Aeschines - Greek statesman


Aeschines was a Greek Statesmen. And, he was one of the Ten attic orators. Participated in Campaigns like philus in Peleponnese, Battle of Mantinea & Phokion’s campaign in Euboea. The fall of Olynthus brought Aeschines into Politics.

Early Life

He was born in 389 BC. Although, it is known he was born in Athens. But, there’s conflict between records regarding his parentage & early life. His parents were poor, but they were very respected in society. His Father, Atrometus, an elementary school teacher of letters. His
Mother, Glaukothea, assisted in Religious rites of initiation for poors.


Aeschines tried his hands in Acting after assisting his father. Immediately after indifferent success as an Actor, he served in Army. And, held several clerkships & clerk at office to Boule.
In 347 BC, Aeschines addressed assembly of 10000 in Megalopolis, Arcadia. He urged people to unite & defend their independence against Philip. Then, he became member of peace embassy in Philip. Where he declared, in order to counteract prejudice effectively opposed by his opponents to defend Philip.

Treason Charges

His expansion began during 2 embassies. And, asked to ratify the terms of peace. Demosthenes & Timarchus accused him on charge of high treason. Aeschines counterattacked by claiming that Timarchus had forfeited the right to speak before the people. Thereafter, Timarchos hanged himself. The oration, Against Timarchus was considered important. Which highlighted bulk of Athenian laws which he cited. Because of successful attack on Timarchus, Aeschines was cleared of the charge of treason.

Attack by Demosthenes

In 343 BC, Demosthenes attacked Aeschines in his speech. Actually, he attacked On Aeschines False Embassy. Therefore, Aeschines replied in a speech with same title & was again acquitted. Afterwards, at one of the Athenian deputies (pylagorae) in the Amphictyonic Council, he delivered a speech which brought about 4th Sacred War.

Aeschines Endeavor

When Ctesiphon proposed that his friend Demosthenes should be rewarded with a golden crown. Thereby, Aeschines accused him for violating law in forwarding the motion. Soon, Aeschines & Demosthenes delivered their speeches Against Ctesiphon & on the Crown. Thus, results were announced & Demosthenes received overwhelming victory.

Exile & Death of Aeschines

Aeschines went into voluntary exile at Rhodes (to avoid the judgement of the jury, which was likely a large sum of money). There he opened a school of rhetoric. Thereafter, he came back to Samos & he died aged seventy-five. His three speeches, called by the ancients the Three
Graces, rank next to those of Demosthenes.

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