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WHEDBEE, Karen E.

Fall 2004, pages 71 - 95

Reclaiming Rhetorical Democracy:
George Grote's Defense of Cleon and the Athenian Demagogues


ABSTRACT: Abstract. George Grote's History of Greece (1846-56) was instrumental in overturning the traditional view of Athens as an oppressive and corrupt society. In particular, Grote's rewriting of the story of the Athenian demagogue Cleon illustrates the difficulties he faced in attempting to argue for the legitimacy of popular government and popular rhetoric. His defense of Cleon. and more broadly, his defense of rhetorical democracy. helped to challenge the ascendancy of rhetoric as belles lettres and to stimulate the modern revival of Athenian popular rhetoric.
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