Home | Texts by category | | Quick Search:   
Works by Demosthenes
Pages of The First Philippic

Previous | Next

The First Philippic   

both of horse and foot, all these generals and officers would he
present. Thus, there were ten generals at Marathon. A change took place
in later times, when the armies were more miscellaneous. Three Athenian
generals were frequently employed, and at a still later period only one.
Demosthenes here touches on a very important matter, which we can well
understand, viz. the necessity of officering the foreign mercenaries
from home.] of horse? How are they employed? Except one man, whom you
commission on service abroad, the rest conduct your processions with the
sacrificers. Like puppet-makers, you elect your infantry and cavalry
officers for the market-place, not for war. Consider, Athenians, should
there not be native captains, a native general of horse, your own
commanders, that the force might really be the state's? Or should your
general of horse sail to Lemnos, [Footnote: To assist at a religious
ceremony held annually at Lemnos, where many Athenians resided.] while
Menelaus commands the cavalry fighting for your possessions? I speak not
as objecting to the man, but he ought to be elected by you, whoever the
person be.

Perhaps you admit the justice of these statements, but wish principally
to hear about the supplies, what they must be and whence procured. I
will satisfy you. Supplies, then, for maintenance, mere rations for
these troops, come to ninety talents and a little more: for ten swift
galleys forty talents, twenty minas a month to every ship; for two
thousand soldiers forty more, that each soldier may receive for rations
ten drachms a month; and for two hundred horsemen, each receiving thirty
drachms a month, twelve talents. [Footnote: As to Athenian money, see
Appendix II.] Should any one think rations for the men a small
provision, he judges erroneously. Furnish that, and I am sure the army
itself will, without injuring any Greek or ally, procure every thing
else from the war, so as to make out their full pay. I am ready to join
the fleet as a volunteer, and submit to any thing, if this be not so.
Now for the ways and means of the supply, which I demand from you.

[_Statement of ways and means_.]

[Footnote: Here the clerk or secretary reads the scheme drawn up by
Demosthenes, in the preparing of which he was probably assisted by the
financial officers of the state. What follows was according to
Dionysius, spoken at a different time. The curious may consult Leland,
and Jacobs' introduction to his translation.]

This, Athenians, is what we have been able to devise. When you vote upon
the resolutions, pass what you [Footnote: _I. e._ some measure, if
not mine, whereby the war may be waged effectually. The reading of
[Greek: _poiaesate_], adopted by Jacobs after Schaefer, is not in
congruity with the sentence.] approve, that you may oppose Philip, not
only by decrees and letters, but by action also.

I think it will assist your deliberations about the war and the whole
arrangements, to regard the position, Athenians, of the hostile country,
and consider, that Philip by the winds and seasons of the year gets the
start in most of his operations, watching for the trade-winds [Footnote:
The Etesian winds blowing from the northwest in July, which would impede
a voyage from Athens to Macedonia and Thrace.] or the winter to commence
them, when we are unable (he thinks) to reach the spot. On this account,
we must carry on the war not with hasty levies, (or we shall be too late
for every thing,) but with a permanent force and power. You may use as
winter quarters for your troops Lemnos, and Thasus, and Sciathus, and
the islands [Footnote: As Scopelus, Halonnesus, Peparethus, which were
then subject to Athens.] in that neighborhood, which have harbors and
corn and all necessaries for an army. In the season of the year, when it
is easy to put ashore and there is no danger from the winds, they will
easily take their station off the coast itself and at the entrances of
the sea-ports.

Previous | Next
Site Search