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Forms of government and rhetoric: perceptions of democracy and oligarchy in Demosthenes

  • Priscilla Gontijo Leite

Demosthenes is recognized as a defender of Athenian democracy and freedom, particularly in voicing his concern about the growth of Macedonian power. While the defence of democracy is a recurring theme in his speeches, Demosthenes did not develop a theory of democracy. Rather, he tended to idealize the Athenian democratic experience. Further, in his defence of democracy and the ethos of the democratic citizen, Demosthenes references oligarchy, though again not from a theoretical perspective. The objective of this paper is to analyse Demosthenes’s use of the democratic and oligarchical forms of government in his defence of Athens, with a focus on his construction of an antithesis between them and his deployment of the Athenian experiences with oligarchy in 411 and 404 BC in his oratory.

  • Keywords:
  • rhetoric,
  • Demosthenes,
  • democracy,
  • oligarchy,
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Priscilla Gontijo Leite

Federal University of Paraíba, Brazil - ORCID: 0000-0003-2616-7186

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  • Content License: CC BY 4.0
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Chapter Information

Chapter Title

Forms of government and rhetoric: perceptions of democracy and oligarchy in Demosthenes

Authors

Priscilla Gontijo Leite

Language

English

DOI

10.36253/978-88-5518-612-4.08

Peer Reviewed

Publication Year

2022

Copyright Information

© 2022 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Table of Contents

Book Title

Crises (Staseis) and Changes (Metabolai)

Book Subtitle

Athenian Democracy in the Making

Editors

Breno Battistin Sebastiani, Delfim Ferreira Leão

Peer Reviewed

Number of Pages

140

Publication Year

2022

Copyright Information

© 2022 Author(s)

Content License

CC BY 4.0

Metadata License

CC0 1.0

Publisher Name

Firenze University Press

DOI

10.36253/978-88-5518-612-4

ISBN Print

978-88-5518-611-7

eISBN (pdf)

978-88-5518-612-4

eISBN (epub)

978-88-5518-613-1

eISBN (xml)

978-88-5518-614-8

Series Title

Studi e saggi

Series ISSN

2704-6478

Series E-ISSN

2704-5919

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