Athens, 384 - 322 B.C.

The greatest of Greek orators. He was born in Paeania, E. of Ymittos, where today is the village of Liopesi. His grandmother was a Scythian, which is why Aeschines describes him as a "Scythian with a Hellenizing voice". He orphaned at the age of seven and the property, left to him by his father (a knifemaker and bedmaker by profession), was usurped by the trustees and guardians of the orphan. Even his education was neglected. In addition to this, the orphan was also stuttering in speech, with weak breathing, and could not recite a whole verse without breath. In addition, he was ugly in body and had a cough, which is why he did not attend the gymnasium, like the young men of Athens at the time. But he managed to overcome all his physical defects and develop into a keen orator. As an advocate in the courts he had a large clientele, as evidenced by the speeches he wrote up to 345 on private affairs. But he gained the greatest fame with his political speeches to the Athenians, beginning at the age of 29, to advise, to indicate, to warn, to exhort, to denounce. His speeches against King Philip (the "Philippians"), who, taking advantage of a disorderly situation, intended to dominate all of Greece, are true monuments of speech, and tangible examples of courage, patriotism and love of freedom.

Demosthenes was trying to raise the spirit of the Athenians, which had completely relaxed at this time and most of the citizens were indifferent to the visions and actions of Philip. And when Philip was marching towards Boeotia and Attica, Demosthenes went to Thebes and by his oratorical power managed to unite the former enemy cities, which opposed Philip in the battle of Chaeronea (338), and even after the death of Philip, urged the Greek cities to resist the young king Alexander, whom he called "Margit". But when Alexander severely punished Thebes with complete destruction and demanded that the Athenians surrender to him 10 demagogues, including Demosthenes, the Athenians sent an embassy to the victorious Macedonian and succeeded in revoking his order. With the full ascendancy of Alexander the orator's voice faltered. Moreover, in a trial for the theft of the treasures - spoils of Alexander, he was accused of bribe, and not being able to pay the fine imposed on him, he was imprisoned, to escape with the help of his admirers and friends, and go to Aegina and in Troizena, from which he sent letters to the parliament and the municipality of the Athenians, asking for his repatriation, and not ceasing to incite various Greek cities to war against the Macedonian invaders. After the death of Alexander in Asia (323), the town voted to return Demosthenes to Athens. But again, after the new defeat of the Greeks at Kranona, the Macedonian victor Antipatros, demanded that the orator be sentenced to death.

Demosthenes, being pursued, fled to Poros, where, in order not to fall into the hands of the enemy, he drank poison in the temple of Poseidon, and left his last breath in front of the altar, in October 322. Forty years after his tragic death, the Athenians set up in the market bronze statue of Demosthenes, on the base of which was engraved an epigram.