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Pericles: The Peloponnesian Wars» Forums » General

Subject: Democrats or Demogogues? rss

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Geoff Conn
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Admittedly my knowledge on the Peloponnesian wars is sparse, but shouldnt the Demagogue faction be the Democrats? Demagogues are firebrands at best, flash in the pan personalities if you will. Democrats are more learned reformers and politicians, more likely to have long lasting influence on the state on the whole.

Certainly the two will often overlap, but I found the use of Demagogues over Democrats on the latest map image just...odd, I guess.
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Mark Herman
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Talonz wrote:
Admittedly my knowledge on the Peloponnesian wars is sparse, but shouldnt the Demagogue faction be the Democrats? Demagogues are firebrands at best, flash in the pan personalities if you will. Democrats are more learned reformers and politicians, more likely to have long lasting influence on the state on the whole.

Certainly the two will often overlap, but I found the use of Demagogues over Democrats on the latest map image just...odd, I guess.


I appreciate your suggestion, but my knowledge comes directly from the history. All of the Athenians are democrats. What I call the Aristocrats comes from what Plutarch called them although conservatives was considered. Demagogues is the translated term in the history for the opposition faction, so that is what I used.

All the best,

Mark
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Geoff Conn
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I admit to being somewhat at a loss here, so can only say that this has piqued my curiosity for further research, which does little to assuage my yearning for this game.
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Geoff Conn
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I also happened to watch an episode of Ancient Worlds last night on the greek city states. I knew much of this already, having a passing interest in the history and having started into Song of Wrath, which is now buried in my garage somehow, alas.

Anyways, here's a public link to that episode, albeit with some thai subtitles. I could have sworn they divided the factions into aristocrat and democrat, but no matter, its a good intro to the subject matter.

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xv12al_vietsub-ancient-worl...

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Stephen Owen
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Interesting

In the introduction he calls the faction in 370 Democratic Demagogues - so take your pick!
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Mark Herman
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steveowen wrote:
Interesting

In the introduction he calls the faction in 370 Democratic Demagogues - so take your pick!


Everyone can have their view, but in this case since both factions are Democratic it is redundant.

In Pericles it is the Aristocrats and Demagogues versus the Eurypontid and Agiad factions.
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Timothy Bowden
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I think demagogue is entirely accurate, as what this term refers to is politicians who used mass appeal to build their power, rather than the status afforded them by their wealth.

Such terms, like 'tyrant', do not carry the same negative connotations in the the context of the Ancient Greece world compared to today.
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Dan

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What about having the two factions being democrats vs oligarchs?
 
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Timothy Bowden
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I don't think that works. Oliagarchy is rule by the few, and usually refers to a non-democratic government, whereas in this game the Aristocrats seek to maintain the democratic system but maximise their power within it (that's my understanding of it, anyway).
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Rick McKown
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The main political struggle in this period, both within and between the Greek cities, was between, on the one hand, "hoi oligoi" ("The Few"), i.e., those whose great wealth in land put them at the pinnacle of the traditional social order, and who (as seems always to be the case) styled themselves "hoi aristoi" ("The Best"); and on the other, "hoi polloi" ("The Many"), AKA "o demos" ("The [Common] People"). Athens itself was not only governed by "o demos" ("demokratia") but was perceived as supporting rule by "oi demoi" in the cities under their sway, while "The Few" throughout Greece (including Athens) looked to Sparta as their champion; a revolt in a city of the Delian League against Athens was invariably a revolt instigated by "hoi oligoi".

Some of the rich and powerful in Athens, including members of both the old established families (the so-called "aristocrats") and the "upstart" new rich, did indeed find in the democracy new ways to gain power (and more wealth) for themselves as "demagogoi" ("leaders of the people"), but others (like the landed rich in so many places) railed against the elevation of their despised "inferiors". Some of "hoi oligoi"in Athens (who Thucydides referred to as "sensible men" - tells you where his biases lay), were quite prepared to see their own city defeated in order to discredit the "demagogos" Kleon in 425-424; in 411 the oligarchy of "The 400" seized power (literally "the 1%" since the free male population of Athens was about 40,000), and again in 404-03 "The 30", backed by Spartan spears after Athens' defeat in the war, set up an even narrower oligarchy that murdered some 1,500 prominent democrats before themselves being overthrown and the democracy re-established.

It will be interesting to see how this struggle between "hoi oligoi" and "hoi polloi" plays out in the game, but certainly among those that would fall into the "aristocrats" grouping in Athens are not only those like Perikles who are quite prepared to play "hard ball" with Sparta, but those (Nikias comes to mind) who oppose war with Sparta ("appeasers"?), and yet others (the "hard core" oligarchs) who have "a different loyalty" altogether.
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