From Athens to Atlantis: Democratic Mythmaking in Classical Greece Public Deposited

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  • March 20, 2019
  • Stegman, Casey Edward
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of Political Science
  • This paper is concerned with political myth and the process of political mythmaking in Classical Athens (5th-4th centuries B.C.E.), and by extension, in other democracies as well. While there has been a number of political science works that have looked at how monopolistic political myths are formed in authoritarian or otherwise restricted nationalist regimes, few have considered how political myths are created and transmitted in democracies. This paper addresses this dearth in the literature by investigating the understudied phenomenon that it labels democratic mythmaking. In looking at Classical Athens, this paper illustrates that democratic mythmaking has been a part of democracy since its inception. Discussing Herodotus, The Old Oligarch, Thucydides, Isocrates, and Plato, this paper illustrates that their works: 1) refer to and describe other democratic myths; 2) contribute myths of their own; and 3) demonstrate that the process of political mythmaking in a democracy is pluralistic, contested, and above all democratic.
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  • In Copyright
  • Lienesch, Michael
  • Master of Arts
Graduation year
  • 2013

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