Demosthenes, Orations 8. On the Chersonese

LCL 238: 178-179

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[90]Ἔδει μέν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, τοὺς λέγοντας ἅπαντας μήτε πρὸς ἔχθραν ποιεῖσθαι λόγον μηδένα μήτε πρὸς χάριν, ἀλλ᾿ ὃ βέλτιστον ἕκαστος ἡγεῖτο, τοῦτ᾿ ἀποφαίνεσθαι, ἄλλως τε καὶ περὶ κοινῶν πραγμάτων καὶ μεγάλων ὑμῶν βουλευομένων· ἐπειδὴ δ᾿ ἔνιοι τὰ μὲν φιλονικίᾳ, τὰ δ᾿ ᾑτινιδήποτ᾿ αἰτίᾳ προάγονται λέγειν, ὑμᾶς, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, τοὺς πολλοὺς δεῖ πάντα τἄλλ᾿ ἀφελόντας, ἃ τῇ πόλει νομίζετε συμφέρειν, ταῦτα 2καὶ ψηφίζεσθαι καὶ πράττειν. ἡ μὲν οὖν σπουδὴ περὶ τῶν ἐν Χερρονήσῳ πραγμάτων ἐστὶ καὶ τῆς στρατείας, ἣν ἑνδέκατον μῆνα τουτονὶ Φίλιππος ἐν Θρᾴκῃ ποιεῖται· τῶν δὲ λόγων οἱ πλεῖστοι περὶ ὧν Διοπείθης πράττει καὶ μέλλει ποιεῖν εἴρηνται. ἐγὼ δ᾿ ὅσα μέν τις αἰτιᾶταί τινα τούτων, οὓς κατὰ τοὺς νόμους ἐφ᾿ ὑμῖν ἐστιν, ὅταν βούλησθε, κολάζειν, κἂν ἤδη δοκῇ κἂν ἐπισχοῦσι περὶ αὐτῶν σκοπεῖν ἐγχωρεῖν ἡγοῦμαι, καὶ οὐ πάνυ δεῖ περὶ τούτων οὔτ᾿ ἔμ᾿ οὔτ᾿ ἄλλον οὐδέν᾿ 3ἰσχυρίζεσθαι· ὅσα δ᾿ ἐχθρὸς ὑπάρχων τῇ πόλει καὶ δυνάμει πολλῇ περὶ Ἑλλήσποντον ὢν πειρᾶται προλαβεῖν, κἂν ἅπαξ ὑστερήσωμεν, οὐκέθ᾿ ἕξομεν σῷσαι, περὶ τούτων δ᾿ οἴομαι τὴν ταχίστην [91]συμφέρειν καὶ βεβουλεῦσθαι καὶ παρεσκευάσθαι,


On The Chersonese

Viii. on the chersonese

It should be the duty of all speakers, men of Athens, to give no expression to their hatred or their partiality, but to put forward just what each thinks the best counsel, especially when you are debating a question of urgent public importance. But since there are speakers who are impelled to address you, either as partisans or from some other motive, whatever it may be, you citizens who form the majority ought to dismiss all else from your minds, and vote and act in such a way as you think will best serve our city. The really serious problem is the state of the Chersonese and Philip’s Thracian campaign, now in its eleventh month; yet most of the speeches have been confined to what Diopithes is doing or what he is going to do. For my part, when charges are brought against any of those whom you can legally punish whenever you like, I hold that it is open to you either to deal with their case at once or to postpone it; and it is quite unnecessary for me or anyone else to take a strong line on the subject of such charges. But when our national enemy, with a strong force, is trying to forestall us in the neighbourhood of the Hellespont, and when, if we are once too late, we shall never again be able to save the situation, then I think it is to our interest to complete our plans and preparations as quickly as we can, and not

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.demosthenes-orations_viii_chersonese.1930