Vol. 58 (2022)
Articles

The Hero, the Realpolitiker and the Careerist: A Historiographical Approach to the Early Foreign Policies of Demosthenes

Published September 1, 2022
Dániel Seres
Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest

APA

Seres, D. (2022). The Hero, the Realpolitiker and the Careerist: A Historiographical Approach to the Early Foreign Policies of Demosthenes. Acta Classica Universitatis Scientiarum Debreceniensis, 58, 37–52. https://doi.org/10.22315/ACD/2022/3

The study explores the difficulties research has experienced in distancing itself from the 19th-century view of Demosthenes, rooted in the romantic cult of genius. The approach offers a retrospective view of the young Demosthenes and his early political activities. Assessment of his work – and in some cases, the excuses created for its shortcomings – is influenced by the image of the later leader of anti-Macedonian politics and the speeches On the False Embassy and On the Crown. Based on Demosthenes’s speeches For the Megalopolitans and On the Liberty of the Rhodians, the study will argue – building on statements made by Badian and Wooten – in favour of redefining the typical image of the young politician and, by extension, not looking for consistent political aspirations where none were to be found.