The Common Foe
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This thesis concentrates on the public speeches of Demosthenes; it attempts to trace his perceptions of Persia throughout his career. Demosthenes explicitly reverses his opinion of Persia as he went along (from hereditary foes to potential allies), but did so with characteristic subtlety and refinement. The tracing, and explanation, of this process forms the core of this thesis. The main argument is that Demosthenes had to proceed with extreme care because of the Greeks' traditional disdain of the Persians; they were the common foe of old. Thus Demosthenes elevates his chief rival, Philip II of Macedon, to this position of the common foe in order to pave the way for possible reconciliation with Persia and to incite the Athenians into action against Philip.