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When the people accepted the proposal and the decree authorizing the embassy had been drafted by Demosthenes, they turned to the search for their most eloquent representative. Demosthenes willingly answered the call to service. He carried out the mission vigorously and returned to Athens at last having secured the adhesion of the Thebans.

Now that they had doubled their existing armed forces by the Boeotian alliance, the Athenians recovered their confidence. [2] At once they designated Chares and Lysicles as generals and sent forth their entire army under arms into Boeotia. All their youth reported eager for battle and advanced with forced marches as far as Chaeroneia in Boeotia. Impressed by the promptness of the Athenian arrival and themselves no less ready to act decisively, the Boeotians joined them with their weapons and, brigaded together, all awaited the approach of the enemy. [3] Philip's first move was to send envoys to the Boeotian League, the most eminent of whom was Pytho.1 He was celebrated for his eloquence, but judged by the Boeotians in this contest for their allegiance against Demosthenes, he surpassed all the other speakers, to be sure, but was clearly inferior to him. [4] And Demosthenes himself in his speeches parades his success against this orator as a great accomplishment, where he says:“I did not then give ground before Pytho in spite of his confidence and his torrent of words against you.”Dem. 18.1362 [5]

So Philip failed to get the support of the Boeotians, but nevertheless decided to fight both of the allies together. He waited for the last of his laggard confederates to arrive, and then marched into Boeotia. His forces came to more than thirty thousand infantry and no less than two thousand cavalry. [6] Both sides were on edge for the battle, high-spirited and eager, and were well matched in courage, but the king had the advantage in numbers and in generalship. [7] He had fought many battles of different sorts and had been victorious in most cases, so that he had a wide experience in military operations. On the Athenian side, the best of their generals were dead—Iphicrates, Chabrias, and Timotheus too—and the best of those who were left, Chares, was no better than any average soldier in the energy and discretion required of a commander.3

1 The famous orator, a native of Byzantium, had long been in the service of Philip. Strabo (Strabo 9.2.37) states that the Corinthians also sent troops.

2 Dem. 18.136 refers to an earlier encounter between the two, which took place in Athens in 343 B.C.; cp. also Dem. 7.20.

3 Diodorus writes disparagingly of Chares also in Book 15.95.3. Here he has much compressed the narrative, since ten or eleven months elapsed between the occupation of Elateia and the battle of Chaeroneia.

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