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Il ruolo del teatro nella contesa fra Eschine e Demostene: la prospettiva diplomatica

Francesca Gazzano



The place of theatre in the Aeschines-Demosthenes dispute: the diplomatic perspective

In all studies on the affinities and intersections, both thematic and performative, between oratory and theatre, the contrasting orations of Aeschines and Demosthenes concerning the embassies to Philip of 346 BC and the mutual accusations about the handling of negotiations hold an essential place. In this set of speeches, which includes – in addition to Aeschines’ Against Timarchus and the two orations On the False Embassy (343) – those of 330 Against Ctesiphon (Aeschines) and On the Crown (Demosthenes), the theatre and its performers are, however, represented ambiguously, if not negatively. This essay aims to highlight how this apparent paradox finds a possible solution by considering the concrete role that Athenian theatre and actors played in the difficult negotiations between Athens and Philip. The diplomatic perspective allows us to shed more light on the motivations that led the two rival orators to use theatre as a weapon to fight each other.


Demostene; diplomazia; Eschine; oratoria; teatro; actors; Aeschines; Demosthenes; diplomacy; oratory; theatre

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