This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
§ 1-5 Introduction (προοίμιον). We are always discussing the wrongs we endure from Philip, but yet things are so bad that they could not be worse (1). Of many reasons for this the chief is the action of those who aim at popularity rather than patriotism. They occupy your attention so fully that Philip can do what he likes unmolested (2). I must ask you to listen calmly if I speak with freedom: freedom of speech is strangely excluded from our debates (3). The result is that while you listen with delight to complaisant rhetoric, you are involved in extreme perils. If you are now willing to listen without prejudice, I will speak: it is yet possible to retrieve our losses (4). The worst factor in past events affords most hope for the future—I mean the fact that it is by complete neglect of your duties that you have come into this plight. Otherwise there were no hope; but as things are it is only Athenian negligence, not Athens herself, that Philip has defeated (5). ὀλίγου δεῖν, an absolute use of the infinitive, of uncertain origin. It may perhaps have been a dative (‘for lacking little’ and so ‘so as to lack little’): take it with ἑκάστην, ‘almost every.’ Cf. Dem. 18. 269 μικροῦ δεῖν ὅμοιόν ἐστι τῷ ὀνειδίζειν. ὧν, for ἐκείνων ἂ (internal accusative with ἀδικεῖ). ἀφ᾽ οὖ, i.e. 346 B.C. ‘The peace’ throughout this speech means the peace of Philocrates. τοὺς ἄλλους, sc. Ἕλληνας, which is inserted in some MSS. οἶδ᾽ ὅτι, parenthetic, as in Phil. 2. 29. ἂν with φησάντων representing a subordinate clause containing the optative with ἄν, as regularly. Supply a condition (e.g. ‘if called upon’). τοῦτο, to be explained from the following words, λέγειν καὶ πράττειν κ.τ.ἑ. πράττειν, as a verb implying endeavour, is normally followed by an object-clause containing ὅπως with the future indicative. Logically, though not exactly in grammar, the object-clause belongs also to λέγειν, which acquires a suggestion of endeavour from its association with πράττειν. εἰς τοῦτο without a genitive (e.g. ταλαιπωρίας), as in Phil. 2. 2. ὑπηγμένα, ‘misguided,’ ‘brought by stealthy (ὑπὸ) malpractices.’ Cf. Phil. 2. 31 ὑπήχθητε. βλάσφημον μέν. As frequently, the μὲν-clause in thought is subordinate to the δὲ-clause. The orator fears that his words may prove true: he knows that they are ill-omened. It is often best to translate in such cases by a concessive clause: here render ‘I fear lest, though a sinister phrase, it may prove true to say that’ etc. παριόντες, cf. Phil. 2. 3. ἤμελλε ἕξειν, the equivalent in past time of the future indicative in present time, ἕξει, used after the relative with a final sense. ἂν with δύνασθαι, equivalent to ὅτι ἂν ἐδύνατο: οὐ also belongs to the infinitive.