University of Pittsburgh


Demosthenes, Greek orator and statesman, c. 384-322

Fishburn and Hughes: "The most celebrated ancient Greek orator, whose speeches against Philip of Macedon roused the Athenians to fight for the freedom of Greece. A proposal that a golden crown be awarded to Demosthenes for public services was contested by his rival Aeschines, whose speeches had facilitated Philip's entry into central Greece and the consequent capitulation of Athens. Later, while Philip's son Alexander was absent from Greece, Demosthenes attacked Aeschines in his oration On the Crown; to discredit him he described how as a boy Aeschines had helped his mother in her ritual initiations. From this passage (CF: 202) Borges derives the reference to the Orphic mysteries. Despite the success of On the Crown, Demosthenes' life continued full of strife. He was sentenced to death and committed suicide. The rivalry between Demosthenes and Aeschines is consistent with the theme of rivalry in 'The Theologians'." (59)

Borges Index: 
Los teólogos, El Aleph, OC, 553. El Buddha histórico, Qué es el Budismo, OCC, 730. 17 de septiembre de 1937, BH, 69.