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The 100 by Jeremy Kourdi, Simon Maier

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Demosthenes

 

“You had nothing to say then; very well, show us our duty now.”

The Judicial Oration “On the Crown”, Athens, Greece, 330 bc

Demosthenes (384–322 bc) was an Athenian statesman and orator. It was at the age of twenty that he delivered his first judicial speeches, when he successfully argued to get back from his guardians what was left of his inheritance. He then made his living as a professional speechwriter and a lawyer, writing speeches for use in private cases. In Ancient Greece it was the audience that decided on an issue, not the speaker. Then, a politician had to more or less follow the views of the population, as a consequence of which oratory was regarded as a crucial art and was taught as such. A speaker could lose a political ...

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