Political Theory

Demagoguery, Oratory, and Liberty in the Classical World and Beyond


The conference examined the exercise of power through persuasion and the danger of demagoguery. Conferees considered how the thinking of the ancients might have affected thought in political leaders in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century America, who had read the ancient historians and philosophers extensively.


Conference Readings

Hamilton, Alexander, “The Federalist Papers: No. 1.” Downloaded from The Avalon Project, Yale Law School, Lillian Goldman Law Library at http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed01.asp (Accessed 11/18/2018).

Aristotle. The Complete Works of Aristotle: The Revised Oxford Translation. Edited by J. Barnes. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.

Cicero, Marcus Tullius, “Orator” In Cicero in Twenty-Eight Volumes, Volume 5, Brutus and Orator [(in Latin and English)], translated by H.M. Hubbell. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1988. 306-509.

Clay, Henry. The Life and Speeches of Henry Clay, Volume II. Edited by James B. Swain. New York: Greeley and McElrath, 1843.

Jackson, Andrew. “Andrew Jackson Farewell Address.” The American Presidency Project. http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=67087 (01/24/2018).

Plato. Gorgias. Translated by Donald J. Zeyl. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1987.

Plutarch. Roman Lives. Translated by Robin Waterfield. New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.

Sallust. Catiline’s Conspiracy: The Jugurthine War Histories. Translated by William W. Batstone. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Thucydides. On Justice, Power, and Human Nature: The Essence of Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War. Translated by Paul Woodruff. Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc., 1993.