The Telos Reconciliation Dossier (IG XII.4.132): Democracy, Demagogues and Stasis in an Early Hellenistic Polis

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Abstract

This article examines the remarkable inscribed monument IG XII.4.132, a dossier of documents dealing with political strife and reconciliation in the small island polis of Telos, as an important new piece of evidence for democracy in the early Hellenistic period. Placing the monument in its historical, geographical and political context, I argue that the background to the strife was most likely the activity of 'demagogues' in the courts of democratic Telos. Furthermore, we should view the terms of the reconciliation against the backdrop of issues of community service, publicity and memorialization, all contested political topics in the late Classical and early Hellenistic periods. The dossier shows that the kinds of 'high politics' and stasis that affected major poleis could be found also in the small cities of the Greek world, with important local variations. The document sits at a historical crossroads in terms both of judicial practices (including the use of foreign judges) and of constitutional forms (democracy and oligarchy).

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Hellenic Studies
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • demagogues
  • Hellenistic democracy
  • reconciliation
  • stasis
  • Telos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Archaeology
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Archaeology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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