Ancient writers about Macedonia – Isocrates

 

Isocrates, Speeches and Letters, “To Philip”

[7]”and was convinced that they would be beneficial, not only to us, but also to YOU AND ALL THE OTHER Hellenes

[8]”unless the greatest states of Hellas should resolve to put an end to their mutual quarrels and carry the war beyond our borders into Asia and should determine to wrest from the barbarians the advantages which they now think it proper to get for themselves at the expense of the Hellenes”

[16] For I am going to advise you to champion the cause of concord among the Hellenes and of a campaign against the barbarian;”

[23]”not only would you and Athens be grateful to me for what I had said but all Hellas as well.”

[32]”you ought to make an effort to reconcile Argos and Lacedaemon and Thebes and Athens;1 for if you can bring these cities together, you will not find it hard to unite the others as well

[32] Now you will realize that it is not becoming in you to disregard any of these cities if you will review their conduct in relation to your ancestors; for you will find that each one of them is to be credited with great friendship and important services to your house: Argos is the land of your fathers,2 and is entitled to as much consideration at your hands as are your own ancestors; the Thebans honor the founder3 of your race, both by processionals and by sacrifices,4 beyond all the other gods;

[39]”that I am trying to persuade you to set yourself to an impossible task, since the Argives could never be friendly to the Lacedaemonians, nor the Lacedaemonians to the Thebans

[43] “If one should scan and review the misfortunes of the Hellenes in general, these will appear as nothing in comparison with those which we Athenians have experienced through the Thebans and the Lacedaemonians

[47] “The Lacedaemonians were the leaders of the Hellenes, not long ago, on both land and sea, and yet they suffered so great a reversal of fortune when they met defeat at Leuctra that they were deprived of their power OVER the Hellenes, and lost such of their warriors as chose to die rather than survive defeat at the hands of those over whom they had once been MASTERS.”

[48] “they are distrusted by all the Peloponnesians ; they are HATED BY MOST OF THE HELLENES

[54]”that whereas they once hoped that all Hellas would be SUBJECT to them, now they rest upon you5 the hopes of their own deliverance”

[56] “if she can be made to see that your object is to prepare for the campaign against the barbarians

[57] “That it is not, therefore, impossible for you to bring these cities together, I think has become evident to you from what I have said. But more than that, I believe I can convince you by many examples that it will also be easy for you to do this”

[63] that, although he possessed no resource whatever save his body and his wits, he was yet confident that he could conquer the Lacedaemonians, albeit they were the first power in Hellas on both land and sea; and, sending word to the generals of the Persian king, he promised that he would do this. What need is there to tell more of the story? For he collected a naval force off Rhodes, won a victory over the Lacedaemonians in a sea-fight,1 deposed them from their sovereignty, and SET THE HELLENES FREE.

[67] “how can we fail to expect that you, who are sprung from such ancestors, who are king of Macedonia and master of so many peoples, will effect with ease this UNION which we have discussed?

[73] “I observe that you are being painted in false colors by men who are jealous of you,1 for one thing, and are, besides, in the habit of stirring up trouble in their own cities–men who look upon a state of peace which is for the good of all as a state of war upon their selfish interests

[75] “By speaking this RUBBISH, by pretending to have exact knowledge and by speedily effecting in words the overthrow of the whole world, they are convincing many people

76] “For these latter are so far divorced from intelligence that they do not realize that one may apply the same words in some cases to a man’s injury, in others to his advantage”

“if, on the other hand, one should bring this charge against one of the descendants of Heracles, who made himself the benefactor of all Hellas

[82]”for which my nature and powers are suited, to give advice to Athens and to the Hellenes at large and to the most distinguished among men. ”

[87] “until someone has composed the quarrels of the Hellenes and has cured them of the madness which now afflicts them. And this is just what I have advised you to do

[105] “I believe that both your own father and the founder of your kingdom,2 and also the progenitor of your race – were it lawful for Heracles and possible for the others to appear as your counsellors–would advise the very things which I have urged”

“men have arisen3 who thought themselves worthy to rule over Hellas, while among the Hellenes no one has aspired so high as to attempt to make us masters of Asia? [125] Nay, we have dropped so far behind the barbarians that”

[127] “and, while it is only natural for the OTHER descendants of Heracles, and for men who are under the bonds of their polities and laws, to cleave fondly to that state in which they happen to dwell, it is your privilege, as one who has been blessed with untrammeled freedom,5 to consider all Hellas your FATHERLAND, as did the founder of your race

[128] Perhaps there are those–men capable of nothing else but criticism–who will venture to rebuke me because I have chosen to challenge you to the task of leading the expedition against the barbarians and of taking Hellas under your care, while I have passed over my own city.”

[129] Well, if I were trying to present this matter to any others before having broached it to my own country, which has thrice freed Hellas–twice from the barbarians and once from the Lacedaemonian yoke

o arouse to action whoever I think will best be able to benefit the Hellenes in any way or to rob the barbarians of their present prosperity. ”

[132] Consider also what a disgrace it is to sit idly by and see Asia flourishing more than Europe and the barbarians enjoying a greater prosperity1 than the Hellenes

[140]”when AMONG all the Hellenes you shall stand forth as a statesman who has worked for the good of Hellas, and as a general who has overthrown the barbarians?”

[141] “for since you have overthrown more nations than any of the Hellenes has ever taken cities

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Want more of this? See these Posts:

  1. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Isocrates
  2. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Aeschines
  3. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Aeschines
  4. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Callisthenes
  5. Ancient writers about Macedonia – Herodotus
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