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Title: The representation of the demagogues in Old Comedy
Author: Dale, A. C. S.
Awarding Body: University of Wales Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2000
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This thesis examines the representation of the 'demagogues', the leaders of Athens' radical democracy in the late-fifth and early-fourth centuries B.C., in the genre of Old Comedy. It looks at the comic sources, including the work of Aristophanes and fragments of the comedies of other poets, to see how they characterised the demagogues in their work, and to what purpose. A number of themes are studied, with the comic abuse quoted in the original Greek and in my own translations. The themes examined make up the chapters of the thesis, and are qualities with which the demagogues were charged in comedy. They are foreign parentage, trade and artisanship, cowardice, effeminacy and gluttony. It also studies animal imagery in relation to the demagogues and its significance. After setting out the aims of the thesis and covering the background to the material, including short biographies of the demagogues and the main poets whose work is quoted, and the concept of the term 'demagogue', the thesis proceeds with a study of the work of Aristotle on virtues and vices. This is relevant to the study of the comic representation of the demagogues because they are attributed with the vices defined by Aristotle as akrasia and akolasia, and as lacking the positive quality of sophrosyne. Athenian philosophical thought considered that Athenians should possess this quality if they were to be deemed worthy of citizenship. The comic poets imply, by way of the negative qualities they attribute to the demagogues, that they were not worthy in citizenship and therefore not qualified - either in social or moral terms - to lead the demos.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available