« PreviousContinue »
Ex his caterisque Sectione dignis Auctoribus et Verborumes?
sumenda Copia est, et Varietas Figurarum et componendi Ratio,
1. The firft Oration against Philip: pronounced in the Archonship of Ariftodemus, in the first year of the Hundred and Seventh Olympiad, and the ninth of Philip's Reign.
E have feen Philip oppofed in his
W defign of paffing into Greece,
through Thermopyla; and obliged to retire. The danger they had thus efcaped deeply affected the Athenians. So daring an attempt, which was, in effect, declaring his purpofes, filled them with aftonifhment: and the view of a power, which every day received new acceffions, drove them even to defpair. Yet their averfion to public bufinefs was ftill predominant. They forgot that Philip might renew his attempt; and thought they had provided fufficiently for their fecurity, by pofting a body of troops at the entrance of Attica, under the command of Menelaus, a foreigner. They then proceeded to convene an affembly of the people, in order to confider what measures were to be taken to check the progrefs of Philip. On which occafion Demofthenes, for the first time, appeared against that prince; and difplayed thofe abilities, which proved the greatest obstacle to his defigns.
At Athens, the whole power and management of affairs were placed in the people. It was their prerogative
to receive appeals from the courts of juftice, to abrogate and enact laws, to make what alterations in the flate they judged convenient; in short, all matters, public or private, foreign or domeftic, civil, military, or religious, were determined by them. Whenever there was occafion to deliberate, the people affembled early in the morning, fometimes in the forum or public place, fometimes in a place called Pnyx, but most frequently in the theatre of Bacchus. A few days before each affembly there was a Проудания or Placart fixed on the ftatues of fome illuftrious men erected in the city, to give notice of the subject to be debated. As they refused admittance into the affembly to all perfons who had not attained the neceffary age, fo they obliged all others to attend. The Lexiarchs ftretched out a cord dyed with fcarlet, and by it pushed the people towards the place of meeting. Such as received the ftain were fined; the more diligent had a fmall pecuniary reward. Thefe Lexiarchs were the keepers of the register, in which were inrolled the names of fuch citizens as had a right of voting. And all had this right who were of age, and not excluded by a perfonal fault. Undutiful children, cowards, brutal debauchees, prodigals, debtors to the public, were all excluded. Until the time of Cecrops, women had a right of fuffrage, which Rr3 they