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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides concluding thoughts on the book The Regime of Demetrius of Phalerum in Athens, 317-307 BCE. The Demetrius of Phalerum has been no arch-oligarch, no misodêmos trained in contempt for democracy by the philosophical school that educated him. Closer scrutiny of the sources gives support for only minimal alterations to the institutions of government, not for any implementation of a full-scale oligarchic platform. We have no compelling reason to believe, for example, that mechanisms consistent with democratic ideals, such as the selection of archons through sortition, were overturned in 317. Cassander's alliance and symmakhia with Athens, combined with the presence of his Munychia garrison, necessarily curbed the autonomy of the assembly in the key area of its competence, namely foreign policy. But this is quite a different proposition from the assertion that Demetrius imposed constitutional impediments to the working of that body.

Keywords: Athens; Demetrius of Phalerum



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