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Death to Tyrants!Ancient Greek Democracy and the Struggle against Tyranny$
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David A. Teegarden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691156903

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691156903.001.0001

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The Philites Stele from Erythrai

The Philites Stele from Erythrai

Chapter:
(p.142) 5 The Philites Stele from Erythrai
Source:
Death to Tyrants!
Author(s):

David A. Teegarden

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691156903.003.0006

Alexander's conquest of western Asia Minor marked a dramatic turning point in Erythraian politics. For the previous fifty-four consecutive years (386–332) and for seventy-two of the previous eighty years (412–394 and 386–332), oligarchs controlled that polis. By the end of the 330s, however, the democrats were in control. What many Erythraians likely considered to be the natural and immutable political order had been completely upended. This chapter analyzes the Erythraian democrats' efforts to maintain control of their polis in the face of efforts by their anti-democratic opponents to reinstate the pre-Alexander status quo. Based on an analysis of the events referred to in the Philites stele and their likely historical contexts, it argues that the creation and subsequent manipulation of the statue of Philites played an important role in the foundation, contestation, and ultimate securement of the democracy that was established in Erythrai in the wake of Alexander's conquest of western Asia Minor.

Keywords:   Alexander, conquest, Asia Minor, Erythrai, democrats, ancient Greeks, Philites, democracy, tyrant-killing law

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