Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Ian Worthington's "Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece," the movie

Now showing at My Book, The Movie: Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece by Ian Worthington.

The entry begins:
Demosthenes was the most powerful politician of ancient Athens and Greece's greatest orator. The movie should not portray his entire life (as my book does), from the boy who was poked fun at for his stammer and sickly disposition to the most powerful man in Athens, but focus on one aspect of his career, a defining moment against all odds, which I'd suggest was the lead up to the Battle of Chaeronea in 338 BC. Here, Philip II of Macedonia (Alexander the Great's father) defeated a coalition of Greek states to end the centuries-long autonomy of Greece and plunge the country under the rule of foreign powers – from Macedonia, to Rome, to the Turks – until 1832, when Greece was proclaimed an independent and free country.

Chaeronea is one of history's most significant battles. It took place because of Demosthenes' anti-Macedonian policy, which saw him publicly ridiculed and attacked, but which he steadfastly maintained as he strove to unite his countrymen against Philip's imperialism and tyranny. The movie would focus on Demosthenes' policy at this time and his great speeches to rouse the people to war – and of course re-enact the battle with all its blood and guts. Flashbacks would show Demosthenes' emergence into politics and his initial lack of success and despair. A flashforward to 330 BC, when he was brought to trial for failing Athens, but justified his cause so persuasively that his opponent (Aeschines) lost the case and quit Athens, could round off the film. How did Demosthenes defend his unsuccessful policy? By...[read on]
Learn more about Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece at the Oxford University Press website.

Ian Worthington is Professor of History at the University of Missouri and author of Alexander the Great: Man and God and Philip II of Macedonia.

My Book, The Movie: Demosthenes of Athens and the Fall of Classical Greece.

--Marshal Zeringue