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Divine TalkReligious Argumentation in Demosthenes$
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Gunther Martin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199560226

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199560226.001.0001

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On the False Embassy (Or. 19)

On the False Embassy (Or. 19)

(p.49) 2 On the False Embassy (Or. 19)
Divine Talk

Gunther Martin

Oxford University Press

In the first trial between Demosthenes and Aeschines, the former depicts his rival as a traitor who by accepting Philip of Macedon's bribes and acting against the interest of the Aeschines has effectively left the community of Athenians. Demosthenes uses references to cults, festivals, or ceremonies to support this political point: Aeschines has poured libations and sung the paean with the enemy, and he has caused disruption to an Athenian festival through his detrimental policies. Hardly ever does Demosthenes accuse Aeschines directly of being flawed in a religious way. The clearest instances of argumentation based on religion are the admonitions to the judges to heed the heliastic oath and therefore not to acquit Aeschines.

Keywords:   traitor, Philip of Macedon, Aeschines, festivals, heliastic oath

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