conclusion of the peace between Philip and Athens, and was taken to Philip by Antipater on his return: see §§ 1, 2. Cp. Schäfer, Demosth. u. seine Zeit, III. 25. — Attic Orators, II. 31 f.: 255, note 1.

διελέχθην καὶ πρὸς Ἀντίπατρον Demades, who had been taken prisoner at Chaeroneia, was sent by Philip to Athens as the bearer of proposals for peace. The Athenian captives were to be restored: Oropus was to be transferred from Thebes to Athens. On the other hand, Athens was required to recognise Philip as the military head of Greece. On receiving this message, the Athenian Ecclesia sent an embassy to Philip, who was then at Thebes. Among the envoys were Demades, Phocion and Aeschines. They were hospitably entertained by Philip, and returned to Athens with the message that Philip released the prisoners without ransom, and would presently send, for interment at Athens, the remains of those who had fallen at Chaeroneia.

Antipater, the young Alexander, and probably Alcimachus, were the envoys who escorted these relics to Athens. By them the conditions of peace were formally proposed to the Senate and the Ecclesia. Demades then drew up a ψήφισμα by which the treaty — known as ‘the Peace of Demades’ — was finally ratified. The ‘conversation with Antipater’, to which Isocr. refers, must have been held on the occasion of this visit. (Cp. Schäfer, Dem. III. 19 — 27.)

μετὰ τὴν εἰρήνην i.e. now that the peace between Athens and Philip has practically secured the recognition of the latter as the chief of Greece. The Congress at Corinth soon afterwards recognised Philip as ἡγεμὼν (τῆς Ἑλλάδος) καὶ κατὰ γῆν καὶ κατὰ θάλατταν, Polyb. IX. 33: ἡγεμὼν αὐτοκράτωρ συμπάσης τῆς ἄλλης Ἑλλάδος...τῆς ἐπὶ τὸν Πέρσην στρατείας, Arrian VII. 9. 5. So Dem. De Cor. § 201, ἡγεμὼν καὶ κύριος ᾑρέθη Φίλιππος ἁπάντων.

ἐν τῷ λόγῳ The Φίλιππος — referring esp. to §§ 81 — 104, above, pp. 136 ff.

κατ᾽ ἐκεῖνον τὸν χρόνον, 346 B.C., eight years before.

τὸν ἀγῶνα τὸν γεγεν The struggle decided by the victory of Philip at Chaeroneia.

τῆς μανίας i.e. their mad strife with each other. Cp. Philipp. § 88, p. 138, δεῖ τοὺς ὀρθῶς βουλευομένους μὴ πρότερον ἐκφέρειν πρὸς βασιλέα πόλεμον πρὶν ἂν διαλλάξῃ τις τοὺς Ἕλληνας καὶ παύσῃ τῆς μανίας τῆς νῦν αὐτοῖς ἐνεστώσης.

ἐγὼ δ᾽ οὐκ εἰδέναι...ταῖς σαῖς ἐπιθυμίαις ‘I reply [to these questioners] that I do not know exactly how it is [i.e. whether the project occurred first to you or to me], since I had not conferred with you before [i.e. before I sent you my λόγος, the Φίλιππος], — but think that you had already made up your mind on the subject, and that I have merely been the advocate of your own impulses’. Disting. the pluperf. from the perf. of the direct discourse: Isocr. said to them, οὐκ οἶδαοὐ συνεγεγενήμηνοἴομαι αὐτὸν ἐγνωκέναι (=ὅτι ἐγνώκει), ἐμὲ (or ἐγὼ) δὲ συνειρηκέναι (=ὅτι συνείρηκα).

ἐπὶ τῶν αὐτῶν τούτων ‘to hold to these same objects’: ἐπί with the genit. expressing the ground on which he is conceived as taking his stand: whereas ἐπὶ τούτοις would suggest rather a number of points or special conditions.

ὡς...ἂν γενομένων ὡς expresses the view present to their minds: they think, οὐκ ἂν γένοιτο, κ.τ.λ. Goodwin § 113, note 10.

ἀπειρηκώς ‘broken down’. In Epist. VI., ‘to the children of Jason’ (Attic Orators II. 241), in 359 B.C., Isocr. already speaks of his age — he was then 77 — as disabling him from undertaking a long journey: τὸ μὴ δύνασθαι πλανᾶσθαι καὶ τὸ μὴ πρέπειν ἐπιξενοῦσθαι τοῖς τηλικούτοις, § 2.

αἱ...μετριότητες ‘the virtues of moderation’; on the plur., Antid. § 283, note, p. 303.

εἱλωτεύειν Cp. Panegyr. § 131, καὶ τοῦτ᾽ ἔχομεν αὐτοῖς (the Spartans) ἐπιτιμᾶν, ὅτι τῇ μὲν αὐτῶν πόλει τοὺς ὁμόρους εἱλωτεύειν ἀναγκάζουσι, τῷ δὲ κοινῷ τῷ τῶν συμμάχων οὐδὲν τοιοῦτον κατασκευάζουσιν, ἐξὸν αὐτοῖς τὰ πρὸς ἡμᾶς διαλυσαμένοις ἅπαντας τοὺς βαρβάρους περιοίκους (in the Spartan sense, i.e. ‘dependents’) ὅλης τῆς Ἑλλάδος καταστῆσαι. A comparison of these two passages might suggest the comment that, if the barbarians were now to be the helots of Greece, the Greeks had become the περίοικοι of Macedon.

πλὴν τῶν σοὶ συναγωνις The Thracians, Illyrians, and other mercenaries or foreign auxiliaries in Philip's armies.

θεὸν γενέσθαι The clause οὐδὲν γὰρ ἔσται λοιπὸν ἔτι πλὴν θεὸν γενέσθαι should clearly be placed (as Dobree saw) after τι ἂν σὺ προστάττῃς. It is in fact a comment on ἡγοῦ δὲ τόθ᾽ ἕξειν ἀνυπέρβλητον αὐτήν, κ.τ.λ.

νέος ὤν Isocr. was prob. not much more than 45 years of age when he began the Πανηγυρικός: see introd. to it, p. 308. — τὰ μέν, the unity of Greece: τὰ δέ, the war against Persia.

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