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date: 22 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 18 examines Demosthenes’ rhetorical references to social and political values in classical Athens. The Athenians’ belief in the merits of their political system was accompanied by an anxiety that it was in danger from internal enemies. Both of these perceptions were utilized by Demosthenes to portray his legal and political adversaries as foes and potential destroyers of democracy and its values. He thus characterizes democracy as a bastion of morality. In his speeches Demosthenes attributes to men active in public life multiple violations of democratic values or tenets. The chapter also considers the Athenians’ pursuit and preservation of honour as well as the avoidance of shame, the duties of the Athenian citizens and jurors in upholding the laws and providing justice, and the Athenians’ views on the private vs. public spheres.

Keywords: Demosthenes, rhetoric, social values, political values, democracy, honour, shame, justice, private sphere, public sphere

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