When Alexander left for the East, the orator Demosthenes began to urge the Greeks to rise up against him, and win back their freedom. All his eloquence, however, was not enough to persuade them to make war as long as Alexander lived.

But when the conqueror’s death was made known, Demosthenes again tried to arouse them, and this time with success. Phocion, a cautious Athenian, vainly begged the people to wait at least until the news was confirmed, saying, “If Alexander is dead today, he will still be dead tomorrow and on the next day, so that we may take counsel at our leisure.”