Demosthenic Athens



Athens like other ancient states lived from hand to mouth. There was no notion of ‘controlling the economy’ in a modern sense (though in the fourth century the merismos, on which cf. p. 299, shows that the Athenians were trying to work out what they could afford): taxes were imposed to raise funds for necessary expenditure. Without the kind of credit system with which we are familiar, not even the state could spend money which it did not have; shortage of funds was said to bias the courts against rich men whose property might be confiscated if they were condemned (e.g. Ar. Eq.1357 – 61, Lys. XXVII. Epicrates 1, XXX. Nicomachus 22, but we do not find this allegation in the Demosthenic period), and in crises lack of money to pay jurors led to a suspension of the courts (e.g. in 348: Dem. XXXIX. Boeotus i. 17). When there was surplus money, it had traditionally found its way into the temple treasuries, from which the state might later borrow (cf. pp. 97 – 100); the treasuries of Athena and of the Other Gods, amalgamated in 406, were separated in 385 and recombined (as ‘the treasury of Athena’) c. 346. We have noticed already that, whereas in the fifth century Athens had a central state treasury, in the fourth it made an allocation to separate spending authorities (cf. p. 299). It is not until the middle of the fourth century that we find any conscious attempt to build up surplus funds.

In the fifth century the Delian League had added to the number of salaried posts, but the tribute had reduced the range of purposes for which the Athenians had to spend their own money; in the fourth century the syntaxeis of the Second League did not raise large sums and the sums they did raise did not enrich Athens. The silver mines had been abandoned in the final phase of the Peloponnesian War, and were not very productive in the first half of the century. In the years immediately after the Peloponnesian War, the collectors of the 2 per cent import tax in 402/1 paid 30 talents and made a profit of 3 talents; the collectors in 401/0 paid 36 talents and made a small profit (Andoc. I. Myst. 133 – 4). At the beginning of the Peloponnesian War Athens’ total annual revenue, including about 400 talents tribute, had been about 1,000 talents. In 341 Demosthenes claimed that ‘not long ago’ (the 350’ s?) Athens’ annual revenue was only 130 talents but now was 400 talents (X. Phil. iv. 37 – 8); [Plut.] X Orat. 842 f credits Lycurgus (who was influential c. 336 – 324; cf. p. 373) with increasing the revenue to 1,200 talents whereas once it was only 60 talents (but in the light of Andocides, above, the 60 talents is hard to believe for any date; the 1,200 talents is perhaps credible if seen as the equivalent of 600 a century earlier). As for expenditure, I believe that the posts that remained in the fourth century were still salaried, and the burden of assembly pay was added; by the 330’ s – 320’ s payments (except to jurors) were at about double the rate of the beginning of the century (cf. pp. 298 – 9), and then the assembly will have cost about 45 talents a year, the council 26 talents, the courts perhaps 150 talents. Money will have been needed for festivals (and estimates of grants paid from the theoric fund, on which see pp. 372 – 3, to enable citizens to attend festivals have ranged from c. 15 to c. 100 talents a year), and for roads and buildings. But Athens’ greatest expenditure, in the first half of the century beyond Athens’ means and without producing commensurate results, was on wars and on ships and other equipment for wars. Demosthenes in a speech of c. 353/2 remarks that the revenue from taxes is not sufficient for the state’ s regular expenditure, so recourse is needed to ‘additional payments’ (XXIV. Timocrates 96 – 7): this probably includes fines and confiscations, and also eisphorai and epidoseis.

Most Athenian taxes were indirect taxes, such as the 2 per cent import tax, where the amount paid by individuals depended on their consumption (and metics and visitors paid like citizens - but there were some additional burdens on foreigners, such as the poll tax called metoikion levied on metics: Harp. images [μ 27 Keaney]); a recently discovered inscription has revealed a tax in kind levied on the grain grown on Lemnos, Imbros and Scyros (SEG xlviii 96 = R&O 26); but Athens devised particular means of raising larger sums from the richer inhabitants.

One of these is the property tax known as eisphora (‘paying in’), which was available in 434/3 and was levied at any rate from 428/7 (cf. p. 99): modern books often refer to it as the ‘war tax’, since military needs were usually the reason for its being levied.Eisphora was levied ad hoc in the years and at the rate (usually 1 per cent or 2 per cent) decided by the assembly, on the property of all residents rich enough to qualify (it is not clear how many these were but probably rather more than the number liable for the liturgies to be discussed below). We are given 6,000 and 5,750 talents for the total declared valuation (timemci) of all inhabitants or all liable in 378/7 and 354/3 (Polyb. II. 62. vii, Dem. XIV. Symmories 19); the ‘sixth part’ paid by metics (Dem. XXII. Androtion 61,IG ii 2 244. 20) perhaps indicates that a metic paid ⅙ more than a citizen with the same valuation. In this area as in many, Athens suffered from weak enforcement procedures. In 378/7 those liable were organised in a hundred contribution groups, symmoriai(Clidemus FGrH 323 F 8, Philoch. FGrH 328 F 41). By 364/3 the liturgy (cf. below) of proeisphora had been created, by which the richest three members of each symmoria were required to advance the whole sum due from the symmoria, and were left to reimburse themselves from the other members (Dem. XXI. Midias 153 with 157, XVIII. Crown 103 with 171; first attested Isae. VI. Philoctemon 60). In the 350’ s Androtion served on a commission to collect arrears of eisphora from 378/7 to (perhaps) the introduction ofproeisphora: from a total of somewhat over 300 talents, 14 talents were outstanding, and the commission collected 7 talents (Dem. XXII. Androtion 44).

Sometimes an appeal was made for epidoseis, voluntary gifts. At Artemisium in 480 Clinias provided his trireme and crew at his own expense (Hdt. VIII. 17), and we hear of a man who provided two triremes in the Peloponnesian War (Xen. Hell. II. iii. 40). Our earliest occurrence of the word is in 394, when cash contributions were invited, and lists were published of those who paid and those who promised but did not pay (Isae. V Dicaeogenes 37 - 8). References to epidoseis become frequent from the middle of the century (Dem. XXI. Midias 160 - 1 calls an appeal in 357 the first); a decree of the 240’ s invites epidoseis of not more than 200 dr. and not less than 50 dr. and is followed by a list of contributors (IG ii2 791, revised Agora xvi 213). We shall notice a particular category of epidoseis below, in connection with Lycurgus’ building programme.

The rich were also expected to contribute to the state’ s expenses through the institution of liturgies. Leitourgia, in Athens and elsewhere in classical Greece, denoted ‘work for the people’ in the sense that a man was given a public task to perform directly at his own expense, without the intervention of officials or contractors to collect the money and spend it. Those at Athens fall into two classes: festival liturgies, commonly involving responsibility for a sequence of plays or a team of performers at a festival; and the trierarchy, where the state provided a warship, its basic equipment and the crew’ s wages, and the trierarch had to take charge of the ship and cover the other running costs for the year.

The maximum that could be required of a man was one festival liturgy in two years (Dem. XX. Leptines 8) or one trierarchy in three (Isae. VII. Apollodorus 38). Probably the rule was that liturgies should be assigned to the richest men who could not claim exemption; if a man thought that somebody richer than himself had been passed over, he could challenge him in an antidosis (‘giving in exchange’) either to take over the liturgy or, if the man challenged did not accept that he was richer, to exchange property with him (Lys. IV. Wound 1 cites an exchange; [Dem.] XLII.Phaenippus in connection with a challenge reports the making of an inventory and the sealing of buildings). But, while some men tried to avoid liturgies, others were proud to demonstrate their public - spiritedness by performing more, and spending more on them, than was positively required: one man claims to have performed eleven festival liturgies between 411/0 and 403/2, and to have spent 3½ talents on them when he could have spent only 1 talent; in the same period he spent 6 talents on seven years of trierarchy (Lys. XXI. Taking Bribes 1 – 5). Lavish performance of liturgies was a way in which a public figure could acquire a favourable image: many festival liturgies were performed in a competitive context (e.g. competitions between tribal teams); there could be prizes for trierarchs too (e.g. IG ii 2 1629 = R&O 100 ~ Harding 121. 190 – 204; Dem. LI. Trierarchic Crown); and it was natural to want one’ s own team or ship to be better than others. Thus through the institution of liturgies Athens channelled the competitive instincts of the upper class in the direction of public service.

At state level there were at least 97 festival liturgies in an ordinary year, 118 in the years of the Great Panathenaea, and there were some deme liturgies too; metics shared in some festival liturgies and had some liturgies of their own. Ant. VI. Chorister gives a good impression of what was involved. The trierarchy was limited to citizens, and the burden was unpredictable: in any one year many or few ships might be needed, for a long or a short period, and they might or might not encounter the hazards of battle and bad weather. The trierarchy had originally involved personal as well as financial responsibility for a ship, but in the fourth century it was possible to pay a contractor (Dem. XXI. Midias 80, 155). The minimum level of property which made a man liable for liturgies was about 3 – 4 talents; as farmers will still insist today, some kinds of wealth in terms of property do not generate large quantities of ready money, and a liturgy could be a heavy burden for a man who barely qualified, especially if he had to pay an eisphora in the same year.

In the fourth century it became increasingly difficult to find enough men to perform liturgies: Athens’ citizen population after the Peloponnesian War was about half what it had been before (cf. p. 296), and proportionately there were perhaps more very rich men but fewer moderately rich. The first concession was the appointment of two men as joint trierarchs for a single ship (Lys. XXXII. Diogiton 24 – 6, Dem. XXI. Midias 154). In 357 a law of Periander organised the 1,200 richest citizens in twenty trierarchic symmoriai(modelled on the symmoriai for eisphora, above), after which there were still particular trierarchs for particular ships, but some at least of the costs were shared equally by all the 1,200, who thus had to pay small sums regularly rather than large sums occasionally ([Dem.] XLVII. Evergus and Mnesibulus 21 with Dem. XIV. Symmories 16 – 17). A particular problem with festival liturgies was that exemptions had been awarded to many individuals and office - holders: Leptines proposed to deal with these by banning almost all exemptions; in 355/4 Demosthenes in an unsuccessful attack on that law protested that the lack of rewards would discourage benefactors and that it would be better to use a system of symmoriai here too (Dem. XX. Leptines). In 354/3 Demosthenes attacked the system of trierarchic symmoriai, again unsuccessfully, claiming that there were so many exemptions that a list of 2,000 would be needed to obtain 1,200 actual contributors, and that contributions in proportion to wealth would be better than equal contributions (Dem. XIV. Symmories). In 340, when Athens declared war on Philip and Demosthenes was in a dominant position, he did introduce proportional contributions: references to ‘the three hundred’ (those liable for proeisphora) may mean that under the new system they bore the whole burden, or simply that they bore the lion’ s share (Dem. XVIII. Crown 102– 9, Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 222, Din. I. Demosthenes 42, Hyp. fr. 43. i Burtt). It is possible but not certain that this was modified by Aeschines (Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon222, Dem. XVIII. Crown 312 but contr. 107). Overall, the effect of the various changes was to spread the burden of liturgies somewhat more fairly among the richer Athenians.

Until the 350’ s Athens was spending heavily on military activity (after Leuctra trying, without much success, to recover fifth - century possessions: cf. pp. 272 – 3), and was perpetually short of money. After the Social War we see a considerable financial recovery, associated with Eubulus in the 350’ s and 340’ s and with Lycurgus in the 330’ s and 320’ s. Xenophon, back in Athens, wrote his Ways and Means (Poroi) in the late 350’ s and this seems to reflect the thinking of Eubulus (Eubulus is said to have proposed Xenophon’ s recall: Diog. Laert. II. 59). Athens should be revived as a trading centre, with inducements for non -citizens such as the right (for those judged suitable) to own land and houses, and quick settlement of disputes (ii. 1 – iii. 5) – privileges were granted more frequently to favoured foreigners, and special ‘monthly’ commercial suits had been created by 343/ 2 ([Dem.] VII. Halonnesus 12). (Remarkably) subscriptions should be invited to a capital fund, and spent on such objects as hotels (or perhaps brothels) and a state - owned merchant fleet (iii. 6 – 14) – state - owned hotels and merchant ships were too much for Athens, but Lycurgus did raise substantial loans ([Plut.] X Orat. 841 d, 852 b). More should be made of the silver mines, and the capital fund could provide state - owned slaves to work them (iv) – inscriptions show that mining activity revived, and reached a peak in the 340’ s. All this needs peace, and a board of eirenophylakes, ‘guardians of the peace’ (v) – after the Social War Athens did try to avoid fighting except where its interests were directly threatened; in 346 Eubulus stressed the financial consequences of not making peace with Philip (cf. p. 349), and even Demosthenes in his First Philippic tried to work out what the campaigning he wanted would cost (IV. Phil. i. 21 - 2).

An important contribution to this recovery was made by what seems at first sight to be an extension of the old - style democracy, the creation of the theoric (festival) fund to pay grants to citizens covering the cost of theatre tickets at the major festivals: Demades called this ‘the glue of the democracy’ (Plut. Quaest. Plat. 1011 B). Some texts attribute this to Pericles (e.g. Plut. Per. 9. i), others to Agyrrhius (e.g. Harp. images [θ 19 Keaney]); but they introduced other state payments (Pericles jury pay, Agyrrhius assembly pay), and it is noticeable that Aristophanes never mentions that citizens were paid to go to his plays, so it is better to follow the texts which link the fund with Eubulus and Diophantus (Hesychius [δ 2351 Latte], Suda [δ 1491 Adler], images images schol. Aeschin. III.Ctesiphon 24 [65 Dilts]), and to date it to the second half of the 350’ s.)

Like all funds, this received an annual allocation; and it benefited from the provision that it should also receive any surplus revenue, which previously had gone to the stratiotic (army) fund (cf. [Dem.] LIX. Neaera 4 - 5). This allowed it to accumulate a substantial surplus, to be spent for purposes which its controllers approved, so that Aeschines could claim that ‘because of your trust in Eubulus, those elected to control the theoric fund, before Hegemon’ s law was passed, [controlled various financial offices, were responsible for various building projects,] and had virtually the whole financial administration (dioikesis) of the city’ (III. Ctesiphon 25). By the time of the Ath. Pol. the fund was controlled by a board of ten men; but an inscription of 343/2 is best interpreted as indicating that at that date the fund had a single treasurer (IG ii 2 223. C. 5 - 6, where the man named, Cephisophon, was a man of some prominence). Lycurgus later was subject to a law which limited tenure of his office for four years ([Plut.] X Orat. 841 B– c: ‘five’ years by inclusive counting), and it is an attractive possibility that that was Hegemon’ s law, aimed at weakening the theoric treasurer by limiting tenure and substituting a board for a single man. Afterwards the theoric board and the stratiotic treasurer joined with the council in supervising the old - style financial officials (Ath. Pol. 47. ii), and perhaps previously it was just the theoric treasurer who had this power. The theoric officials were elected, (presumably) by analogy with the treasurer of the stratiotic fund, who was elected as all military officials were elected. In the time of Eubulus the single treasurer directly controlled the one fund in which there was spare money, and was in a strong position in combining with the annually changing council to supervise the other officials, so that he was better placed than any one else to understand Athens’ financial position.

In 349/8, when Demosthenes wanted energetic support for Olynthus, he and Apollodorus attacked the rule directing surpluses to the theoric fund (Dem. I. Ol. i. 19 - 20, III. Ol. Hi. 10 - 13, [Dem.] LIX. Neaera 4 - 5; cf. Dem.’ s attack on the fund in XIII.Organisation 1 - 2, 10, probably of the late 350’ s). In 346 Eubulus mentioned ‘making the theoric monies stratiotic’ among the consequences which would follow from not making peace with Philip (Dem. XIX. Embassy 291). After the Peace of Philocrates Demosthenes gained increasing support, and a favourable reference to the fund in 341 (X. Phil. iv. 35 – 45) suggests that by then he and his friends were in control. In 33 9 /8, when Philip had entered the Fourth Sacred War, on the proposal of Demosthenes work on the ship - sheds and the storehouse for hanging tackle (paid for from the fund: recently excavated, and cf. IG ii 2 1668) was halted, and ‘they decreed that all the [surplus?] monies should be stratiotic’ (Philoch. FGrH 382 F 56a). That decision was perhaps reversed after Chaeronea, but in 337/6 Demosthenes himself was the theoric treasurer (Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 24). It seems likely that a position which had been acceptable when in the hands of Eubulus was perceived by Demosthenes’ opponents as undemocratic when in the hands of Demosthenes, and that we should place Hegemon’ s law here as a reaction by Demosthenes’ opponents.

Whatever the political implications, the financial achievements of the theoric treasurer were undoubted, and those achievements were continued by Lycurgus. For three quadrennia, perhaps c. 336 – 324, first Lycurgus himself and then (because tenure was limited) friends of his held a position connected with financial administration ([Plut.] X Orat. 841 B-C, cf. decree ap. 851 f – 852 e, Diod. Sic. XVI. 88. i). Probably there was created for him the office well attested in the hellenistic period, epi tei dioikesei (‘in charge of the financial administration’), and the Xenocles honoured for his work in that position (Agora xvi 77) was one of the friends who held office after him.

Lycurgus ‘found sources of revenue, built the theatre, the odeum, the dockyards, constructed triremes and harbours’ (Hyp. fr. 23 Burtt); the decree posthumously honouring him alleges cash distributions totalling 18,900 talents (hard to believe), the raising of capital and the making of loans from it, the provision of sacred treasures and of ships and military equipment (X Orat. 851 f – 852 e). We shall look at some aspects of his achievement below. The decree claims that he underwent accounting many times and was never convicted; when he died, about 325/4, the office passed to an opponent, Menesaechmus (Dion. Hal. 660. Din. 11), who alleged that Lycurgus was a state debtor and had his sons arrested, but Demosthenes and Hyperides secured their release (X Orat. 842 E, Dem. Letter iii, Hyp. fr. 23 Burtt).

Athens went into the hellenistic period with the official (from 287 a board) epi tei dioikesei and the stratiotic treasurer as its principal financial officials; the allocation of funds to separate authorities seems to have been changed to the maintenance of separate accounts within a central treasury.

Institutional Changes

The new financial posts provided scope for administrators with expertise, as the old - style administrative posts did not; and we have seen that changes in the secretaryship in the 360’ s provided some scope for expertise there (cf. pp. 300 – 1). The same may be said of a change in the appointment of the ten generals. They were elected and could be re - elected; originally one had to come from each tribe, but from at any rate 441/0 some exceptions were allowed, probably to cater for cases in which a tribe had no strong candidate (cf. p. 66). That system was probably still operating in 357/6, when we know eight of the generals and they come from seven tribes, but by the 330’ s – 320’ s they were elected irrespective of tribe (Ath. Pol. 61. i): it had come to seem more important to have competent generals than to maintain tribal representation. Another change in the generalship was made too. Originally all the generals had been given particular duties ad hoc; there is no sign that things were different in 357/6 (IG ii 2 124 = R&O 48 ~ Harding 65. 19 – 23; IG ii 2 123 = R&O 52 ∼ Harding 69. 13 – 15); but a ‘general for the defence of the territory’ seems now to be attested in 356/5 (SEG xlvii 159. 2 – 4, where the crucial words are restored; certain in 352/1, IG ii 2 204 = R&O 58. 19 – 20), and by the time of the Ath. Pol. there were regular postings for five of the ten, ‘for the hoplites’ in expeditions outside Attica, ‘for the territory’, two ‘for the Piraeus’ and the military buildings and equipment there, and one ‘for the symmoriai’, in charge of the trierarchic system (61. i). In the hellenistic period the link with the tribes was so far forgotten that the number of generals remained ten when the number of tribes was increased, and eventually there were regular duties for all ten.

Piecemeal changes in the machinery of justice continued. We do not know whether it was a matter of regulation or simply of practice, but it is striking that we know of no eisangeliai, charges of major offences against the state, tried by the assembly after 362/1. A jury - court contained fewer men, paid at a lower rate, and the use of juries rather than the assembly may have been an economy measure introduced after the Social War.

In the 340’ s a new kind of lawsuit was introduced, the ‘monthly’ suit, probably available every month and accelerated by by - passing the Forty and the arbitrators and going straight to a court. Probably the first of these were the ‘commercial’ suits, in existence by 343/ 2, concerning trade to and from Athens where there was a written contract, and open to citizens, metics and foreigners on an equal basis (Ath. Pol. 52. ii – iii, 59. v, [Dem.] VII. Halonnesus 12, Dem. XXXII. Zenothemis 1); these accelerated suits for traders are foreshadowed in Xen. Poroi ii. 3.

There were also important changes in the powers and activities of the Areopagus, which we shall examine below in connection with politics and politicians.

Policies, Politics, Politicians

Some men already prominent before the Social War remained active after, notably Aristophon and Chares, but the stage was largely occupied by a new generation (evidence supporting many statements undocumented here is cited

in chapter 24, above). Eubulus, who had been one of the nine archons in 370/69, and Diophantus were both important in the late 350’ s and the 340’ s, and were responsible for the development of the theoric fund (cf. p. 372). They were not military men, but can be associated with the policy of concentrating on serious threats which Athens pursued after the Social War. In 352 Diophantus proposed the thanksgiving sacrifice when Philip was halted at Thermopylae (Dem. XIX. Embassy 86 with schol. [199 Dilts]). Men involved in the Euboean war of 348 had links with Eubulus: Phocion, who was primarily a general but saw himself as a general - cum - politician in the older manner (Plut. Phoc. 7. v – vi), when he did engage in politics was on the side of Eubulus and Aeschines; Hegesilaus was related to Eubulus (Dem. XIX. Embassy 290); Midias was to be defended against Demosthenes by Eubulus (Dem. XXI. Midias 205 – 7). After the fall of Olynthus Eubulus proposed the decree under which envoys were sent to mobilise southern Greek opposition to Philip (Dem. XIX. Embassy 304); but Phalaecus’ rejection of Athenian help in 346 forced a change of policy, and Eubulus was in favour of the Peace of Philocrates (Dem. XIX. Embassy 291, XVIII. Crown 21). Aeschines had at one time supported Aristophon but switched his support to Eubulus (Dem. XIX. Embassy 290 – 1, XVIII. Crown 162), and he served on one of Eubulus’ embassies in 348/7 (Aeschin. II. Embassy 79, Dem. XIX. Embassy 303 – 6).

Demosthenes (cf. ill. 27) began speaking in major prosecutions and on public issues in 355, but until 348 was consistently on the losing side. The prosecutions of Androtion (XXII), Leptines’ law (XX), Timocrates (XXIV) and Aristocrates (XXIII) all seem to have failed. XIV. Symmories did not secure a reform of the trierarchic system; XVI. Megalopolitans did not persuade Athens to support Megalopolis against Sparta; XIII. Organisation did not undermine the theoric fund; I V. Philippic i did not result in a campaign against Philip in the north; X V. Liberty of Rhodians did not secure support for the Rhodian democrats against a Carian - backed oligarchy; I – III. Olynthiacs i – iii did not persuade Athens to support Olynthus as strongly as Demosthenes wanted, and Demosthenes was alone in opposing the Euboean war (V. Peace 5). But in 348, when Eubulus was becoming alarmed about Philip, Demosthenes, disgruntled at the Athenians’ failure to act on his warnings, defended Philocrates when the latter was prosecuted for proposing to follow up Philip’ s offer of negotiations, and was successful.

In 346 Aeschines and Eubulus were in favour of the Peace of Philocrates, because Phalaecus had made it necessary, and because they trusted Philip’ s hints; Demosthenes was in favour, in the expectation that Philip’ s subsequent conduct would justify his warnings; two men mentioned as opposing the peace are Aristophon and Hegesippus. In the autumn of 346 Demosthenes advised against immediate conflict with Philip, in V. Peace, and prepared to attack Aeschines for his part in the negotiations. However, the original attack misfired, as the main prosecutor, Timarchus, had an unsavoury personal record which made him vulnerable (Aeschin. I. Timarchus, of 346/5). After that, Demosthenes gained increasing support, and in 343 Philocrates was successfully prosecuted by

Ill. 27 Statue of Demosthenes. Photo: akg – images


Hyperides (Dem. XIX. Embassy 116 – 19, Aeschin. II. Embassy 6, Hyp. IV. Euxenippus 29 – 30); Proxenus was perhaps condemned for delay in conveying the second embassy to Philip (Dem. XIX. Embassy 280 with schol. [493 Dilts]); Demosthenes himself prosecuted Aeschines, while Eubulus and Phocion were among his defenders, and by a small majority Aeschines was acquitted (Dem. XIX. Embassy, Aeschin. II. Embassy; Eubulus and Phocion Aeschin. II. Embassy 184; Idomeneus FGrH 338 F 10 ap. Plut. Dem.15. v, [Plut.] X Orat. 840 c). By then Aeschines was trying to distance himself from the peace, whereas in 346/5 he associated himself with it (Aeschin. II. Embassy 56 contr. I. Timarchus 174).

After 346 we can identify supporters of Demosthenes. Hegesippus, opposed to the peace, defended Timarchus against Aeschines (Aeschin. I. Timarchus 71). He also took an unproductively hard line when Philip offered to amend the peace ([Dem.] VII.Halonnesus), and served on one of Demosthenes’ embassies to the Peloponnese (Dem. IX. Phil. iii. 72). Hyperides prosecuted Philocrates in 343 (Hyp. IV. Euxenippus 29 – 30), was appointed in place of Aeschines to defend Athens’ control of Delos (cf. p. 379), and in 341/0 renewed Athens’ alliances with Rhodes and Chios. Lycurgus, who is linked with Demosthenes ([Plut.] X Orat. 848 f) and was to be hard on alleged traitors after Chaeronea, served on Demosthenes’ embassies, and so did Polyeuctus (Dem. IX. Phil. iii.72 [Lycurgus not all manuscripts], [Plut.] X Orat. 841 e).

Demosthenes remarks on the solidarity of his opponents (XIX. Embassy 225 – 6). We come closer in this period than in most to party politics, with groups of men agreeing on distinctive policies over a range of issues, but the collision is at an angle rather than head - on. For Demosthenes resistance to Philip was all - important, but that conditioned his views on financial matters; for Eubulus financial recovery was all - important, but that conditioned his views on Philip. Attitudes to democracy were affected too: Demosthenes accused his opponents of being unpatriotic, and tended to identify democracy with freedom from an external master rather than with internal freedom, while they in response accused him of being undemocratic (cf. p. 380).

When war was declared against Philip in 340, Demosthenes reformed the trierarchic system; when Philip entered the Fourth Sacred War, in 33 9 /8, Demosthenes had surplus revenue diverted to the stratiotic fund (cf. p. 373). He was crowned for his services to Athens in 340, and again in the spring of 338; in 338 Hyperides was one of the proposers, and he was challenged but unsuccessfully in a graphe paranomon (Dem. XVIII. Crown 83, 222 – 3, 249, [Plut.] X Orat. 846 a, 848 d, f).

In the years after Chaeronea there were frantic swings of the pendulum. Hyperides and Lycurgus seem both to have been members of the council in 338/7 (Lucian, Parasite 42). Hyperides was responsible for emergency measures immediately after the battle (Lycurg. Leocrates 36 – 7, [Plut.] X Orat. 848 f – 849 a, cf. Hyp. fr. 18 Burtt); and Demosthenes proposed measures after his return from the battle, perhaps through his friends (Dem. XVIII. Crown 248 contr. Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 159, cf. Plut. Dem. 21. iii). Originally Charidemus, a man from Oreus who had been made an Athenian citizen and who was an extreme opponent of Macedon, was proposed as commander in chief, but the job eventually went to Phocion (cf. p. 379). On the other side Demades, a man from a poor background who was to be prominent among the friends of Macedon in the 330’ s and 320’ s, was captured in the battle, was liberated after reproaching Philip for his wild exultation (cf. p. 356), and then went with Aeschines to negotiate with Philip. Phocion also supported acceptance of the peace (Plut. Phoc. 16. v). Athens voted citizenship and other honours for Philip and Alexander ([Demades] Twelve Years 9, schol. Aristid. Panath. 178. 16 [iii. 297 Dindorf]).

In winter 338/7, as the new reality sank in, there was a change of mood. Aeschines was nominated but Demosthenes was appointed to deliver the funeral oration for those killed at Chaeronea (Dem. XVIII. Crown 285 – 8, Plut. Dem. 21. i – ii); and work on the fortifications continued, with Demosthenes as a member of the supervisory board (Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 17, 31, Dem. XVIII. Crown 113). Demosthenes was elected theoric treasurer for 337/6 (Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 24); Acarnanians were honoured who had fought with the Athenians as volunteers at Chaeronea and had fled to Athens after Philip’ s settlement (IG ii 2 237 = R&O 77 ∼ Harding 100); even Phocion had his doubts about the League of Corinth (Plut. Phoc. 16. v – vii). The rival factions took to the courts. Demosthenes was constantly under attack (Dem. XVIII. Crown 249); Aristogiton was involved in prosecutions of him and of Hyperides (schol. [Dem.] XXV. Aristogiton i. 37 [16 Dilts]), [Plut.] X Orat. 848 f – 849 a, cf. Hyp. fr. 18 Burtt). In return, Lycurgus prosecuted men for cowardice in 338 (Lycurg. frs. 9 – 10 Burtt, cf. Diod. Sic. XVI. 88. i – ii); and when Demades proposed honours for one of the men who had betrayed Olynthus to Philip in 348, Hyperides prosecuted him for that (Hyp. fr. 19 Burtt).

Early in 336 Ctesiphon proposed that Demosthenes should be honoured for a third time; but as Philip’ s Persian campaign got under way public opinion shifted yet again: honours were voted for Macedonians (IG ii 2 239 – 40 = Tod 180 – 1), and even for Philip himself in connection with Cleopatra’ s wedding (Diod. Sic. XVI. 92. i – ii). Aeschines took advantage of this shift to launch a prosecution of Ctesiphon, on three counts: that he was proposing honours for Demosthenes while Demosthenes held offices for which he was subject to account; that he was proposing proclamation of the honours at the Dionysia; and, above all, that he was making a false statement in a public document by claiming that Demosthenes always spoke and acted in the best interests of Athens (Aeschin. III.Ctesiphon 9 – 31, 32 – 48, 49 – 50). Then Philip was murdered. There was a chance that the succession would be disputed and all that he had achieved for Macedon would be undone; while Demosthenes led the rejoicing in Athens, Aeschines dropped the prosecution.

All too quickly, Alexander asserted himself and marched into Greece. When he reached Thebes, Athens panicked and sent a deputation to protest its loyalty; Demosthenes, though a member of the deputation, could not face Alexander and turned back (there were allegations that he was in touch both with Attalus and with the Persians), and it was Demades who made an agreement with Alexander (Diod. Sic. XVII. 4. v – ix, cf. 3. ii, 5. i, Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 161, [Demades] Twelve Years 14). In 335, while Alexander campaigned in Thrace and Illyria, Demosthenes was allegedly receiving Persian money to support Greek resistance to Macedon (Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 239 – 40, Din. I. Dem. 10, 18 – 22, Plut. Dem. 20. iv – v). Rumours that Alexander had been killed led Thebes to revolt, with encouragement from Demosthenes, but again Alexander quickly appeared, and Thebes was destroyed; and again there was a panic in Athens. Originally Alexander demanded that his opponents should be handed over to him: Demosthenes, Lycurgus and Charidemus appear in all versions of the list, Polyeuctus (and, less likely, Hyperides) in some. Phocion would have handed them over, but on Demades’ proposal the two of them went to talk to Alexander, and Alexander was satisfied with the exile of Charidemus – who, with others, joined the Persians (Plut. Dem. 23. vi probably gives the authentic list; variants Diod. Sic. XVII. 15, Arr. Anab. I. 10. iii – vi, Plut. Phoc. 17. ii – x). Athens rewarded Demades with a statue and meals in the prytaneion, despite the opposition of Lycurgus and Polyeuctus (Din. I. Demosthenes 101, cf. Lycurg. fr. 14 Burtt, Polyeuctus fr. i. 1 Sauppe).

By now the council of the Areopagus had attained a surprising prominence. At the beginning of the century Athens’ new code of laws had been entrusted to the care of the Areopagus (decree ap. Andoc. I. Myst. 84), but there is no sign that this had any practical effect. About 354 Isocrates in VII. Areopagitic wrote of a glorious past of Athens in which the Areopagus had played an important role. In 352/1 the Areopagus, appropriately in view of its religious concerns, headed a list of those who were to take care of the Athenian sanctuaries (IG ii 2 204 = R&O 58. 16 – 23).

More strikingly, from the mid 340’ s we find the Areopagus on a number of occasions making an apophasis (‘report’) to the assembly (cf. Din. I. Demosthenes 50 – 1). In 345 Timarchus put forward a plan to clean up the area of the Pnyx: in accordance with his decree the Areopagus was called on to report, and it reported unfavourably (Aeschin. I. Timarchus 81 – 4). Two other episodes are probably to be dated c. 345 – 343. A man called Antiphon, deleted from the citizen registers in 346, was charged by Demosthenes with intending to set fire to Athens’ dockyards for Philip; Aeschines successfully defended him; but the Areopagus had the case reopened and he was convicted (Dem. XVIII. Crown 132 – 3 with schol. [245, 249, 252 Dilts], Plut. Dem. 14. v). When the Delians complained to the Delphic Amphictyony about Athens’ control of their sanctuary of Apollo, the assembly elected Aeschines to respond, but referred the matter to the Areopagus, and the Areopagus substituted Hyperides – who convinced the Amphictyony (Dem. XVIII. Crown 134 – 6, [Plut.] X Orat. 850 a, cf. Hyp. fr. 1 Burtt). After Chaeronea, when some men wanted the chief command to be conferred on Charidemus, the Areopagus persuaded the assembly to appoint Phocion (Plut. Phoc. 16. iv). Dinarchus mentions a decree of Demosthenes authorising the Areopagus to punish offenders, and cites four cases including that of Antiphon (Din. I. Demosthenes 62 – 3); but probably he is confusing the issues, and these were all instances of apophasis, which as an exercise of the citizens’ right to address the assembly may not have required formal institution. After Chaeronea the Areopagus condemned some of the men accused of cowardice or treason (Lycurg. Leocrates 52 – 4, Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 252), and it is here that we should place Demosthenes’ decree giving the Areopagus enhanced judicial powers.

Except in the case of Phocion’ s command, the Areopagus was consistently taking Demosthenes’ side on controversial matters, and his opponents were alarmed and considered this undemocratic. This, I believe, is why, in early summer 337/ 6, when the mood in Athens was pro - Macedonian, a law was passed threatening the Areopagus with suspension if the democracy was overthrown (Agora xvi 73 = R&O 79 ∼ Harding 101); similarly a powerful theoric treasurer was perceived as undemocratic when that treasurer was Demosthenes, and Hegemon’ s law on financial officials (cf. pp. 372 – 3) probably belongs to this same context. The Areopagus’ prestige survived the attack: it was ordered to investigate allegations about Demosthenes and Persian money in 335, with no result that we know of (Din. I. Demosthenes 10), and the matter of Harpalus’ money in 324 – 323 (below).

At this time there seems to have been a good deal of sensitivity about democracy, but a lack of clarity about what the essentials of democracy were. In Apollodorus’ speech Against Neaera, of c. 343 – 340, and Isocrates’ Panathenaic, of c. 342 – 339, we have praise of the democracy attributed to the legendary Theseus, which is represented as a democracy of a moderate kind ([Dem.] LIX Neaera 75 – 7; Isoc. XII Panath. 143 – 8). The relief at the top of the stele bearing the law threatening the Areopagus has been identified as showing Demokratia crowning Demos. In 333/2 the council set up a statue of Demokratia, and in the following two years the generals are recorded as sacrificing to Demokratia (IG ii 2 2791; 1496. 131 – 2, 140 – 1); it has been suggested that the cult was instituted in 403/2 but was given new emphasis in the 330’ s.

After 335 politics entered a new phase: for the time being, Alexander was unquestionably in control, and Athens had to live with that; but there was still a chance that he would be defeated and killed in his Asiatic wars and that Macedon’ s supremacy would collapse, and Athens had to be ready to seize the opportunity if it arose. Demosthenes and his supporters kept in the background and his opponents ran Athens, except that Lycurgus took charge of the finances (though Demades was stratiotic treasurer, at any rate in 334/3: SEG xxi 552. 12). Attempts were made both to revive Athens’ morale after the humiliation of Chaeronea and to maintain Athens’ military preparedness.

In what has been called the silver age of Lycurgus (by comparison with the golden age of Pericles), Athens enjoyed its first major public building programme since Pericles’ time (cf. [Plut.] X Orat. 841 c – e). Under Eubulus and/ or Lycurgus the Pnyx was remodelled. Work in the agora included rebuilding the temple of Apollo Patroos, north of the council - house complex, and relocating to face that complex the monument of the eponymoi (the tribal heroes), whose base served as a state notice - board. A monumental theatre of Dionysus was built (cf. ill. 28, map 3), and a Panathenaic stadium. Whereas the Periclean buildings had been erected largely at public expense (‘public’ including tribute from the Delian League: cf. pp. 56, 67 – 70), Lycurgus encouraged rich individuals to make contributions in exchange for inexpensive honours: a decree of Lycurgus honours a Plataean who helped with the theatre and the stadium (IG ii 2 351 + 654 = Schwenk 48 = R&O 94 ∼ Harding 118); in 321/0 Xenocles, the epimelete of the Mysteries, built a bridge on the Sacred Way from Athens to Eleusis (IG ii 2 1191, 2840, Anth. Pal. IX. 147). There was a religious revival: festivals were reorganised, with specific items of revenue earmarked to finance them (Agora xvi 75 = Schwenk 17 = R&O 81, cf. IG ii 2 333 = Schwenk 21); definitive texts of the tragedies of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were edited ([Plut.] X Orat. 841 f); Athens was assiduous in sending delegations to sanctuaries elsewhere (e.g. Hyp. IV. Euxenippus 22 – 4, Lyc. fr. 4 Burtt).

Ill. 28 Athens: theatre of Dionysus. ©Topfoto


Athenians came of age at eighteen, and for two years were epheboi, ‘on the verge of adulthood’. There had always been training opportunities of some kind for the epheboi (cf. Aeschin. II. Embassy 167), but about 335/4 a compulsory two - year programme was instituted for all young Athenians (probably, of hoplite class and above): the first year was devoted to military training, visits to temples and garrison duty at the Piraeus, the second to garrison duty on the frontiers (Ath. Pol. 42. ii – iv: inscribed lists begin with theepheboi of 334/3, IG ii 2 1156, but the inscribed version of the oath sworn by the epheboi, R&O 88. 5 – 20 ~ Harding 109 [see box], probably belongs to the 340’ s, before the reform).

The traditional oath of the epheboi, which the epheboi are required to swear:
  ‘I shall not disgrace the sacred weapons, nor shall I desert the man beside me, wherever I am stationed. I shall fight in defence of things sacred and profane, and I shall hand on the fatherland not less but greater and better as far as I am able and with all. And I shall hearken to those currently exercising power reasonably, and to the laws which have been established and whatever will be established reasonably in the future: if any one destroys these, I shall not allow it as far as I am able and with all, and I shall honour the traditional religion. Witnesses: the gods Aglaurus, Hestia, Enyo, Enyalius, Ares and Athena Areia, Zeus, Thallo, Auxo, Hegemone, Heracles, the boundaries of the fatherland, wheat, barley, vines, olives, figs.’ (R&O 88. 5 - 20)

When Athens had been great, it had been a great naval power. An enlargement of the navy was begun in the time of Eubulus – Athens had 283 ships in 357/6, despite the Social War 349 in 353/2 (IG ii 2 1611. 9, 1613. 302) – and under Lycurgus there was further enlargement and also modernisation, with the introduction of quadriremes and quinqueremes (ships with more than one man to an oar, more stable but slower: for the attribution of this development to Dionysius I of Syracuse cf. p. 318; quinqueremes were to replace triremes as the standard Greek warships) – 392 triremes + 18 quadriremes = 410 in 330/29, 360 triremes + 50 quadriremes + 2 quinqueremes = 412 in 325/4 (IG ii 2 1627. 266 – 9, 275 – 8, 1629. 783 – 812 corrected). This was a larger navy than Athens had had in the fifth century, but the expenditure seems to have been futile: Athens could not find the oarsmen for so many ships, and there was now no rival naval power against which so many ships would be needed (in the Lamian War of 323 – 322 Athens used only 170 ships).

Charidemus and others had joined the Persians (cf. pp. 378 – 9), and Iphicrates the younger along with envoys from Sparta and Thebes was found in Darius’ entourage after the battle of Issus in 333 (Arr. Anab. II. 15. ii– iv). Alexander kept the Athenian contingent when he dismissed the rest of his fleet in 334 (Diod. Sic. XVII. 22. v), and took care to keep Athens loyal (Arr. Anab. III. 6. ii, 16. vii – viii). Despite the hopes of his opponents, he defeated Persian armies at the Granicus in 334 and at Issus in 333 (on his campaigns see chapter 26). In 331, as he was about to face the Persians in Mesopotamia, the Spartans took advantage of trouble in Thrace to rise against Macedon (cf. p. 386), and Athens, whose sea power could seriously have increased the pressure on Macedon, had to decide whether to join the rising. Demades helped to keep Athens out of it (Plut. Praec. Ger. Reip. 818 e), and this time Demosthenes played safe (Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 165 – 7, Din. I. Demosthenes 34 – 6, Plut. Dem 24. i). However, Lycurgus’ honours for the Plataean who supported the building programme praised him also for offering to make an epidosis ‘towards the war if there were any need’ (inscription cited above, 12 – 15): probably this is the war in question, and its mention indicates that Lycurgus would have liked Athens to take part. If the anti - Macedonian [Dem.] XVII. Treaty with Alexander is by Hyperides and is to be dated 331, perhaps he too was in favour.

But the rising was defeated, and the Persians were defeated at Gaugamela. In 330 Lycurgus made the anti - Macedonian gesture of prosecuting one more man for treasonable conduct in 338, Leocrates, who escaped by a tied vote (Lycurg. Leocrates, cf. Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 252). Aeschines seized the opportunity to revive the prosecution of Ctesiphon, which he had dropped in 336 (Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon, Dem. XVIII. Crown), but he had misjudged the mood of the Athenians: although resistance to Macedon was not possible now, the jurors backed the man who had resisted when it was possible. Aeschines failed to obtain a fifth of the votes, and left Athens ([Plut.] X Orat. 840 c – e, Plut. Dem. 24. ii – iii).

From the mid 330’ s to the late 320’ s there were corn shortages in Greece, caused apparently by crop failures in and near the eastern Mediterranean, and known to us particularly from inscriptions. Heraclides of Salamis in Cyprus helped Athens in 330/29 and 328/7 by selling corn at a fair price, and by making an epidosis (IG ii 2 360 = R&O 95). Demosthenes served on a purchasing board and contributed 1 talent ([Plut.] X Orat. 845 f, 851 b). In 325/4, to protect imports from the west against pirates, the Athenians sent a colony to the Adriatic, presided over by Miltiades, a member of the family which had been influential in the sixth and fifth centuries (IG ii 2 1629 = R&O 100. 165 – 271, part trans. Harding 121). An inscription from Cyrene lists those to whom it supplied corn, with Athens as the largest recipient (SEG ix 2 = R&O 96 ∼ Harding 116). There seems also to have been an attempt to bring more land in Attica under cultivation, and at the same time to raise money by selling off under - used public land.

Athens received corn also from Harpalus, Alexander’ s treasurer (while it supplied him with women), and rewarded him with citizenship (Theopompus FGrH 115 FF 253 – 4 and Python ap. Ath. XIII. 595 a – 596 b, cf. 586 c – d). Subsequently, in 324, when Alexander returned to the centre of his empire and began punishing offenders (cf. pp. 398, 414), Harpalus fled, and approached Athens with thirty ships, six thousand mercenaries and a large sum of money. Demosthenes had largely remained out of the limelight since 330; but now he proposed the decree forbidding Harpalus to land. After taking his ships and mercenaries to Taenarum (cf. below), Harpalus returned to Athens as a suppliant with 700 talents. Various Macedonians demanded that he should be surrendered to them but, again on Demosthenes’ proposal, the Athenians decided to surrender him only if demanded by Alexander himself, and meanwhile to place him under arrest and keep the money on the acropolis. Alexander’ s edict for the restoration of exiles threatened Athens’ possession of Samos, and it was again Demosthenes who headed Athens’ delegation to the Olympic games to raise the issue with Alexander’ s representative Nicanor (cf. Din. I. Demosthenes 81 – 2, 103). Shortly after this Harpalus escaped (to Crete, where he was murdered), and when the Athenians checked the money they found that half had gone (Diod. Sic. XVII. 108. vi – 109. i, Plut. Dem. 25, [Plut.] X Orat. 846 a – b).

There was an outcry, and by a decree of Demosthenes the Areopagus was commissioned to investigate. After six months it produced a list of offenders headed by Demosthenes and Demades, and also including Polyeuctus and Aristogiton; there was inevitably a story that Phocion had resisted temptation. Public prosecutors were elected, who like the accused came from both sides of the old political divide: they included Hyperides and Menesaechmus. We have four prosecuting speeches, Hyperides V. Demosthenes, and Dinarchus (written for others) I. Demosthenes, II. Aristogiton, III. Philocles. Demosthenes was tried first, fined 50 talents and escaped into exile; Demades also was convicted; some men including Aristogiton were acquitted (Diod. Sic. XVII. 108. vii, [Plut.] X Orat.846 c, Plut. Dem. 26. i – iv, Phoc. 21. iii – iv, Din. I. Dem. 45, 82, Hyp. V. Demosthenes col. 18, Dem. Letter iii. 37, 42). This was an explosion of anger in some ways comparable to the explosion after the battle of Arginusae in 406 (cf. p. 177); and shortly afterwards the nature of the world was changed by Alexander’ s death.

An Athenian called Leosthenes became leader of the body of mercenaries which began to assemble at Taenarum in Laconia when Alexander ordered provincial governors to dismiss their mercenary forces, and he was in touch with the Athenian council and also with the Aetolians (Diod. Sic. XVII.

111. i – iii, XVIII. 9. i – iii, Paus. I. 25. v, VIII. 52. v). There is a Leosthenes who appears as general ‘for the territory’ in an Athenian inscription (Reinmuth, Ephebic Inscriptions 15, l.h.s. 2 – 6): this second Leosthenes was the son of the Leosthenes who was defeated by Alexander of Pherae in 362 – 361 (cf. p. 273), and who went in exile to the Macedonian court (Aeschin. II. Embassy 21 with schol. [46b Dilts]). Often the ephebic inscription has been dated 324/3 and Leosthenes the general ‘for the territory’ has been identified with Leosthenes the mercenary commander; but more probably they are different men.

When Alexander died, in June 323, the old political alignments in Athens resurfaced. Athens led a Greek rising against Macedon, in what is called the Lamian War, since the main land campaign was fought near Lamia in Thessaly (in general, Diod. Sic. XVIII. 8 – 18). This rising was the work of Hyperides, backed by Demosthenes, who was allowed to return from exile (Plut. Dem. 27, [Plut.] X Orat. 846 c – d, 849 f – 850 a), and it was opposed by Demades, who lost his political rights after three times prosecuting unsuccessfully in graphai paranomon, and by Phocion (Diod. Sic. XVIII. 18. i – ii, Plut. Phoc. 22. v – 23, 26. iii). The influence of Hyperides is reflected in the fact that in 322 he was chosen to deliver the Funeral Oration (VI). But after a Macedonian victory at Crannon the rising collapsed. Demades had his rights restored, and he and Phocion negotiated with Antipater. Antipater’ s demands included the handing over of Demosthenes, who committed suicide, and Hyperides, who was sent to Macedon and executed. Though Phocion was not an enthusiast for democracy, in general the pro - Macedonians were neither more nor less democratic than the anti - Macedonians, but Demosthenes and his supporters had too often linked democracy with freedom. In the first of a series of changes over the next half - century, Athens was given not only a Macedonian garrison but an oligarchic constitution (Diod. Sic. XVIII. 18, Plut. Dem. 28, Phoc. 26. iii – 28, [Plut.] X Orat. 846 e – 847 b, 849 a – d). Demades and Phocion were both put to death in the upheavals of the next few years.


When Cleombrotus was killed at Leuctra in 371 he was succeeded by his elder son, Agesipolis II; but Agesipolis died almost immediately, in 370, and the Agid throne then passed to Agesipolis’ brother Cleomenes II, who reigned until 309 but has left hardly any trace in the records. Of the Eurypontids, Agesilaus survived the battle of Mantinea in 362 and died in 360/59 on his way back from mercenary service in Egypt. He was succeeded by his son Archidamus III (cf. ill. 29), who is commonly mentioned when Sparta was involved in foreign affairs: he was consulted by Philomelus before his seizure of Delphi in 356 (Diod. Sic. XVI. 24. i – ii, cf. Paus. III. 10. iii) and was appointed to command the Spartans in support of the Phocians in 346 (Diod. Sic. XVI. 59. i). When the Spartans did take part in the war, at Thermopylae in 352, Diodorus does not name the commander (XVI. 37. iii). From 353 to 350, while the Greeks were distracted by the Sacred War, Sparta tried to recover Messenia on the principle of echein ta heauton and attacked Megalopolis, and here again Archidamus is mentioned as commander (Diod. Sic. XVI. 39. i: cf. p. 343). In the west, Sparta had supported Dionysius I in Syracuse; and Spartan agents were active there in the mid 350’ s (cf. p. 326).

Ill. 29 Bust of Archidamus III. © Alinari/ Topfoto


In 344 Sparta was fighting against Argos and Messene, which received help from Philip (Dem. VI. Phil. ii. 15, hyp. 2). Perhaps after that Archidamus went abroad: first to Crete, where he successfully supported Lyctus in a war against Cnossus, which was employing Phalaecus and his surviving mercenaries (Diod. Sic. XVI. 62. iii – iv, under 346/5); then to Italy to support Sparta’ s colony Taras against the Lucanians, where he was killed in 338, allegedly on the day of the battle of Chaeronea (Diod. Sic. XVI. 62. iv – 63. ii, 89. iii – iv). He was succeeded by his eldest son Agis III.

The Spartans did not fight at Chaeronea, and they did not take part in Philip’ s common peace and League of Corinth. It appears that Philip invaded Laconia, and gave various border territories to Sparta’ s enemies; with or without a treaty, Sparta acquiesced. In 334 after the battle of the Granicus Alexander’ s dedication in Athens celebrated a victory won by him and ‘the Greeks except the Spartans’, and in 333 there was a Spartan envoy with Darius at Issus (Arr. Anab. I. 16. vii, II. 15. ii – v; cf. p. 394). An attempt to fight back in Alexander’ s rear had been begun by Memnon and was continued after his death by Pharnabazus and Autophradates: Agis asked them for ships and men to fight in the Peloponnese, but after Issus they could spare only 30 talents and ten ships, which were taken by Agis’ brother Agesilaus to Crete. Agis himself in 332 joined Autophradates at Halicarnassus, receiving more money and 8,000 of Darius’ mercenaries, and he took them to Crete: gratitude earned there might gain him more mercenaries for fighting in Greece (Arr. Anab. II. 13. iv – vi, Diod. Sic. XVII. 48. i – ii, Curt. IV. i. 38 – 40).

For what follows the exact dating is uncertain, but the essentials are clear enough. At some point in 331, if not before Alexander’ s victory at Gaugamela, surely before the news of it had reached Greece (contr. Diod. Sic. XVII. 62. i), the attention of Antipater in Macedon was distracted by a rebellion of Memnon, the Macedonian governor of Thrace, and Agis seized the opportunity to begin a rising in Greece. With support from most of the Peloponnese and Thessaly he had an army of 2,000 cavalry, 20,000 citizen infantry and 10,000 mercenaries, but Athens did not join in (cf. p. 382). After winning an initial victory, he began a siege of Megalopolis with good prospects of success. In the winter of 331/0, if the episode was over, Alexander did not yet know: he sent 3,000 talents to provide whatever Antipater needed for the war (Arr. Anab. III. 16. ix – x, cf. Diod. Sic. XVII. 64. v, Curt. V. i. 43). Antipater came to an arrangement with Memnon, raised an army of 40,000 (to which some League of Corinth states contributed) and marched to Megalopolis. Either late in 331 or early in 330 the Spartans were defeated and Agis was killed (Diod. Sic. XVII. 62 – 3, Curt. lacuna – VI. i, Aeschin. III. Ctesiphon 165 – 7, Din. I. Demosthenes 34). Cleomenes’ son Acrotatus was beaten up for opposing the exemption from disgrace of Spartans who survived the defeat (Diod. Sic. XIX. 70. iv – v).

Antipater took hostages from Sparta and referred the matter to the League, and the League referred it to Alexander (Diod. Sic. XVII. 73. v – vi). We are not told the outcome for Sparta, but presumably it was required to join the League; Achaea and Elis were made to pay compensation to Megalopolis (Curt. VI. i. 20). Sparta is not among the states supplied with corn by Cyrene, but Elis is (SEG ix 2 = R&O 96 ∼ Harding 116: Elis l. 34), so Sparta’ s absence more probably reflects lack of need than hostility. Agis’ brother Eudamidas succeeded him: despite the wishes of some, Sparta refused to join Athens in the Lamian War in 323, and Eudamidas is associated with that refusal (Plut. Spartan Sayings 220 e – f).


On eisphora see G. E. M. de Ste. Croix, ‘Demosthenes’ Tl|J.r|(Aa and the Athenian Eisphora in the Fourth Century BC’, C & M xiv 1953, 30 - 70; P. J. Rhodes, ‘Problems in Athenian Eisphora and Liturgies’, AJAH vii 1982 [published 1985], 1 - 19; M. R. Christ, ‘The Evolution of theEisphora in Classical Athens’ , CQ 2 lvii 2007, 53 - 69 (suggesting that before 378/7 each payer paid the same amount). On festival liturgies see J. K. Davies , ‘Demosthenes on Liturgies: A Note’ , JHS lxxxvii 1967, 33 – 40; on the trierarchy see Gabrielsen , Financing the Athenian Fleet. On the theoric fund and Lycurgus’ office epi tei dioikesei see Rhodes , The Athenian Boule , 105 - 8, 235 - 40.

The suggestion that the katagogia of Xenophon, Poroi , iii. 12, are not hotels but brothels was made by A. J. Graham, ‘The Woman at the Window: Observations on the “Stele from the Harbour” of Thasos’ , JHS cxviii 1998, 22 - 40 at 36 - 7.

On judicial changes see P. J. Rhodes, ‘Judicial Procedures in Fourth - Century Athens: Improvement or Simply Change?’ , in Eder (ed.), Die athenische Demokratie im 4. Jh. v. Chr. , 303 - 19. On Eubulus see G. L. Cawkwell, ‘Eubulus’ , JHS lxxxiii 1963, 47 - 67; on Phocion see Tritle ,Phocion the Good. On changing understandings of democracy see P. J. Rhodes, ‘Democracy and Its Opponents in Fourth - Century Athens’ , in Bultrighini (ed.), Democrazia e antidemocrazia nel mondo greco , 275 - 89. On the different lists of Athenians demanded by Alexander in 335 see Bosworth, Historical Commentary on Arrian , i. 93 – 5.

On the revival of the Areopagus see P. J. Rhodes, ‘Judicial Procedures in Fourth -Century Athens’ (above), 311 – 14; R. W. Wallace, ‘“Investigations and Reports” by the Areopagos Council and Demosthenes’ Areopagos Decree’ , in Polis and PoliticsM. H. Hansen , 581 – 95; J. A. Sullivan, ‘Demosthenes’ Areopagus Legislation – Ye t Again’ , CQ2 liii 2003, 130 – 4.

New technology has made it possible to decipher in a palimpsest (a manuscript in which a later text was superimposed on an earlier) part of Hyperides’ speech Against Diondas , successfully defending his proposal of 338 to honour Demosthenes, in a grapheparanomon which came to trial in 334: see C. Carey et al., ‘Fragments of Hyperides’ Against Diondas from the Archimedes Palimpsest’ , ZPE clxv 2008, 1 – 19.

On the silver age of Lycurgus see F. W. Mitchel, ‘Athens in the Age of Alexander’ , G & R2 xii 1965, 189 – 204.

On Agis’ war against Macedon see E. Badian, ‘Agis III: Revisions and Reflections’ , in Ventures into Greek History (… N. G. L. Hammond) , ch. 13.

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