Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, law and legal procedure, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have been largely ignored: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few.
This volume combines the surviving speeches of three orators who stand at the end of the classical period. Dinarchus was not an Athenian, but he was called on to write speeches in connection with a corruption scandal (the Harpalus affair) that put an end to the career of Demosthenes. His speeches thus raise many of the vital issues surrounding the Macedonian conquest of Athens and the final years of Athenian democracy. Hyperides was an important public figure who was involved in many of the events described by Dinarchus and Lycurgus. His speeches open a window into many interesting facets of Athenian life. Lycurgus was one of the leading politicians in Athens during the reign of Alexander the Great and put Athenian public finances on a more secure footing. He was also a deeply religious man, who tried to revive Athenian patriotism after the crushing defeat at Chaeronea.
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