Early Greek tyranny and the people

Classical Quarterly 45 (01):73- (1995)

Over sixty years ago, it was written of early Greek tyranny that it ‘had arisen only in towns where an industrial and commercial regime tended to prevail over rural economy, but where an iron hand was needed to mobilize the masses and to launch them in assault on the privileged classes… But tyranny nowhere endured. After it had performed the services which the popular classes expected of it, after it had powerfully contributed to material prosperity and to the development of democracy, it disappeared with an astonishing rapidity… The people regarded tyranny only as an expedient. They used it as a battering ram with which to demolish the citadel of the oligarchs, and when their end had been achieved they hastily abandoned the weapon which wounded their hands.’ Thus Gustav Glotz, whose view found favour with de Ste Croix. He too concluded with appeal to Aristotle, who in a famous passage declared that unlike monarchy, which arises to help ‘the great and good’ against the People, and the monarch who is appointed as one of ‘the great and good’, ‘the tyrant comes from the People and the multitude to confront the men of note and prevent the People being unjustly treated by them. This is clear from what actually happened, for, generally speaking, the majority of the tyrants became tyrants from being demagogues so to speak, having got themselves trusted by their abusive attacks on the men of note.’ Against this view of Aristotle and all his latter-day satellites, this paper is directed
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DOI 10.1017/s0009838800041707
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References found in this work BETA

Political Hoplites?John Salmon - 1977 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 97:84-101.
The Export of Attic Black-Figure Ware.B. L. Bailey - 1940 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 60:60-70.

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Exile, Ostracism and the Athenian Democracy.Sara Forsdyke - 2000 - Classical Antiquity 19 (2):232-263.

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