I argue that Philip's speech was a central point of contention in the debate over the Peace of Philocrates and in the legal struggle between Demosthenes and Aeschines that followed it. The ambassadors supportive of the peace praised Philip's speaking ability as part of his philhellenism; in his defense speech as well Aeschines emphasized Philip's rhetorical knowledge in order to show the openness of the contest between the king and the ambassadors. Demosthenes, on the other hand, rejected the king's ability to speak. In so doing, he elevated his own role as the only orator capable of penetrating Philip's silence. For both Aeschines and Demosthenes, their characterizations of Philip's speech were crucial to their self-presentations as orators.
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