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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 8 focuses on how political elites in Athens are represented in Demosthenes’ speeches, with particular emphasis on the speakers and politicians. The speakers were a self-selected rather than elected group whose status depended on the willingness of ordinary citizens to listen to them and take them seriously. They were also usually members of the wealth elite. Although there were no formal political parties in Athens, fourth-century politicians often collaborated in informal groups to achieve their objectives. The article considers select passages from Against Meidias, a speech by Demosthenes that illustrates the importance of competition, democratic ideology, and personal history in shaping his portrayal of the proper and improper ways of being elite.

Keywords: political elites, Athens, Demosthenes, speeches, speakers, politicians, Against Meidias, competition, democratic ideology, personal history

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