Teisamenos the son of mechanion: New evidence for an Athenian demagogue

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3 Scopus citations


A Hellenistic inscription from Iasos prompts a reconsideration of the career of the Athenian politician Teisamenos the son of Mechanion. I first address some interpretive problems that have beset the study of this figure before turning to the new information from Iasos. I argue that we should understand Teisamenos as a “demagogue” as that term was coming to be known already in antiquity, with negative connotations. Finally, the physical form of Teisamenos’s decree, known from an earlier Attic copy, invites us to rethink the relationship between democratic rhetoric and material culture, in this case decrees adorned with sculpted reliefs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
JournalTransactions of the American Philological Association
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2020


  • Demagogues
  • Document reliefs
  • Iasos
  • Inscription
  • Mechanion
  • Teisamenos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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