Abstract

The venom with which Demosthenes lambasts Meidias suits both the circumstance of their violent private quarrel as well as the contemporary political climate of the Mediterranean world. This article will reevaluate Demonsthenes’ vitriol in his Against Meidias to show that the characterization of his opponent plays off Athenian fears specific to tyrannical overthrow. I argue that Demosthenes spins his chief criticisms of Meidias into tyrannical attributes similar to those with which he attacked Philip. Demosthenes’ use of literary tyranny calls into question the reliability of the speech as a source for historical analysis of Athenian hubris.

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