On the Liberty of the Rhodians

On the Liberty of the Rhodians (Greek: Υπὲρ τῆς Ροδίων ἐλευθερίας) is one of the first political orations of the prominent Athenian statesman and orator Demosthenes. It was delivered in 351 BC, probably after the First Philippic, and constitutes one of the initial political interventions of Demosthenes. In 357 BC, Rhodes left the Athenian alliance and fought against Athens in Byzantium and Chios. Nonetheless, the island was conquered after a few years by Mausolus of Halicarnassus, who sent away the members of the democratic faction and imposed his own oligarchic government. The democrats of Rhodes asked Athens' assistance and spoke to Demosthenes, who was already famous for his rhetorical charisma. In On the Liberty of the Rhodians, the orator opposed once again Eubulus' principle for no intervention in the internal affairs of the other Greek cities. Thereby, he maintained that Athens should support the democratic faction of the Rhodians. Nonetheless, it seems that the orator did not manage to convince his countrymen, who refused to send any troops to Rhodes.

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