Athens calling

by Lawrence J. J. Leonard

Demosthenes (384 – 322 BCE) was a Greek statesman and orator of ancient Athens. His mortal words have an immortal warning for us in the 21st Century.

Demosthenes played a leading part in the Athens uprising against Alexander the Great. However, his efforts failed. The revolt was obliterated. Alexander’s regional successor, Antipater, tracked down Demosthenes, but Demosthenes took his own life to avoid being arrested.

In this excerpt from Philippic III, Demosthenes formally proposes to send envoys throughout Greece, to unite all the Greek states against King Philip.

Just you look closely at the American political system and how easily it fits into this chilling speech by Demosthenes which was delivered late spring or early summer of 341 BCE.  I have supplied the clues.

The original Greek version is below.
Here is the English version:

The Public Orations of Demosthenes
~ Philippic III   {excerpted lines 36 – 41}

“For as it was not without reason and just cause
that the Hellenes (our forefathers) in old days were so prompt for freedom,
so it is not without reason or cause
that they are now so prompt to be slaves (on government relief) ?

“There was a Spirit (Exceptionalism), men of Athens,
 a Spirit in the minds of the people in those days,
which is absent today
— the Spirit which vanquished the wealth of Persia (Iran),
which led Hellas (our countrymen) in the path of freedom,
and never gave way in face of battle by sea or by land;

“A Spirit whose extinction today has brought universal ruin
and turned Hellas (our country) upside down.
What was this Spirit (Exceptionalism) ?
It was nothing subtle nor clever!

“It meant that men who took money
from those who aimed at dominion or at the ruin of Hellas (our government)
were execrated (detested / cursed) by all;

“That it was then a very grave thing to be convicted of bribery;
That the punishment for the guilty man was the heaviest that could be inflicted;
That for him there could be no plea for mercy (impeachment),
nor hope of pardon.

No orator (politico), no general (military hawk),
would then sell the critical opportunity whenever it arose
— the opportunity so often offered to men by fortune (elitists),
even when they are careless and their foes are on their guard.

“They did not barter away the harmony between people and people,
nor their own mistrust of the tyrant (selfish leader) and the foreigner (immigrant),
nor any of these high sentiments.

“Where are such sentiments now?

“They have been sold in the market (under the table deals) and are gone;
And those have been imported (political puppets)  in their stead,
through which the nation lies ruined and plague-stricken (AKA broken)
— the envy of the man who has received his hire;

“The amusement which accompanies his avowal;
The pardon granted to those whose guilt is proved;
The hatred of one who censures the crime (and not the criminal);
And all the appurtenances of corruption (Washington insider machine).

“For as to ships, numerical strength, unstinting abundance of funds
and all other material of war, and all the things
by which the strength of cities is estimated (GDP- gross domestic product
every people can command these in greater plenty
and on a larger scale by far than in old days (We used to could win wars . . .).

“But all these resources (American industry) are rendered
unserviceable (corrupted),
ineffectual (bring no good), 
unprofitable (unfunded mandate)
by those  (politicians) who traffic in them.”

Grecian pottery - War

God save the United States of America!
God Bless Texas!

Here is the original Greek version:

Δημοσθένης (384 – 322 π.Χ.) ήταν Έλληνας πολιτικός και ρήτορα της αρχαίας Αθήνας. Τη θνητή λέξεις έχουν ένα αθάνατο προειδοποίηση για μας στον 21ο αιώνα.

Το Δημόσιο Orations του Δημοσθένη
~ απόσπασμα από “Philippic ΙΙΙ” {γραμμές 36 – 40}
που παραδίδονται στα τέλη της άνοιξης ή στις αρχές του καλοκαιριού του 341 π.Χ.

[36]
οὐ γὰρ ἄνευ λόγου καὶ δικαίας αἰτίας οὔτε τόθ᾽ οὕτως εἶχον ἑτοίμως πρὸς ἐλευθερίαν οἱ Ἕλληνες οὔτε νῦν πρὸς τὸ δουλεύειν. ἦν τι τότ᾽, ἦν, ὦ ἄνδρες Ἀθηναῖοι, ἐν ταῖς τῶν πολλῶν διανοίαις, ὃ νῦν οὐκ ἔστιν, ὃ καὶ τοῦ Περσῶν ἐκράτησε πλούτου καὶ ἐλευθέραν ἦγε τὴν Ἑλλάδα καὶ οὔτε ναυμαχίας οὔτε πεζῆς μάχης οὐδεμιᾶς ἡττᾶτο, νῦν δ᾽ ἀπολωλὸς ἅπαντα λελύμανται καὶ ἄνω καὶ κάτω πεποίηκε τὰ τῶν Ἑλλήνων πράγματα.

[37]
τί οὖν ἦν τοῦτο; οὐδὲν ποικίλον οὐδὲ σοφόν, ἀλλ᾽ ὅτι τοὺς παρὰ τῶν ἄρχειν βουλομένων ἢ διαφθείρειν τὴν Ἑλλάδα χρήματα λαμβάνοντας ἅπαντες ἐμίσουν, καὶ χαλεπώτατον ἦν τὸ δωροδοκοῦντ᾽ ἐλεγχθῆναι, καὶ τιμωρίᾳ μεγίστῃ τοῦτον ἐκόλαζον, καὶ παραίτησις οὐδεμί᾽ ἦν οὐδὲ συγγνώμη.

[38]
τὸν οὖν καιρὸν ἑκάστου τῶν πραγμάτων, ὃν ἡ τύχη καὶ τοῖς ἀμελοῦσιν κατὰ τῶν προσεχόντων πολλάκις παρασκευάζει, οὐκ ἦν πρίασθαι παρὰ τῶν λεγόντων οὐδὲ τῶν στρατηγούντων, οὐδὲ τὴν πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὁμόνοιαν, οὐδὲ τὴν πρὸς τοὺς τυράννους καὶ τοὺς βαρβάρους ἀπιστίαν, οὐδ᾽ ὅλως τοιοῦτον οὐδέν.

[39]
νῦν δ᾽ ἅπανθ᾽ ὥσπερ ἐξ ἀγορᾶς ἐκπέπραται ταῦτα, ἀντεισῆκται δ᾽ ἀντὶ τούτων ὑφ᾽ ὧν ἀπόλωλε καὶ νενόσηκεν ἡ Ἑλλάς. ταῦτα δ᾽ ἐστὶ τί; ζῆλος, εἴ τις εἴληφέ τι: γέλως, ἂν ὁμολογῇ: συγγνώμη τοῖς ἐλεγχομένοις: μῖσος, ἂν τούτοις τις ἐπιτιμᾷ: τἄλλα πάνθ᾽ ὅσ᾽ ἐκ τοῦ δωροδοκεῖν ἤρτηται.

[40]
ἐπεὶ τριήρεις γε καὶ σωμάτων πλῆθος καὶ χρημάτων καὶ τῆς ἄλλης κατασκευῆς ἀφθονία, καὶ τἄλλ᾽ οἷς ἄν τις ἰσχύειν τὰς πόλεις κρίνοι, νῦν ἅπασι καὶ πλείω καὶ μείζω ἐστὶ τῶν τότε πολλῷ. ἀλλὰ ταῦτ᾽ ἄχρηστα, ἄπρακτα, ἀνόνητα ὑπὸ τῶν πωλούντων γίγνεται.

Copyright © 1960-2016 Lawrence J. J. Leonard All rights reserved.

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