The Third Philippic

Author: Demosthenes  | Date: 341 BC


To the Third Philippic

THE former oration (The Oration on the State of the Chersonesus) has its effect: for, instead of punishing Diopithes, the Athenians supplied him with money, in order to put him in a condition of continuing his expeditions. In the mean time Philip pursued his Thracian conquests, and made himself master of several places, which, though of little importance in themselves, yet opened him a way to the cities of the Propontis, and, above all, to Byzantium, which he had always intended to annex to his dominions. He at first tried the way of negotiation, in order to gain the Byzantines into the number of his allies; but this proving ineffectual, he resolved to proceed in another manner. He had a party in the city at whose head was the orator Python, that engaged to deliver him up one of the gates: but while he was on his march towards the city the conspiracy was discovered, which immediately determined him to take another route. His sudden countermarch, intended to conceal the crime of Python, really served to confirm it. He was brought to trial; but the credit and the presents of Philip prevailed to save him.

The efforts of the Athenians to support their interests in Euboea, and the power which Philip had acquired there, and which every day increased, had entirely destroyed the tranquillity of this island. The people of Oreum, divided by the Athenian and Macedonian factions, were on the point of breaking out into a civil war, when, under pretence of restoring their peace, Philip sent them a body of a thousand troops, under the command of Hipponicus; which soon determined the superiority to his side. Philistides, a tyrant, who had grown old in factions and public contests, was entrusted with the government of Oreum, which he administered with all possible severity and cruelty to those in the Athenian interest; while the other states of the island were also subjected to other Macedonian governors. Callias, the Chalcidian, whose inconstancy had made him espouse the interests of Athens, of Thebes, and Macedon, successively, now returned to his engagements with Athens. He sent deputies thither to desire assistance, and to prevail on the Athenians to make some vigorous attempt to regain their power in Euboea.

In the mean time the King of Persia, alarmed by the accounts of Philip’s growing power, made use of all the influence which his gold could gain at Athens to engage the Athenians to act openly against an enemy equally suspected by them both. This circumstance perhaps disposed them to give the greater attention to the following oration.


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Chicago: Demosthenes, "Introduction," The Third Philippic, trans. Thomas Leland, D.D. Original Sources, accessed May 26, 2024,

MLA: Demosthenes. "Introduction." The Third Philippic, translted by Thomas Leland, D.D., Original Sources. 26 May. 2024.

Harvard: Demosthenes, 'Introduction' in The Third Philippic, trans. . Original Sources, retrieved 26 May 2024, from