By Andrew J. Bayliss
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Extra resources for After Demosthenes: The Politics of Early Hellenistic Athens
This in turn affects how modern scholars cast Stratocles’ deification of Demetrius Poliorcetes. When Macedonians were Greek, this act was a symptom of the perils of democracy. But when Macedonians have become foreign oppressors, Stratocles’ act is transformed into shamefully undemocratic and unpatriotic ‘Macedonizing’. The struggle between Stratocles and Demochares thus becomes Aeschines vs. 0, with Stratocles stepping into Aeschines’ shoes as the flatterer of the barbarian king, and Demochares inheriting his uncle’s position as the archetypal ‘anti-Macedonian’.
In one final brutal act of manic excess reminiscent of both Socrates’ execution and the Arginusae trial, the degenerate Athenian masses slaughter a wise and gentle old man who had served them with honour for more than half a century. Phocion was popular figure with the Laconophiles;31 hardly surprising given that he was a known sympathizer of the Spartan way of life who sent his son to Sparta to be educated in the agoge and whose ascetic lifestyle had long been seen to resemble that of the Spartans (Plut.
For Grote, Socrates could have been acquitted had he chosen to defend himself properly, and not used an offensive tone in his dealings with jurors. The change in scholarly reactions to the circumstances of the deaths of Phocion and Socrates was so profound, and so enduring, that Tritle (1988, p. 3) not so long ago argued that the parallels between the two are ‘perhaps of primary importance’ with regard to neglect of Phocion in modern scholarship, seemingly without realizing that attitudes towards Phocion’s death had ever been different.