Moerocles (in Greek Mοιροκλης; lived 4th century BC) was an Athenian orator, native of Salamis. He was a contemporary of Demosthenes, and like him an opponent of the kings Philip and Alexander, and was one of the anti-Macedonian orators whom Alexander demanded to have given up to him after the destruction of Thebes, though he subsequently withdrew his demand on the mediation of Demades (335 BC).1 We find mention of him as the advocate of Theocrines, and in the oration against Theocrines, which was once placed among those of Demosthenes2, he is spoken of as the author of a decree in accordance with which the Athenians and their allies joined their forces for the suppression of piracy. On one occasion he was prosecuted by Eubulus for an act of extortion practised upon those who rented the silver mines3, and Timocles, the comic poet4 speaks of him as having received bribes from Harpalus. At one period of his life he had been imprisoned, though we do not know on what charge. He was afterwards the accuser of the sons of Lycurgus, according to a letter ascribed to Demosthenes, but whose authenticity is debated.5 According to the Pseudo-Plutarch, however, it was Menesaechmus on whose charge they were imprisoned.6 Moerocles is mentioned by Aristotle.7


Smith, William (editor); Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, "Moerocles", Boston, (1867)


  • 1 Arian, Anabasis Alexandri, i. 10
  • 2 Demosthenes, Speeches, "Against Theocrines", 53
  • 3 Ibid., "On the False Embassy", 293
  • 4 Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae, viii. 27
  • 5 Demosthenes, Letters, iii. 16
  • 6 Pseudo-Plutarch, Moralia, "Lives of the Ten Orators", p. 842
  • 7 Aristotle, Rhetoric, iii. 10 "And Moerocles said he was no more a rascal than was a certain respectable citizen he named, ‘whose rascality was worth over thirty per cent per annum to him, instead of a mere ten like his own’


This article incorporates text from the public domain Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology by William Smith (1867).

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