Based on a close reading of the paragraph devoted to “disproportionate increase” in Politics Book Five, the author shows that the increase in the number of the ‘poor’ in fifth-century Tarentum was, according to Aristotle, both an accident due to chance events and a slow process which went largely unnoticed. The defeat by the Iapygians in the early Sixties, far from giving immediately place to a constitutional change, set a social process in motion, which only gradually increased the political power of the ‘poor’ and led to the construction of a democratic political regime. Aristotle implicitly provides a background to Archytas’ democracy and its social problems by making of the fifth-century constitutional change an effect of the growth of the poor. In doing so he must have been influenced both by historical tradition and his own political thinking, which led him to associate a pre-classical military defeat with a massacre of the notables followed by an increase in the number of those who are not well-off. It may be argued, however, that there are also good reasons to think that in providing such a ‘genealogy’ of democracy, he voiced the cultural memory (to put it in Assmann’s words) of fifth- and fourth-century democratic Tarentum. One cannot ask Aristotle to pinpoint the historical moment in which Tarentum begun to be democratically ruled. But the process of political change implied must have been closer in time to the foundation of Thurii than to the defeat by the Iapygians.

Taranto diventa democratica: a proposito di Aristotele, Pol. V 3 1302b33-1303a13: teoria politica, memoria e storia / Giangiulio, M.. - In: ATTI E MEMORIE DELLA SOCIETÀ MAGNA GRECIA. - ISSN 1592-7377. - STAMPA. - 7:(2016), pp. 19-31.

Taranto diventa democratica: a proposito di Aristotele, Pol. V 3 1302b33-1303a13: teoria politica, memoria e storia

M. Giangiulio
2016

Abstract

Based on a close reading of the paragraph devoted to “disproportionate increase” in Politics Book Five, the author shows that the increase in the number of the ‘poor’ in fifth-century Tarentum was, according to Aristotle, both an accident due to chance events and a slow process which went largely unnoticed. The defeat by the Iapygians in the early Sixties, far from giving immediately place to a constitutional change, set a social process in motion, which only gradually increased the political power of the ‘poor’ and led to the construction of a democratic political regime. Aristotle implicitly provides a background to Archytas’ democracy and its social problems by making of the fifth-century constitutional change an effect of the growth of the poor. In doing so he must have been influenced both by historical tradition and his own political thinking, which led him to associate a pre-classical military defeat with a massacre of the notables followed by an increase in the number of those who are not well-off. It may be argued, however, that there are also good reasons to think that in providing such a ‘genealogy’ of democracy, he voiced the cultural memory (to put it in Assmann’s words) of fifth- and fourth-century democratic Tarentum. One cannot ask Aristotle to pinpoint the historical moment in which Tarentum begun to be democratically ruled. But the process of political change implied must have been closer in time to the foundation of Thurii than to the defeat by the Iapygians.
Giangiulio, M.
Taranto diventa democratica: a proposito di Aristotele, Pol. V 3 1302b33-1303a13: teoria politica, memoria e storia / Giangiulio, M.. - In: ATTI E MEMORIE DELLA SOCIETÀ MAGNA GRECIA. - ISSN 1592-7377. - STAMPA. - 7:(2016), pp. 19-31.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/192441
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