Demagogues and Demagoguery in Hellenistic Greece

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper introduces scholars of Greek political thought to the continued existence of the phenomenon of demagoguery, or '(mis-)leadership of the people', in the Hellenistic period. After summarizing Classical elite discourse about demagoguery, I explore three areas in which political leaders continued to run afoul of elite norms in Hellenistic democratic poleis: 1) political persecution of the wealthier members of a political community; 2) 'pandering to' the people in a way considered infra dignitatem; and 3) stoking bellicosity among the common people. I show that considerable continuities link the Classical and Hellenistic periods and that demagoguery should be approached as a potential window onto 'popular culture' in Greek antiquity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-76
Number of pages42
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • Demagoguery
  • Demagogues
  • Democracy
  • Hellenistic period
  • Popular culture
  • Stasis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • History
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology and Political Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Demagogues and Demagoguery in Hellenistic Greece'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this