Modern plaster replica of Roman marble copy of the Greek bronze original by the sculptor Polyeuktos, dating ca. 280 BCE. Perhaps the most well-known of the Greek orators, Demosthenes is said to have overcome his stuttering speech by speaking with pebbles in his mouth against the roar of the sea. A writer of speeches for the courts,
Demosthenes was a passionate defender of his native Athens and in a series of speeches known as the "Philippics" he urged his fellow-citizens to withstand the advances of Philip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. Over 50 Roman copies of the work are known; the original of ours is in the Vatican Museums in Rome.