Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Plato’s Theory of Democratic Decline

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought

While democracy is derided for a variety of reasons in Plato’s thought, his most damning critique of that regime type does not involve an observation about democracy qua democracy, but of the transition that it so easily engenders: the decline to tyranny. Regimes are composed of individuals and groups, though, and Plato is anxious to ascribe culpability for the degradation. Two actors are the primary focus of his analysis — the political leaders and the demos. At times he emphasizes the puissance of the demos, but in other passages he suggests it is the leaders who are most authoritative. This paper discusses these apparently contradictory passages, and works towards a reconciliation. It argues that neither is assigned sole culpability, as both work in complex synrgy, and that the underlying cause of the decline—and the motivator behind both actors — is not simply freedom, but greed for material wealth.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Polis: The Journal for Ancient Greek Political Thought — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation