3. An Athenian orator, of the demus of Agnus, who took a most prominent part in bringing about the peace with Philip in B. C. 346. Together with Demosthenes, he strongly supported the petition made by the friends of some of the Athenian prisoners taken in Olynthus, in B. C. 347, that an ambassador should be sent to negotiate about their ransom.
He also came forward with a motion, which was carried unanimously, to permit Philip to send a herald and ambassadors to Athens to treat for peace. For this he was impeached by Lycinus, as having originated an illegal decree ; but he was defended by Demosthenes (illness preventing his personal appearance at the trial), and was acquitted. Matters being at length ripe for the final step, Philocrates moved that ten ambassadors should be appointed to negotiate with the Macedonian king.
A decree to this effect was passed, and he was himself included in the embassy.
In the same year, when the Macedonian ambassadors arrived at Athens, Philocrates proposed to concede everything to Philip, and to exclude expressly the Phocians and Halus and Cersobleptes from the treaty.
This proposal of his, however, was opposed both by Aeschines and Demosthenes, and he was obliged to abandon it.
He was again a member of the second embassy, which was sent to receive from Philip the ratification of the pence and alliance; and, on the return of the envoys to Athens, when Demosthenes endeavoured to excite suspicion in the people of Philip's intentions with respect to Phocis, Philocrates joined Aeschines in persuading them to pay no regard to his warnings, and bore him down with ribaldry and clamour, tauntingly remarking that it was no wonder that his own way of thinking should differ from that of one who was fool enough to be a water-drinker.
He then carried a decree, which, while it gave high praise to Philip for his fair professions, and extended the treaty to his successors, declared that if the Phocians would not surrender the temple to the Amphictyons, the Athenian people would assist in compelling them. Thus he played all along into the hands of Philip, and it seems altogether beyond a doubt that he had suffered himself to be corrupted, and received Olynthian prisoners and lands in Phocis as the price of his treason. Indeed, he himself made no secret of his newly-gotten wealth, which he ostentatiously displayed, and expended in luxury and profligacy. In B. C. 344 Demosthenes, in his second Philippic. called the attention of the Athenians to the manner in which they had been misled by Aeschince and Philocrates, without however mentioning the name of either of them; and, if the latter felt himself endangered in consequence, it may account for his putting himself forward (towards the end probably of 344 or the beginning of the next year) as the mover of a decree, remonstrating with Philip on the seizure of some Athenian ships by one of his admirals. Shortly after this, however, Philocrates was capitally impeached by Hyperides through an εἰσαγγελία
, for his treason, and deemed it expedient to go into voluntary exile before the trial came on. Of his subsequent fortunes we have no certain information. Demosthenes, in his speech on the Crown, speaks of Philocrates as one of those who assailed him with false accusations after the battle of Chaeroneia in B. C. 338; and from this it might be inferred that the traitor had then returned from banishment, but Aeschines mentions him as still an exile in B. C. 330 (c. Ctes.
p. 65), and we may therefore believe, with Mr. Newman, that Philocrates was still dangerous to Demosthenes in 338 by his voice or pen, "with which he could pretend to reveal scandalous secrets, owing to his former intimacy with him." (Heges. de Hal.
pp. 82, 83; Dem. de Cor.
pp. 230, 232, 250, 310, de Fals. Leg.
pp. 343, 345, 348, 355, 356, 371, 375, 377. 386, 394, 395, 405, 434, 440, c. Aristoy.
pp. 783, 784; Argum. ad Dem. de Pac.
p. 56 ; Aesch. de Fals. Leg.
pp. 29, 30, 35, 36; Plut. de Garr.
15; comp. Newman in the Classical Museum,
vol. i. pp. 151, 152.)