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Then too Demosthenes decided upon war, offering to his compatriots counsel which, though seemingly prudent, was in reality fraught with danger.After the accession of Alexander in 336 B.C. Demosthenes proposed a decree to honor Philip's murderer, and war was imminent. But in the same year, when Alexander entered Thessaly, Athens retracted. Demades apparently negotiated the ensuing agreement, but we have no other evidence to confirm the statement made in this passage. When the enemy was encamped near Attica and the country was being confined in the town, when the city, worthy to be striven for and marvelled at by all, was being filled like a stable with oxen, sheep and flocks and there was no hope of help from any quarte
Discount, therefore, what happened from extraneous causes and simply examine my policy naked in the light of facts. To resume then: after this the city was exposed to a third and paramount danger, not this time sent by Fortune but brought on us by the politicians of the day.The reference is to the events leading up to the destruction of Thebes in 335 B.C., after which Demades interceded with Alexander on behalf of Athens. See Din. 1.10, note.
Our ancestors left Athens and held the sea as a city, and the naval disaster shattered the land army also.
. . . by the course of events proclaims the fire of war. This letter of Alexander's broke my purpose.Perhaps Alexander's letter demanding triremes from Athens （see Plut. Phoc. 21）. This letter, embracing war in characters of ink, almost seized me by the hand and roused me. It travelled through my thoughts and did not let me rest in peace; for the danger was at our gat
I have, to bear me out, the burial of a thousand AtheniansIt is said that after Chaeronea in 338 B.C. Philip was insulting his prisoners, until Demades, by his frank speech, won him over to a better attitude towards Athens. Cf. Dio. Sic. 16.87. performed by the hands of our adversaries, hands which I won over from enmity to friendship towards the dead. Then, on coming to the fore in public life, I proposed the peace. I admit it. I proposed honors to Philip. I do not deny it. By making these proposals I gained for you two thousand captives free of ransom, a thousand Athenian dead, for whom no herald had to ask, and Oropus without an embassy.