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Demosthenes
Greek orator and Athenian statesman
(c. 384 - c. 322 BC)



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The easiest thing in the world is self-deceit; for every man believes what he wishes, though the reality is often different.
-- Third Olynthiac (349 BC) (Charles Rann Kennedy, tr.)

Excessive dealings with tyrants are not good for the security of free states.
-- Second Philippic (344-343 BC), ch. 21

There is one safeguard, which is an advantage and security to all, but especially to democracies against despots. What is it? Distrust.
-- Second Philippic (344-343 BC), ch. 24

What worse change can one bring against an orator than that his words and his sentiments do not tally?
-- On the Crown (330 BC)

When asked what was first in oratory, [he] replied to his question, 'action', what second, 'action', and again third, 'third'.
-- Quoted in: Cicero, On Brutus, ch. 37, section 142

Delivery, delivery, delivery.
-- His reply when asked to name the three most important components of rhetoric, as quoted in Institutio Oratoria by Quintilian


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The selection of the above quotes and the writing of the accompanying notes was performed by the author David Paul Wagner.

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