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Δημαγωγοί e δημαγωγία nella storiografia greca d’età romana

Gianpaolo Urso

Abstract


This paper focuses on the semantic and historical evolution of the term δημαγωγός in Greek historiography and political oratory from Polybius to Cassius Dio. Apparently, Polybius was aware only of the polemical meaning of the term (i.e. «demagogue, agitator of the people»), while the subsequent authors gradually shifted back to the neutral, etymological meaning («leader of the people»). This semantic ductility, if not ambiguity, of the term δημαγωγός led Plutarch to prefer, on some occasions, the post-classical δημοκόπος, and to distinguish δημαγωγεῖν, «to lead the people», from δημοκοπεῖν, «to curry favour with them» (Mor. 802d-e). In Appian, the pejorative sense of δημαγωγός disappears completely, leaving way to δημοκόπος. At this point, the term «demagogue» no longer belonged to the vocabulary of political debate.


Keywords


demagogia; Dionigi di Alicarnasso; lessico politico; Plutarco; Roma antica (II sec. a.C. - III sec. d.C.); storiografia greca – Ancient Rome (II cent. BC - III cent. AD); demagogy; Dionysius of Halicarnassus; Greek historiography; Plutarch; political lexi

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/erga-2019-002-urso




Erga-Logoi. Rivista di storia, letteratura, diritto e culture dell'antichità
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (20/09/2012 n. 353)
Online ISSN 2282-3212 - Print ISSN 2280-9678


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