After this he sent men to Athens to demand the surrender of ten1
leaders who had opposed his interest, the most prominent of whom were Demosthenes and Lycurgus.
So an assembly was convened and the ambassadors were introduced, and after they had spoken, the
people were plunged into deep distress and perplexity. They were anxious to uphold the honour
of their city but at the same time they were stunned with horror at the destruction of Thebes
and, warned by the calamities of their neighbours, were alarmed in face of their own danger.
After many had spoken in the
assembly, Phocion, the "Good," who was opposed to the party of Demosthenes, said that the men
demanded should remember the daughters of Leos and Hyacinthus2
and gladly endure death so that their
country would suffer no irremediable disaster, and he inveighed against the faint-heartedness
and cowardice of those who would not lay down their lives for their city. The people
nevertheless rejected his advice and riotously drove him from the stand,
and when Demosthenes delivered a carefully prepared discourse, they were
carried away with sympathy for their leaders and clearly wished to save them.
In the end, Demades, influenced, it is reported, by a bribe of five silver
talents from Demosthenes's supporters, counselled them to save those whose lives were
threatened, and read a decree that had been subtly worded. It contained a plea for the men and
a promise to impose the penalty prescribed by the law, if they deserved punishment.
The people approved the suggestion of Demades, passed the decree and
dispatched a delegation including Demades as envoys to the king, instructing them to make a
plea to Alexander in favour of the Theban fugitives as well, that he would allow the Athenians
to provide a refuge for them.
On this mission, Demades
achieved all his objectives by the eloquence of his words and prevailed upon Alexander to
absolve the men from the charges against them and to grant all the other requests of the