Professor Sealey studies the political history of Greece, especially Athens, from 386 to 322 BC. Although Demosthenes figures largely in the middle and later chapters, the book is not intended to be purely biographical, and a good deal of attention is paid to social and international factors bearing on Athenian political activity during this period. The story is one of two-fold failure: by launching a league of a novel type in 378 the Athenians tried to bring a new order into Greek affairs, but were eventually overcome by Macedon; Demosthenes discovered his mission as a statesman and failed because of Macedonian power. The narrative begins in 387/6 BC, when the Spartans and their allies secured financial help from Persia, gained control of the Hellespont and cut the Athenians off from one of their main sources of grain. Sealey describes the events of the turbulent years which followed, the threat to Athens posed by Philip II and the rise of Demosthenes to power in Athens. The book concludes with an analysis of the defeat of Athens and its allies in 322, and ends with the suicide of Demosthenes.
"General readers as well as students at all levels will benefit from the text, faculty from the notes and appendixes."--CHOICE
"Recent years have seen the publication of a series of significant works dealing with fourth century topics. Demosthenes and His Time is a welcome addition to this growing list...A more realistic picture of the strengths and weaknesses of Demosthenes as a politician than we have had before, but also perceptive analyses of many of his contemporaries...Every teacher of Greek history will profit."--The Classical Outlook
"This is the first major study on the life and times of Demosthenes in over fifty years...Our guide in this book has remarkable mastery over the subject and can offer many worthwhile insights...For superb formulations...and for its overall excellence, it is indeed difficult not to like this book."--New England Classical Newsletter and Journal
"In this first comprehensive study of the career of Demosthenes in over half a century, Sealey provides an indispensable guide to Athenian politics in the fourth century...This will be the standard work in the future for all serious students of Greek political history in the fourth century."--Religious Studies Review
"There is much to be pondered upon in the book and peppered throughout it are new and provocative ideas."--The Classical Review
"...Sealey's discussions of such topics as the idea of 'government', the interpretation of politics as driven by personal dynamics as opposed to ideology, and the problems of interpreting the Attic orators will enrich the work of students and scholars alike."--Ancient History Bulletin