Ideologies of Hellenism

Luciano Canfora

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

Ideologies of Hellenism

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  • Ancient Greek History
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Turning to the examples of Demosthenes and Alexander, this article looks at the ideological uses of Hellenism, not only in the general sense of the word, but also in Droysen's sense of Hellenismus (referring to the historical epoch that runs from Alexander the Great to Augustus, now loosely termed the ‘Hellenistic era’ in English). The reviews of Werner Jaeger's study of Demosthenes were symptomatic of wider currents in the history of European thought and politics. Thus, Jaeger's book was condemned by National Socialists and Fascists, who favoured Droysen's conception of a world historical figure, and who therefore strongly praised men such as Alexander the Great and Philip over Demosthenes and his ‘dubious’ politics.

Keywords: Hellenism; Demosthenes; Alexander; Hellenismus; Werner Jaege; Hellenistic era; Droysen

Article.  3142 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Classical Philosophy

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