Thursday, May 12, 2022


The King and His Subjects

Demosthenes 2.15-16 (tr. J.H. Vince, slightly modified):
[15] You must not imagine, men of Athens, that Philip's subjects share his tastes. No: glory is his sole object and ambition; in action and in danger he has elected to suffer whatever may befall him, putting before a life of safety the distinction of achieving what no other king of Macedonia ever achieved.

[16] But his subjects have no share in the glory that results. They are perpetually buffeted and wearied and distressed by these expeditions north and south, never suffered to give their time to their business or their private affairs, never able to dispose of such produce as they can raise, because the war has closed all the markets in their land.

[15] μὴ γὰρ οἴεσθ᾽, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, τοῖς αὐτοῖς Φίλιππόν τε χαίρειν καὶ τοὺς ἀρχομένους, ἀλλ᾽ ὁ μὲν δόξης ἐπιθυμεῖ καὶ τοῦτ᾽ ἐζήλωκε, καὶ προῄρηται πράττων καὶ κινδυνεύων, ἂν συμβῇ τι, παθεῖν, τὴν τοῦ διαπράξασθαι ταῦθ᾽ ἃ μηδεὶς πώποτ᾽ ἄλλος Μακεδόνων βασιλεὺς δόξαν ἀντὶ τοῦ ζῆν ἀσφαλῶς ᾑρημένος·

[16] τοῖς δὲ τῆς μὲν φιλοτιμίας τῆς ἀπὸ τούτων οὐ μέτεστι, κοπτόμενοι δ᾽ ἀεὶ ταῖς στρατείαις ταύταις ταῖς ἄνω κάτω λυποῦνται καὶ συνεχῶς ταλαιπωροῦσιν, οὔτ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἔργοις οὔτ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῖς αὑτῶν ἰδίοις ἐώμενοι διατρίβειν, οὔθ᾽ ὅσ᾽ ἂν ποιήσωσιν οὕτως ὅπως ἂν δύνωνται, ταῦτ᾽ ἔχοντες διαθέσθαι κεκλειμένων τῶν ἐμπορίων τῶν ἐν τῇ χώρᾳ διὰ τὸν πόλεμον.

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