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Hyperides (Ὑπερείδης), son of Glaucippus of the deme Collytus, was one of the ten canonical Attic orators and was esteemed by ancient critics as a versatile speechwriter; as a politician, he was a prominent opponent of Macedon in the period before and after the battle of Chaeronea.Hyperides' biographical details can be gathered from the pseudo-Plutarchan Lives of the Ten Orators ([Plut.] X Orat. 848d–850b), and from references in contemporary speeches and inscriptions.1 Apparently, he was born to a wealthy family, as he is reported to have studied with Plato and Isocrates ([Plut.] X Orat. 848d, Hermippus frr. 67–68 Wehrli).2 He refers (Hyp. Eux. 28–29) to three prosecutions as his first political cases, beginning with actions against Aristophon and Diopeithes of Sphettus, and culminating in an impeachment (see eisangelia) in 343 of Philocrates for his role as leader of the delegation that negotiated the notorious peace treaty with .

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Gorgias of Leontini, orator, c. 485–c. 380 bce, was one of the most well-known and influential of the early Greek rhetoricians. He spent much of his life as an itinerant speaker and reputed educator throughout Greece and contributed to the early development of the art of speech. His extant works include two complete speeches, Encomium of Helen and Defense of Palamedes, and ancient authors also summarize, provide fragments from, or report several additional works: On What-Is-Not, a Funeral Speech, a Pythian Speech, an Olympian Speech, a Speech for the People of Elis, a treatise on the “opportune moment” or kairos, and some manuals of rhetoric.Gorgias of Leontini, orator, c.485–c. 380bce, became one of the most well-known and influential figures of the early, 5th-century generation of thinkers credited with developing and marketing skills, principles, and ideas related to the burgeoning art of speech. Nothing secure is recorded about the events of his early life, although he must have achieved some degree of eminence and respect in .

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Aeschines was an Athenian politician and orator. He came from a respectable family but was not a member of the wealthy elite. He worked as a secretary for the Council and Assembly, then as an actor. He participated in the embassies that negotiated the Peace of Philocrates with Philip II and argued for its ratification. After the Second Embassy to Philip, Demosthenes and Timarchus accused Aeschines of treason. Aeschines convicted Timarchus of being a homosexual prostitute, which discouraged Demosthenes from bringing his accusation to court until 343/342. Aeschines was acquitted by a narrow margin, but lost influence. He defended the Athenians against the charges of the Locrians at a meeting of the Amphictyons in 339. He accused Ctesiphon of proposing an illegal decree of honours for Demosthenes in 336, but he lost the case by a wide margin at Ctesiphon’s trial in 330.Ancient critics consistently included Aeschines in the canon of the ten great Attic orators. Cicero ranked him second only to .

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Though he had many detractors, Demosthenes was often ranked in antiquity as the greatest of the Greek orators. Demosthenes lost his father at an early age, and his estate was mismanaged by his guardians, whom he later sued in an attempt to recovery his inheritance. He began his career in the assembly in 354 bce, speaking about public finances and foreign policy, and wrote several speeches for important public cases. Starting in 351 he warned the Athenians about the dangers of Macedonian expansionism. Even though he helped to negotiate the Peace of Philocrates, he later attacked the treaty and contributed to the breakdown in Athenian relations with Philip II which led to the battle of Chaeronea in 338. Despite this defeat, he remained popular and was able to defend his reputation against the attacks of Aeschines at the trial of Ctesiphon in 330. Later convicted of bribery in the Harpalus affair, he went into exile. He subsequently returned but fled abroad again and committed suicide to avoid capture by his Macedonian pursuers.

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Lycurgus was one of the ten canonical Attic orators and an influential politician who worked energetically for the regeneration of Athens after the battle of Chaeronea (338) until his death, a period commonly referred to as “Lycurgan Athens.” The principal evidence about him is the “Life” in the Lives of the Ten Orators attributed to Plutarch (841a–844a) and the appended decree of 307/306 bce honouring him posthumously (851f–852e), the inscribed version of which is partially preserved (IG II2 457 + 3207). His one extant speech, “Against Leocrates,” of 331, was directed against a man accused of abandoning Attica in the aftermath of the battle of Chaeronea, and is notable for its moralising tone and extensive use of examples from myth and history, including quotations from poetry. Lycurgus is also prominent in the epigraphical record. He proposed more extant inscribed laws and decrees than any other politician of the classical Athenian democracy, except for his chief rival, Demades.