After Demosthenes: The Politics of Early Hellenistic Athens by Andrew J. Bayliss

By Andrew J. Bayliss

This quantity demanding situations preconceptions of Athenian politics and background. It units out to illustrate that the commonly bought view that Hellenistic Athens and her political leaders have been substantially diversified from their Classical opposite numbers is essentially wrong. via a re-assessment of the inner politics of Hellenistic Athens, either when it comes to its key associations and its political leaders, After Demosthenes presents a finished research of Athenian political existence from 322-262 BC. Drawing on literary and epigraphic facts the ebook identifies those that participated within the governing of Athens, and their causes for doing so, and redefines the character of Athenian political ideology within the procedure. The top political figures, every one of whom might be pointed out with a specific ideological perspective, are explored in a chain of biographical reports. studying the highbrow origins of contemporary scholarly feedback of democracy within the Athens of this era, this quantity exhibits how the politics of scholarly discourse have distorted glossy perspectives of Hellenistic Athens.

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After Demosthenes: The Politics of Early Hellenistic Athens

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G. 33 In these works Phocion is paired not only with Socrates, but also Cato, Scipio, Aristides, Miltiades, Themistocles, and even Job. Thus for Filmer (1680, pp. 59–60) Phocion is the most virtuous man of his time, unjustly destroyed by the fury of the masses: If we will listen to the Judgment of those who should best know the Nature of Popular Government, we shall find no reason for good men to desire or choose it. Zenophon [sic] that brave Scholar and Souldier disallowed the Athenian Commonweal, for that they followed that Form of Government wherein the Wicked are always in greatest Credit, and Vertuous men kept under.

73) describes as the ‘Victorian fondness for analogies drawn from the human lifespan’. Thus, it should come as no surprise to find Grote (1862, vol. 8, p. 581) when comparing the Hellenistic Athenians to their Classical counterparts, writes, ‘an historian accustomed to the Grecian world as described by Herodotus, Thucydides, and Xenophon, feels that the life has departed from his subject, and with sadness and humiliation brings his narrative to a close’. Grote emphatically equates the death of Demosthenes and the other Athenian orators after the Lamian War with the ‘death’ of Greek liberty as part of what Turner (1981, p.

492), who wrote of Antipater: now all such, as either delighted with the orations of Demosthenes, or have surrender’d their judgments to authors justly admiring him, as the most eloquent of all that ever did speak and write, condemn him utterly, calling him a bloody tyrant. Robertson’s popular History of Greece also focused on the image of Antipater as a tyrant, comparing him to Demosthenes, whom he describes as ‘the prince of orators’. For Robertson (1793, p. 486), the Athenians were fools who failed to appreciate the genius of Demosthenes, thus causing their own The Reception of Hellenistic Athens 23 ruin: ‘Had the Athenians followed his advice, Philip would never have been able to arrive at the sovereignty of Greece’.

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