Demosthenes, Orations 2. Olynthiac 2

LCL 238: 22-23

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Demosthenes

II. ΟΛΥΝΘΙΑΚΟΣ Β

[18]Ἐπὶ πολλῶν μὲν ἄν τις ἰδεῖν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, δοκεῖ μοι τὴν παρὰ τῶν θεῶν εὔνοιαν φανερὰν γιγνομένην τῇ πόλει, οὐχ ἥκιστα δ᾿ ἐν τοῖς παροῦσι πράγμασι· τὸ γὰρ τοὺς πολεμήσοντας Φιλίππῳ γεγενῆσθαι καὶ χώραν ὅμορον καὶ δύναμίν τινα κεκτημένους, καὶ τὸ μέγιστον ἁπάντων, τὴν ὑπὲρ τοῦ πολέμου γνώμην τοιαύτην ἔχοντας, ὥστε τὰς πρὸς ἐκεῖνον διαλλαγὰς πρῶτον μὲν ἀπίστους, εἶτα τῆς ἑαυτῶν πατρίδος νομίζειν ἀνάστασιν, δαιμονίᾳ τινὶ καὶ θείᾳ παντάπασιν ἔοικεν εὐεργεσίᾳ. 2δεῖ τοίνυν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, τοῦτ᾿ ἤδη σκοπεῖν αὐτούς, ὅπως μὴ χείρους περὶ ἡμᾶς αὐτοὺς εἶναι δόξομεν τῶν ὑπαρχόντων, ὡς ἔστι τῶν αἰσχρῶν, μᾶλλον δὲ τῶν αἰσχίστων, μὴ μόνον πόλεων καὶ τόπων ὧν ἦμέν ποτε κύριοι φαίνεσθαι προϊεμένους, ἀλλὰ καὶ τῶν ὑπὸ τῆς τύχης παρασκευασθέντων συμμάχων καὶ καιρῶν.

3Τὸ μὲν οὖν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, τὴν Φιλίππου ῥώμην διεξιέναι καὶ διὰ τούτων τῶν λόγων προτρέπειν τὰ δέοντα ποιεῖν ὑμᾶς, οὐχὶ καλῶς ἔχειν ἡγοῦμαι. διὰ τί; ὅτι μοι δοκεῖ πάνθ᾿ ὅσ᾿ ἂν εἴποι τις ὑπὲρ τούτων, ἐκείνῳ μὲν ἔχειν φιλοτιμίαν, ἡμῖν δ᾿ οὐχὶ καλῶς πεπρᾶχθαι. ὁ μὲν γὰρ ὅσῳ πλείον᾿ ὑπὲρ τὴν ἀξίαν πεποίηκε τὴν αὑτοῦ,

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Second Olynthiac

II. Second Olynthiac

On many occasions, men of Athens, one may, I think, recognize the manifest favour of heaven towards our city, and not least at the present crisis. That Philip has found men willing to fight him, situated on his frontiers and possessed of considerable power, above all so determined that they regard any accommodation with him as both delusive and fatal to their own country—this has all the appearance of a superhuman, a divine beneficence. So the time has come, men of Athens, to look to it that we do not prove more unfriendly to ourselves than circumstances have been, for we shall show ourselves the meanest of mankind, if we abandon not only the cities and the places which we once called our own, but the very allies that fortune has raised up for us and the chances she throws in our way.

Now I do not choose, Athenians, to enumerate the resources of Philip and by such arguments to call on you to rise to the occasion. Do you ask why? Because it seems to me that any dissertation on that topic is a tribute to his enterprise, but a record of our failure. For the higher he has raised himself above his proper level, the more he wins the admiration

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.demosthenes-orations_ii_second_olynthiac.1930