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“Now,” said I, “a claim which Amyntas renounced in the presence of all the Greeks, and that not by words alone, but by his vote, that claim you his son have no right to advance. But if you argue that it is right for you to keep the place because you took it in war, if it is true that it was a war against us in which you took the city, you do hold it justly, by right of conquest; but if it was from the Amphipolitans that you took a city which belonged to the Athenians, it is not the property of the Amphipolitans that you are holding, but territory of Athens.”1
1 Amphipolis was founded as a colony of Athens in 436, and became one of the most important cities on the northern coast. The Spartans seized it early in the Peloponnesian war, and held it till the close of the war. They then renounced their claim to it, but the people of the city themselves refused to return to Athenian allegiance. Repeated expeditions were sent out by the Athenians to retake the city, but without success. One of Philip's first acts was to seize Amphipolis. It was claimed at Athens that he had promised, if given a free hand, to restore the place to Athens; but this he refused to do, and so began the first war between Athens and Philip. The Athenian claim to the city was therefore one of the most important matters to be presented by the ambassadors whose mission Aeschines is here describing.
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