The chapters on inscriptions from outside Athens make these difficult texts accessible and revealing. The two anonymous readers of both Hesperia which published in article form what is now chapter 1 and Princeton University Press provided many helpful suggestions for improvement. This peculiar law type essentially harnessed the dynamics of bandwagoning. Many of the most important dates have been established, a task much more difficult than it might seem. Xenophon, for example, wrote Hell. The main purposeof the law of Eukrates, however, was again to generate common knowledge of pro-democratic feelings among the citizens, therefore encouraging individuals to « and spark a revolutionary bandwagon» 111.
Teegarden argues that tyrant-killing legislation facilitated pro-democracy mobilization both by encouraging brave individuals to strike the first blow against a nondemocratic regime and by convincing others that it was safe to follow the tyrant killer's lead. The first period, to which belongs the decree of Demophantos, is late-fifth-century Athens, when the viability of the democratic regime that governed that most important polis was severely threatened. Such commitments, however, since they concern actions that are so dangerous, almost certainly would not be fully credible to everybody. This ignorance prevented them from mobilizing and striking back against the oligarchs. ²² And since anti-democrats would likely lose that battle, they might choose not to defect in the first place. The first objection is that most democratic regimes survived, in large part, because they did not have motivated domestic opposition. The following chapter concerns thecommemorative stele from Erythrai depicting the tyrant-killer Philites.
Ancient Greek Democracy and the Struggle against Tyranny. Even fellow democratic citizens, such as Demosthenes and Aeschines at Athens, could exchange mutual charges of treachery and aspirations to undermine democracy. Authoritarian regimes know that, through intimidation and the control of publicly known information, they can prevent the people from acting together in numbers sufficient enough to pose any real threat. As such, Death to Tyrants! The Loeb Classical Library Foundation awarded me a generous fellowship so that I could devote the entire academic year of 2010—11 to research and writing. On some occasions Teegarden makes clear the difficulties in determining whether a particular individual or regime was tyrannical or oligarchic, in a complex and ambivalent political situation. And it is tendentiously asserted by Demosthenes 10.
And did the laws work? Progress also has been made on the historical front. If the majority cannot draw upon their collective strength and impose their will, elites will dominate the state with varying degrees of benevolence or more likely malevolence. His thesis is provocative and stimulating: democratic regimes, aware of the threats to their existence, enacted laws encouraging tyrannicide to assure reluctant, democratically minded citizens that they would not resist anti-democratic forces in dangerous isolation, and thereby gave would-be anti-democratic revolutionaries pause before any putsch against the prevailing democracy. Teegarden's treatment of the Athenian laws of Demophantos and Eukrates, as well as the tyrant-killing law of Eretria are certainly the highlight of the book. The laws rested on the calculation that, if a coup did occur, any decisive, early, highly visible act of resistance, such as tyrannicide itself or collective non-attendance in civic bodies such as the Athenian Areopagos 99-105 , could be expected to reveal to other citizens both the nature of the coup and the prospect of strong resistance to it, unleashing a 'bandwagon' or 'cascade' effect.
These modern-day examples from Europe and the Arab world suggest that the capacity to effect a large-scale popular uprising, although difficult, is virtually a necessary condition for combating tyranny and preserving democracy. The Achaeans dedicated in Delphi a statue of Philopoimen that depicted him in the act of killing the tyrant Machanidas Plut. If the Areopagus failed to meet, that failure would signal to the Athenians that their democracy had been overthrown and thus they should mobilize in its defense. Another common element is an explanation of how the promulgation of the law or decree would have addressed the tyrannical threat. Teegarden argues that tyrant-killing legislation facilitated pro-democracy mobilization both by encouraging brave individuals to strike the first blow against a nondemocratic regime and by convincing others that it was safe to follow the tyrant killer's lead. Or, perhaps better, what, in particular, were they afraid of? And, again, the means by which that end was accomplished is fully described in chapter 1.
He presents det Death to Tyrants! By analyzing crucial ancient Greek tyrant-killing legislation, Death to Tyrants! The assassination of Phrynichus changed the calculus, according to Teegarden. Kritias was the leader of the so-called Thirty Tyrants who ruthlessly dominated Athens for several months after the Peloponnesian War. They might actually think that democratic governance advances their interests. We do not have that law. Again, the reason is that they believe that others will follow them. This was related to the problem that those who could most help the polis, especially if appointed to significant magistracies, were often the same as those who could most harm it.
It was a tool — a medium — for generatingand maintaining common knowledge about Erythraian revolutionary politics» 153. But why did they feel threatened? Our knowledge of Eretrian history is patchy, but it does appear that the city was subject to frequent bouts of one-man rule. The Eretrians ratified the earliest such law in 341, immediately after the Athenians overthrew a pro-Macedonian tyranny in that city and reestablished a democratic regime. Teegarden's treatment of the Athenian laws of Demophantos and Eukrates, as well as the tyrant-killing law of Eretria are certainly the highlight of the book. Prices do not include postage and handling if applicable. It was likely promulgated shortly after Seleukos I defeated Lysimachos at the Battle of Kouroupedion and consequently assumed control of much of Asia Minor.
The only attempt to study all tyrant-killing documents in a single monograph was published by Friedel in 1937. And each may be countered. ²³ Each of the following six chapters presents a historical and sociopolitical analysis of one tyrant-killing enactment. Teegardenobserves that the Eretrian democrats were unable to maintain control of the city inthe years preceding the tyrant-killing law; Eretria repeatedly shifted from democraticto non-democratic regimes as it responded to conflicting pressures from Athens andthe Macedon. Teegarden's effort to go beyond a classical, Athenocentric view of Greek democracy, while at the same time acknowledging Athens' importance as a model, is to be especially commended. He presents detailed historical and sociopolitical analyses of each law and considers a variety of issues: What is the nature of an anti-democratic threat? But it will be helpful to anticipate the discussion here. It placed, as Teegarden notes, particular focus on the council ofAreopagos, whose members were forbidden to convene should the democracy beoverthrown, thus providing an early warning sign for the citizens.
Generally speaking, the answer is the same for them all: namely, by facilitating large-scale mobilization in the event of a coup. That is, admittedly, a simple conclusion. The third objection is that pro-democrats would have naturally overcome difficulties of mobilization in defense of their democracy. In addition, the people of Sikyon erected a statue of Aratos Plut. Instead, the third-century inscription underscores how the politics of the commemoration of tyrannicide revolved around attempts to encourage or to discourage mass mobilization.