Abstract

This article argues against the assumption that Athenian political practice involved an evaluative distinction between terms signifying the good “statesman” and the bad “demagogue.” Terms now translated “demagogue” are used by Aristophanes, Thucydides, and other Athenian orators and historians in a neutral, or even positive, sense. Instead, the evaluative distinction is built by Plutarch out of Platonic analysis, Aristotelian vocabulary, and the Thucydidean classification of Athenian politicians. The article concludes with reflections on the context of Moses Finley’s classic analysis of Athenian demagogues, and on the implications of the argument for political practice and thinking today.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 179-200
Launched on MUSE
2012-05-04
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.