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date: 09 December 2023

demagogue, demagogy, 

The Oxford Dictionary of the Classical World

‘leader(ship) of the people’, a phenomenon esp. associated with Classical Athens in the 5th cent. bc, though the 4th cent. had its (less extreme) demagogues too. Unlike their English counterparts, the Greek words were not initially or necessarily disparaging, i.e. the root meaning was ‘leader’ not ‘misleader’. But ‘demagogue’ did become pejorative. The role of demagogues, a term which should be extended to include ‘respectable’ figures like ... ...

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