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now it happened on the occasion of our first embassy, that at the moment when I was leaving for home with the rest of the ambassadors, Philip was setting out for Thrace; but we had his promise that while you were deliberating concerning peace, he would not set foot on the Chersonese with an armed force. Now on that day when you voted the peace, no mention was made of Cersobleptes. But after we had already been elected to receive the oaths,The same ambassadors who had negotiated the preliminaries of the peace were appointed to go back to Macedonia and receive the ratification of the peace by Philip and his allies. before we had set forth on the second embassy, an assembly was held, the presidency of which fell by lot to Demosthenes,A board of nine senators presided over the meetings of the assembly; one member of the board was chosen by lot as chief presiding officer for the day. who is now accusing me.
You have a practice which in my judgment is most excellent and most useful to those in your midst who are the victims of slander: you preserve for all time in the public archives your decrees, together with their dates and the names of the officials who put them to vote. Now this man has told you that what ruined the cause of Cersobleptes was this: that when Demosthenes urged that we should go to Thrace, where Cersobleptes was being besieged, and should solemnly call on Philip to cease doing this thing, I, as leader of the ambassadors and influential with you, refused, and sat down in Oreus, I and the rest of the ambassadors, busy with getting foreign consulships for ourselves.Athenian citizens were employed by foreign states to represent their interests at Athens and aid their citizens there. Demosthenes asserted that the ambassadors were intent on getting such appointments for themselves.
But when we reached Macedonia and found Philip returned from Thrace, we held a meeting;This was a private meeting of the Athenian ambassadors to discuss what they should say to Philip at the coming audience. the decree under which we were acting was read, and we went over the instructions that had been given us in addition to the business of receiving the oaths. But finding that no one mentioned the subjects that were most important, and all were dwelling on minor matters, I spoke words which I must repeat to you.
and of having flattered Philip and his ambassadors with a shamelessness which was beyond measure, and of being responsible to the people for the failure to secure the concurrence of a general congress of the Greek states in the making of the peace, and of having betrayed to Philip Cersobleptes, king of Thrace, a friend and ally of our city—if I shall clearly demonstrate all this to you, I shall make of you this modest request: in God's name agree with me, that in the first of his four periods his policies have not been those of a good citizen. I will speak in a way that will enable you to follow me most easil
secondly, that you should vote, not only for peace, but also for alliance with Philip, in order that any states which were taking note of what the Athenian democracy was doing might fall into utter discouragement on seeing that, while you were summoning them to war, you had at home voted to make both peace and an alliance; and thirdly, that Cersobleptes, king of Thrace, should not be included in the oaths, nor share the alliance and peace—indeed, an expedition was already being levied against hi