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, the great Athenian orator, born in Athens; had many
impediments to overcome to succeed in the profession, but by ingenious
methods and indomitable perseverance he subdued them all, and became the
first orator not of Greece only, but of all antiquity; a stammer in his
speech he overcame by practising with pebbles in his mouth, and a natural
diffidence by declaiming on the sea-beach amid the noise of the waves;
while he acquired a perfect mastery of the Greek language by binding
himself down to copy five times over in succession Thucydides' "History
of the Peloponnesian War"; he employed 15 years of his life in
denunciation of Philip of Macedon, who was bent on subjugating his
country; pronounced against him his immortal "Philippics" and
"Olynthiacs"; took part in the battle of Cheronea, and continued the
struggle even after Philip's death; on the death of Alexander he gave his
services as an orator to the confederated Greeks, and in the end made
away with himself by poison so as not to fall into the hands of Autipater
(385-322 B.C.). See Ctesiphon
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