Libmonster ID: U.S.-1497
Author(s) of the publication: S. G. Karpyuk (Moscow)

The significance of mass actions in the political life of ancient Greece has been repeatedly discussed by historians. However, attention was paid primarily to the Hellenistic period, or it was about organized actions. In this paper, I will attempt to analyze the significance of the crowd in the political life of archaic and classical Greece.

First, you should decide on the question of what a "crowd" is. For sociologists, a crowd is a random gathering of people (aggregation), united on the basis of relatively extraneous and temporary connections; for psychologists, it is a group, cooperation within which is relatively random and temporary .1 The point of view of this phenomenon of historians in general and historians of antiquity in particular has some differences. Historians usually confuse the concepts of "crowd" and "(popular) masses " 2 . For historical research, in our opinion, the definition of the German scientist D. Herder is more suitable, who defines crowds as "groups of people with common traditions who intentionally act together outside the existing framework in order to achieve one or more specially defined goals" 3 .

I will make a reservation right away that I am primarily interested in the "political crowd", i.e. human gatherings that influenced the political life of ancient Greek poleis. For example, Plato in the dialogue" Charmides " (154a) describes beautiful young men and a crowd of admirers following them. However, this case can only interest me if it has caused any political consequences. The same applies to religious processions.

The role of the crowd in the socio-political life of ancient Greece of the Archaic and classical periods is practically not studied. Only a few scientists have noticed this phenomenon .4 For example, Virginia Hunter tried to demonstrate Thucydides '"psychological" view of the crowd problem , 5 and Josh Ober, emphasizing the role of the masses in historical events, considered the Cleisthenes revolution as a result of

1 Dictionary of Philosophy and Psychology / Ed. J.M. Baldwin. V. I. Gloucester, Mass., 1960. P. 246-247. Ср. Encyclopedia of Sociology / Ed. E.F. Borgatta, M.L. Borgatta. V. I. N.Y., 1992. P. 395-402.

2 Two examples from very different fields: and G. J. Perkins (Perkins N. J. The Structured Crowd. Essays in English Social History. Sussex, 1981), and Fergus Millar (Millar F. The Crowd in Rome in the Late Republic. Ann Arbor, 1998), consider "crowd" as a synonym for "(popular) masses". F. Millar specifically emphasizes that he puts "populus Romanus or the crowd that represents it" at the center of his picture of the Roman social system (ibid. p.1).

3 Herder D. Crowd Action in Revolutionary Massachusetts, 1765-1780. N.Y., 1977. P. 4.

4 I deliberately do not include in this series the unsubstantiated assumption of R. Seeley regarding the possibility of a "general strike" or "acts of rebellion", which Solon allegedly organized (Sealey R. Regionalism in Archaic Athens // Historia. 1960. Bd. 9. S. 159).

5 Hunter V. Thucydides and the Sociology of the Crowd // CJ. 1988/9. 84. P. 17-30; см. также eadem. Thucydides, Gorgias, and Mass Psychology // Hermes. 1986. Bd 114. S. 428.

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spontaneous revolt of the Athenian demos 6 . But these are unique examples of scientists ' interest in crowds in ancient Greece.

How can this lack of interest in this area be explained? In my opinion, there are two reasons for this. First, this phenomenon is much less important in comparison with well-organized and effectively functioning polis institutions. It should be noted at once, however, that the study of unorganized mass actions can reveal the degree of political organization of ancient Greek society. Secondly, the very nature of our sources hinders the study of the role of unorganized mass gatherings in ancient Greece. Studies on the role of the crowd in history began to be conducted on the materials of European history of the XVIII-XIX centuries. (Gustave Le Bon, Georges Rudet, etc.) 7, and the sources used were police archives, newspaper publications, etc., i.e. "sources from within". But researchers of the history of ancient Greece have at their disposal only "sources from outside" - the writings of ancient authors, for the most part extremely hostile to any manifestations of mass activity. Inscriptions and papyri do not give anything in this case, since they reflect a later period (for example, the first mention of the word in inscriptions refers only to the end of the second century BC) .8

There are two ways to explore the role of crowds in ancient Greek society. The first, lexical analysis, involves the selection of appropriate vocabulary and the study of its use in texts. The second, situational analysis, requires identifying situations related to crowd actions in texts.

I have previously attempted to implement the first possibility, and my previous works were devoted to the terminology (to be more precise, the vocabulary) of the crowd, first of all to the word-perhaps the key word in this area .9 Of course, the very appearance of the word reflected the social realities of classical Athens. But the ancient Greek authors used it not only in the meaning of "crowd", but also to denote the lower strata of the population, "mob", i.e., depending on the context, it acquired a social or situational characteristic. The same can be attributed to . An analysis of the vocabulary of ancient authors helps to clarify only one aspect of the problem, namely, the attitude of the authors themselves to the crowd. Therefore, it is necessary to consider all possible testimonies of ancient authors that have at least an indirect relation to the actions of the crowd in political life. The sample I propose may not be exhaustive, but the small number of instances where the crowd is mentioned is characteristic in itself.

In archaic times, and even more so in the Homeric period, unorganized mass gatherings were extremely rare, but therefore it is worth taking a closer look at popular gatherings (gatherings) .11 Popular assemblies were quite a common social phenomenon already in Homeric times; they were called by the basileus or nobles and did not meet without their consent (as in Ithaca - Od. 2. 26-27). Already at that time there was an agora as a place for gathering people's assemblies - an open space designated by special symbols.

6 Oher J. The Athenian Revolution: Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory. Princeton, 1996. P. 43 ff.

7 LeBon G. Psychologie des foules. P., 1895; Rude G. The Crowd in History. A Study of Popular Disturbances in France and England, 1730-1848. L., 1981.

8 Dittenberger W. Sylloge Inscriptionum Graecarum. Lpz, 1921-1924. V. II. 700, 20; 709, 5; 730, 10.

9 Karpyuk S. G. from Aeschylus to Aristotle: the history of the word in the context of the history of Athenian democracy / / VDI. 1995. N 4. pp. 31-50; on. Polybius and Titus Livy: and his Roman correspondences / / VDI. 1996. N 3. pp. 44-53; aka. Vulgus and turha: the crowd in classical Rome / / VDI. 1997. N 4. pp. 121-137.

10 However, it should be noted that in the ancient Greek language there is a word that can denote the activity of a crowd. This is the corresponding adjective, and other derivatives.

11 Starr Ch. The Birth of Athenian Democracy. The Assembly in the Fifth Century B.C. N.Y. - Oxf., 1990. P. 6.

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with marble markers 12 . The agora was a common gathering place for the people's assembly, but since the end of the archaic and beginning of the classical period, special places have already been allocated for holding the people's assembly: we can mention the ekklesiasterion in the Metapontum with a capacity of 8 thousand people, dating from the middle of the VI century. 13

The People's Assembly consisted of citizen warriors and was not initially overly organized. Its participants supported or opposed proposals put forward by the king or nobles through shouts of approval or disapproval .14 As the case of Thersites in the Iliad shows (2. 211-277), the nobility dominated such gatherings and could prevent spontaneous performances of ordinary soldiers. Thersites is considered by Homer as a representative of this mass of ordinary soldiers , and his "significant" name seems to confirm this 15 . But even here, there are no signs of crowd action, and Thersites ' protest remained only a verbal action.

If we go back to the Archaic period, we have almost exclusively Athenian material at our disposal. The earliest one is about the conspiracy of Kilo, in the suppression of which the Athenian demos took part. Indeed, according to Thucydides, the Athenians "laid siege with all their might" to Kilo and his followers on the Acropolis. But the use of this word does not necessarily imply spontaneous, unorganized action of the masses of the people. For example, the same Thucydides uses the information about the campaign of the entire Spartan army (5. 33. 1), which in no way can be described as unorganized, or about the general participation of the Athenians in the construction of the "Long Walls" on the instructions of Themistocles (I. 90. 3), etc.

Thus, when Kilo captured the Acropolis in 636 or 632, there was no general revolt, and demos supported the actions of the archon Megacles (Herod. 5. 71; Thuc. I 126-127) .16 And it is not by chance that such a powerful tradition about the Alkmeonidov filth has come down to us. The Alcmaeonids were the leaders, but not of the rebellion, but of the Athenians against the attempt to seize tyrannical power. In this case, it is more likely to be about the mobilization of Athenians-opponents of tyranny, but not about the spontaneous action of the masses. The crowd itself does not appear yet 17 .

Athenian democracy begins with the Athenian resistance to Cleomenes and Isagoras in 508/7. The Athenian revolt against the Spartans and their allies can be presented with more reason as a spontaneous action of the masses. This event has been considered many times by historians18, but our interest lies solely in the degree of organization of this action, i.e., whether in this case we can speak of unorganized events.

12 Wees N. van. State Warriors: War. Violence and Society in Homer and History. Amsterdam, 1992. p. 29, which lists all references to the agora in the Iliad. The agora was sometimes used to refer to the people's assembly itself. However, information about this applies to a later time. See Aymard A. Les assemblees de la confederation achaienne. Etude critique d'institutions et d'histoire. Bordeaux - Paris, 1938. P. 77.

13 Robinson E.W. The First Democracies. Early Popular Government outside Athens (Historia-Einzelschriften, Ht 107). Stuttgart, 1997. P. 71.

14 Luce J.V. The Polis in Homer and Hesiod // Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy. 1978. 78C. N 1. P. 10.

15 Even his very name, 'unbridledness'), is speaking. См. Kirk G.S. The Iliad: A Commentary. V. I. Cambr., 1985. P. 138.

16 Andrewes A. The Greek Tyrants. L., 1956. P. 84; cf. Berve Н. Die Tyrannis bei den Griechen. Bd 1. Munchen, 1967. S. 41-43; Bd II. S. 539; Lang М. Kylonian Conspiracy // CPH. 1967. 62. P. 243-249; Welwei K.-W. Athen. Vom neolitischen Siedlungsplatz zum archaischen Grosspolis. Darmstadt, 1992. S. 133-137.

17 Also, there is no evidence that Solon could have organized a "general strike" or" insurrectionary action, " as R. Seeley claims (Op. cit. S. 159).

18 See a recent discussion on this by K. Raaflaub and J. Обера: Raaflauh К. Power in the Hands of the People: Foundations of Athenian Democracy // Democracy 2500? Questions and Challenges / Ed. I. Morris, K. Raaflaub. Dubuque, Iowa, 1997 (Archaeological Institute of America. Colloquia and Conference Papers. N2, 1997). P. 31-66; Ober J. Revolution Matters: Democracy as Demotic Action (A Response to Kurt A. Raaflaub) // Ibid. P. 67-85; Raaflaub K. The Thetes and Democracy (A Response to Josiah Ober) // Ibid. P. 87-103.

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mass actions of the demos. So let's look at the sources from this point of view.

According to Herodotus, after Cleomenes had driven out seven hundred families who were supporters of Cleisthenes, the Council rebelled and refused to obey Cleomenes and Isagoras. Cleomenes, together with Isagoras and his followers, captured the Acropolis; in response, the rest of the Athenians united and besieged them .

The problem is to find out how organized the Athenians were against Cleomenes and Isagoras. Josh Ober describes the Cleisthenes Revolution as follows: "The Athenian siege of the Acropolis in 508/7 can best be interpreted as a riot, i.e. a violent and more or less spontaneous uprising of a large part of the Athenian citizens." 19 And then: "The Constitution of Cleisthenes channeled the energy of the demos revolt in the interests of its own self-defense into a stable and efficient form of government." 20 At the same time, Aubert makes an obvious comparison between the siege of the Acropolis and the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution .21 It points to . Such a translation really implies active actions of the crowd, even riots.

J. Ober is quite right to point out that the passive participle has a reflexive rather than passive meaning, but in his translation, the events in Athens are clearly "revolutionized" in comparison with the meaning that Aristotle put in them .23 It should be noted that in the Athenian Polity this participle was used twice more: when describing the Council meeting during the Ephialtic reforms (25.4) and the gathering of Athenian forces in the agora during the struggle against the tyranny of the thirty (38.1). In all three cases, we are dealing with public meetings (gatherings) in extraordinary situations, but not with riots. In addition, K. Raaflaub pointed out the extremely low level of urbanization in Athens at that time, which makes it impossible to talk about the masses of the urban population .24 Rather, it may be a matter of mobilizing citizen warriors to defend the autonomy of Polis 25 . The role of demos was undoubtedly great, 26 but demos could be governed by a Council, and besides, there were still supporters of Cleisthenes in the city.

Another objection to Ober's hypothesis: was the Athenian demos ready to speak out?

19 Ober. The Athenian Revolution... p. 43. However, see Peter Rhodes ' objections to the possibility of spontaneous mass action in Athens at the end of the sixth century (Rhodes P. J. Review Article-How to Study Athenian Democracy / / Polls. 1998. 15. P. 76).

20 Ober. The Athenian Revolution... P. 51-52.

21 Ibid. P. 48.

22 Ibid. P. 45.

23 N. Ruckham's translation of the Loeb series dramatizes the situation even more: "But the Council resisted and the multitude banded together." in these translations, it has a very strong, "colored" connotation.

24 Raaflauh. Power in the Hands of the People... P. 42.

25 Ibid. P. 43.

26 This is not denied by Raaflaub (The Thetes and Democracy ... p. 91).

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spontaneously without any leadership? Just six years before the events described, Hipparchus was assassinated. Thucydides writes: "Aristogiton, however, managed to get lost in the surging crowd for a while, but then he was captured and died painfully "(Thuc. 6. 57. 4, translated by G. A. Stratanovsky). This crowd consisted of citizens who took part in the Panathenaic procession (6.57.2) on the Panathenaic Road in the northern part of the Athenian Agora. This gathering was definitely organized (a religious procession), and, obviously, Hippias was able to take control of the situation relatively easily. (6. 58. 1-2). Thus, the procession did not become a field of action for the crowd even in such a critical situation. It is very difficult to assume that the social psychology of the Athenian demos has changed so rapidly in such a short time. Therefore, the revolt against Cleomenes and Isagoras must have leaders, and the omission of our (very scanty) sources about them is not an argument.

Indeed, the Athenian Polity does not mention any leaders of the Athenian demos after the expulsion of Cleisthenes and his supporters. But the Council (and it doesn't matter to us if it was the Council of Four Hundred. The Council of the Five Hundred or even the Council of the Areopagus) was able to organize a demos; in any case, someone had to negotiate with Cleomenes? Thus, we can rather talk about the mobilization of the Athenian demos, the civil militia, and not about spontaneous mass riots (crowd actions).

Extant sources that report the events of the first two-thirds of the fifth century BC contain no hints about the actions of the crowds. The period of the Peloponnesian War is more "favorable" for our research. The Peloponnesian War was a severe test of the strength of polis institutions. But even in such extraordinary circumstances, there is little clear evidence in our sources of mob activity, mass riots, or the impact of mass unorganized gatherings on political life.

It would seem that Thucydides ' description of the struggle between groups of democrats and oligarchs in Kerkyra should provide a similar example. But in this case, we can observe the actions of quite organized political groups of oligarchs and democrats, who, with varying success, but not at all spontaneously destroyed each other (3. 70-81; 4. 46- 48). This means that Thucydides could not even imagine the mob taking part in a civil feud. Stasis, civil strife, did not involve the participation of unorganized mass gatherings. On the contrary, stasis was an undesirable but quite logical result of the aggravation of the political struggle in the city of 27 . The crowd as a political phenomenon did not exist for Thucydides, and the actions of the crowd, in his opinion, could not have any influence on political life.

Nevertheless, it is necessary to analyze all cases of Thucydides ' references to unorganized gatherings and mob actions in a non-military context .28 We will need to answer a few specific questions, such as: 1) who the crowd consisted of; 2) what was the purpose of this gathering; 3) in what place the crowd gathered; 4) what was the degree of its organization.

Thucydides ' references to mob actions are not very numerous. The first, in an excursus on the tyrannicides, was discussed above. Another interesting case is the speech of Pericles, who "spoke in front of the tomb on a high platform, so that his words could be heard as far away as possible in the crowd" (2. 34. 8, translated by G. A. Stratanovsky). This crowd wasn't just made up of citizens. Pericles addressed the entire gathering of citizens and foreigners (2. 36. 4). The purpose of the gathering was a state-organized funeral service.

27 See about stasis: Orwin С. The Humanity of Thucydides. Princeton, 1994. P. 175-182.

28 It should be noted that this concept is usually outside the field of scientific interest. See, for example, Allison J. W. Word and Concept in Thucydides, Atlanta, 1997. Analyzing " words about words "(p. 186-206), the author does not mention either

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the ceremony, and the venue was Keramik 29 . There was no doubt that it was an organized gathering (the dais indicates special preparations), but not too much: not only citizens and their families, but also meteks and foreigners could be present there. Almost the same words can be used to describe the departure ceremony of the Sicilian expedition (6. 30-32), when the entire population of the city (6. 30.2) came to Piraeus to say goodbye to the sailors and soldiers. The crowd consisted of Athenians, foreigners, and" well-wishers " (eunoi) Athenians. The shores of the harbor of Piraeus became the place of this gathering. The ceremony was religious in nature and was obviously organized by the state (6. 32. 1-2), but the crowd was rather self-organized, since people came on their own initiative.

The events of the period of the oligarchic coup of 411 are also interesting from the point of view of the political activity of the crowd. After Phrynichus was killed and the power of the oligarchs was shaken, crowds of Hoplites gathered in Piraeus to organize actions against the oligarchs; spontaneous, unorganized gatherings also began in Athens itself (8. 92. 5-8). But, very characteristically, these unorganized gatherings are transformed very quickly (on the next day) into a well-organized meeting of the people's assembly at the Dionysus Theater in Piraeus (8. 93. 1 and 3).

In Aristophanes ' comedies Lysistrata and Women in the National Assembly, staged in 411, there is no evidence of amateur gatherings. However, the very fact of drawing attention to the spontaneous actions of women in the national assembly is characteristic.

Xenophon's Greek History gives us some very interesting cases. The Theban prisoner of war Koiratad, after the ship docked at Piraeus, lost himself in the crowd and then fled to Dhekelea (Hell. 1. 3. 22). This is an extremely rare, if not unique, reference to the frequent, if not daily, crowds in Piraeus. Piraeus was the largest port and, of course, it was constantly crowded with port workers, the majority of the people's Assembly) demanded the immediate condemnation of the strategists (Hell. 1. 7. 13). But in the case of Alcibiades ' meeting, we are dealing with a real mass gathering. The question is whether it was specially organized. In my opinion, Alcibiades, through his supporters, was able to prepare public opinion and arrived in Piraeus on the day of the Plinthia celebration (Hell. 1. 4. 12) 30 . It was thus a rare example of an organized mass gathering used for political purposes; the gathering was an official religious ceremony.

For Xenophon and Plato, the condemnation of the victorious strategists at Arginus was the clearest example of the transformation of the Athenian ecclesia into an uncontrolled mob. How can you really evaluate the process over strategists?

Let us first turn to the sources, the main ones of which are Xenophon and Diodorus. Both of them in the description of the process pursued primarily moral goals .31 Xenophon sought to demonstrate the lack of philanthropy among the Athenian demos .32 Already in the" Greek History " he tried to show as clearly as possible

29 "Public funerals had a more religious significance than one might guess from Thucydides' text: in reality, the dead were honored as heroes "(Hornblower S. A Commentary on Thucydides. V. I. Oxf., 1991. P. 292). See also Hyperid. Epitaph., col. 7, 1. 31 sq.

30 However, the American researcher B. Nadi believes that Alcibiades did not know about the exact date of the celebration of Plinthia, which was in fact an insignificant holiday (Nagy B. Alcibiades Second 'Profanation' / / Historia. 1994. 43. S. 283-285).

31 Buck R.J. Thrasybulus and the Athenian Democracy. The Life of an Athenian Statesman. Stuttgart, 1998 (Historia-Einzelschriften. Ht 120). P. 54.

32 Gray V. The Character of Xenophon's Hellenica. L., 1989. P. 85-86.

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disadvantages of democratic governance. According to Xenophon himself, the crowd can act both in a favorable and in an unfavorable direction. The main enemy is the mob, the "ignorant". According to Xenophon, during the trial of victorious strategists, the Athenian people's assembly becomes more and more unpleasant under the influence of demagogues. It is no accident that he refers to the ecclesia as "Greek History" 1.7. 12, but as already in the next paragraph (1.7. 13). In this case, we are not talking about a crowd as a gathering, but about the Athenian rabble.

As for the exaltation of Socrates, Xenophon had not yet set himself such a task at the beginning of his work on Greek History .33 The first part of the "Greek History" (1 - 2. 3. 9) It was written by Xenophon in his youth, before his admiration for Socrates became very strong. In this work, he does not mention that Socrates was an epistat 34 . Xenophon writes only that some of the pritans refused to put the issue of condemning the strategists to a vote, since this would be a violation of the law (Hell. 1. 7. 4). The version about Socrates ' presidency at the trial of the strategists appeared later in Xenophon (Memorab. 1. 1. 18; 4. 4. 2) and in Plato (Apol. 32b) as an illustration of the point of view about the opposition of one to the majority-Plat. Apol. 31) 35 .

It is important for us to "clear" Xenophon's text of emotions and try to find out if we are dealing with a real unorganized gathering. The enemies of the strategists (especially Pheramenes) used the religious festival of Apaturia for their propaganda (here we can draw a parallel with the arrival of Alcibiades in Athens). Apaturias were exclusively a family holiday, and no general meetings were supposed. Due to the specifics of the holiday (commemoration of deceased relatives), it could only be about small gatherings of relatives, and information was transmitted "from house to house". Of course, Feramen could have used this holiday to agitate the relatives of the 36 victims . In this way, the mood of the people's assembly was affected, but no large gatherings were required.

It is also incorrect to present the national assembly itself as simply an exalted crowd. The People's Assembly had reason to be indignant: the losses among Athenian citizens as a result of this battle were too significant, even in comparison with the losses as a result of the Sicilian catastrophe. Of course, there are no exact figures for losses, although both Xenophon and Diodorus report 25 Athenian ships lost (Xen. Hell. 1. 6. 34; Diod. 13. 100. 3-4). According to B. Strauss, the total Athenian losses amounted to about 3,300 people, 37 and according to R. Baca - up to 5,000 .38 In any case, the People's Assembly had serious grounds for condemning the strategists; one cannot speak only of exaltation.

The crowd of citizens is again mentioned in the Greek History, when Xenophon describes the return of the embassy of Pheramenes to Athens in 405: "And as soon as they entered the city, a great crowd gathered around them (2: 2.21). The situation of besieged Athens was critical: famine raged. Obviously, this was the reason why a crowd of people were waiting for the ambassadors at the gate or in the agora. But there is no evidence of any active crowd activity. On the contrary, it was not until the following day that the ambassadors informed the People's Assembly of the terms of peace (2: 2.22). The People's Assembly dominated both in theory and in practice (even at this time).

33 According to J. R. R. Tolkien, Probably, in 403-401, Xenophon made some notes, but did not yet make a final decision to devote himself to literary activity (Anderson J. Xenophon. L., 1974.P. 72).

34 Henry W.P. Greek Historical Writing. A Historiography Essays Based on Xenophon's Hellenica. Chicago, 1967. P. 194.

35 См. Kraut R. Socrates and the State. Princeton, 1984. P. 196.

36 Gray. Op. cit. P. 84-85.

37 Compared to about 7,000 in Sicily. See Strauss B. Athens after the Peloponnesian War. Class, Faction and Policy 403-386 ВС. London - Sydney, 1986. P. 181.

38 Buck. Op. cit. p. 58. " The number of Athenian casualties in Sicily was not much greater "(ibid. p. 60).

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heavy period for the policy) over any possible unorganized gatherings.

It is interesting to draw a comparison from the point of view of Andocides, a contemporary of Thucydides and Xenophon. The orator never used the word nor did he describe the actions of the crowd. There is only one place in the entire Andocide corpus that is relevant to the problem at hand, but it is quite revealing. The trial of Andocides on charges of impiety took place in 400, but in his successful speech On the Mysteries, he describes the events of 415, when he was imprisoned on charges of desecrating hermes and profaning the mysteries. Naturally, Andokides was not objective and tried to present events in a favorable light for himself .39 But his audience was well aware of the realities of public life in Athens, so the picture described by the speaker had to be realistic at least in this specific part.

Andocides reports that a certain Dioclides saw the conspirators going down from the Odeon to the orchestra near the entrance to the theater of Dionysus (1. 38): "He then saw people about three hundred in number, standing in groups of five or ten, and sometimes twenty people." Can this gathering be considered a crowd? No, because people are standing in groups and don't perform a single action. This is a picture (real or fictional - it doesn't matter in this case) of the plot being prepared. But what is very important, both the speaker and his audience could have imagined the theater of Dionysus as a possible place of mass gatherings. Indeed, there were no other places to organize mass gatherings in Athens other than the squares inside or near the police offices. They could only be used illegally at night, as happened this time.

All this shows the lack of evidence of the political significance of the crowd in Athens, even at the very end of the Peloponnesian War - during the most difficult period for the institutions of the Athenian polis. Organizing forces were stronger than disorganizing tendencies. The lack of real mob action in Athens during the Peloponnesian War is a very important indicator. This means that the crowd and its actions were not a means of political struggle. Nevertheless, we can talk about some changes. At the turn of the fifth and fourth centuries, the polis began to pay citizens to attend the people's assembly, because citizens began to prefer informal gatherings to official ones (Aristoph. Eccl. 183 sq., cf. 290 sq., 380 sq.). Increasing the ecclesia fee to three obols was a response that was initially quite successful (Aristoph. Eccl. 299-310; Plut. 171, 329 sq.) 40 . The reason for the decline in interest in political gatherings is not inflation or the pauperization of a large part of the Athenian population. The reason is that there have been important changes in social psychology. The most astute and intelligent Athenian political leaders could not fail to understand this. At least one of them - Alcibiades-really felt the change. Alcibiades was the first to use for his agitation not only a popular assembly or a funeral ceremony, but also an attempt to turn a religious ceremony into a mass gathering in honor of his own return to Athens. This attempt was quite successful, but remained an exception.

The behavior of Hyperbole, another (though less well-known) demagogue, was much more typical. Despite Hyperbole's radicalism, his attitude to the Athenian demos and the rules of political struggle differed little from that of earlier political figures. He acted traditionally-through the courts and the People's Assembly. But at the end of his career and life, circumstances required him to address the masses directly. Athenian so terrifying

39 Оber J., Strauss В. Drama, Political Rhetoric, and the Discourse of Athenian Democracy // Nothing to Do with Dionysos? Athenian Drama in Its Social Context / Ed. J. Winkler and F. Zeitlin. Princeton, 1990. P. 255 ff.; Missiou A. The Subversive Oratory of Andokides. Politics, Ideology and Decision-Making in Democratic Athens. Cambr., 1992. P. 20-25.

40 Ehrenberg V. The People of Aristophanes. A Sociology of Old Attic Comedy. Cambr. Mass, 1951. P. 227.

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of the oligarchs (Thuc. 8. 72), concentrated on Samos, where Hyperbolus was in exile. We have no evidence that he tried to directly influence the mood of the masses (as Alcibiades later did). Hyperbolus remained within the same framework of political struggle; as a result, he was left unprotected and was killed (Thuc. 8. 73. H) 41 .

The events that took place in Argos in 370 give us an opportunity to examine the actions of the crowd outside Athens. Indeed, the Argos ("scitalism", the law of the club) is the most striking example of the intensification of internal political struggle in Greece after the fall of Spartan rule in the Peloponnese. Historians often describe this demonstration as an example of unorganized revolutionary actions by the masses. 42 Everyone can imagine the mobs of the common people beating aristocrats to death with clubs: a picture similar to the peasant uprisings in Eastern Europe or China. However, our sources paint a very different picture. So, Diodorus writes: "Among the Greeks, this movement was called the 'law of the club', which was named after the method of execution " (15. 57. H) 43 . After that, there is a description of the internal struggle in Argos, but not a word about the actions of the crowds! According to his report, the demagogues incited the masses against the nobles and propertied citizens, and the demos, without a thorough trial, sentenced all the accused to death and confiscated their property (Diod. 15.58.1). Neither Dionysius of Halicarnassus (Ant. Rom. 7.66.5) nor Plutarch (Praecepta gerendae reipublicae-Moral. 814B) contradict this report. The only surviving source, a contemporary of the events, Isocrates writes that " the Argosans killed the most noble and wealthy of their fellow citizens "(Philip. 5. 52). It does not follow from Isocrates ' statement that the dead were necessarily killed during mass riots.

Thus, in Argos in 370 there were no mass riots or aggressive actions of the crowd. The executions of wealthy citizens were the result of justice, as the Argos demos imagined it at the time. ... in the hands of the Argos Democrats, it was not a "club of people's war", but only an instrument of execution, something like a guillotine.

So, can we assume that the crowd as a social phenomenon and the actions of the crowd had a significant impact on the political life of pre-Hellenistic Greece? The answer is clear: no. But what were the reasons for this?

It is possible to point out demographic reasons and types of settlements in the archaic and classical periods of Greek history. Greek cities were very small. The total population of Attica did not exceed 300 thousand people . Of course, in Greek cities there were some places where a crowd could gather: the agora, the theater, and, perhaps, everything (the streets of residential areas were extremely narrow) .45 But the agora, the theater, and the acropolis were all places for organized civic events, ceremonies, and so on. All these places were controlled by polis officials and could only be used for informal gatherings at night (as Andokides had observed or imagined). There is no evidence of mass riots during the Olympic, Nemean, Isthmian or Panathenaic Games (at least in the Archaic and classical periods).

41 For more information, see Karpyuk S. G. Giperbol, "chelovek negodny" [Hyperbol, "the man is unfit"]. VDI. 1998. N 4.

42 Hammond N.G.L. A History of Greece to 322 B.C. Oxf., 1986. P. 496. См. также Fuks A. Patterns and Types of Social- Economic Revolution in Greece from the 4th to the 2nd century B.C. // Ancient Society (Leuven). 1974. 5. P. 71, where the events of 370 in Argos are called "an outstanding example of mass movements".

43 Aen. Tact. 11. 7-10 cannot be considered as a description of this event. See David E. Aeneas Tacticus 11. 7-10 and the Argive Revolution of 370 B.C. / / AJPh. 1986. 107. P. 343-349.

44 J. Oher suggests that the civilian population of Athens in the IV century was about 20-30 thousand people, and the entire population of Attica-about 150-250 thousand people (Oher J. Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens. Rhetoric, Ideology, and the Power of the People. Princeton, 1989. P. 128).

45 It is a pity that there is no book about the public and private space of classical Greece.

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In my opinion, all these reasons are secondary and not so important. The main reason is that Greek democracy was governed by a poorly organized crowd of citizens, and its critics were right in some respects (in their eyes, the meetings of the national assembly could also turn into a crowd). Indeed, for citizens, the psychological need for mass gatherings could be expressed in meetings of the people's assembly. Ancient democracy, a direct-action democracy, prevented possible mob activity.

Some changes occur in the late fifth and early fourth centuries. A sign of change is the appearance of social gatherings that - at least partially-go beyond the official ones. The most striking example is the attempt of Alcibiades and his supporters to organize a crowd to meet him in Piraeus. But these changes were too insignificant to have any significant impact on the political struggle in the Greek poleis. And even such a powerful Athenian was no more than a part of the Athenian population, and there is no record of attempts to organize any mass actions with its participation. Demagogues remained leaders of the demos not only in name: they continued to use polis institutions. And these institutions had to be completely or partially destroyed to allow for mob action.

Similar conditions are already being created in the Hellenistic era. Unfortunately, our sources on the political life of Hellenistic times are extremely fragmentary, but one episode of mob activity in Alexandria of Egypt at the very end of the third century BC is described in sufficient detail in the XV book of Polybius ' work. We are talking about a revolt directed against Agathocles, the confidant of Ptolemy IV Philopator. The story of the fall of Agathocles is usually considered by researchers as an example of a" tragic story " 46, as a literary source 47, etc. Polybius, of course, used Agathocles as an example to demonstrate the influence that advisers can have on kings .48 However, the historian's goals in this case were by no means limited to the "dramatization" of the narrative. The historian described the events, making comparisons with personal impressions (compared the behavior of the crowd in Alexandria and Carthage-15. 30. 10). Even if the story about the massacre of Agathocles was "dramatized", it was still based on historical facts. What is most important to us is that Polybius saw the crowd as a real political force.

The Alexandrian movement was organized (or instigated) by Agathocles ' opponents, primarily by Tleptolemus, who controlled the delivery of food to Alexandria (15.26.11). It occurred immediately after the death of Philopator, in 204/3, when Agathocles, taking advantage of the infancy of the new king Ptolemy V Epiphanes, actually seized power in his own hands. The reason for the discontent of the population was the persecution of relatives of Tleptolemus. As a result, "the crowd became indignant; secret face-to-face meetings ended, and the discontented either went out at night and wrote threats everywhere, or gathered in droves during the day and gave free rein to their hatred against the rulers" (15: 27: 1-2, trans. by F. Mishchenko). The speech of Agathocles Moiragenus, an enemy who had accidentally escaped, inflamed the soldiers, and the discontent increased (15. 29. 1-3). " And before four hours had passed, people of all nationalities, both soldiers and citizens, began to call for a joint attack (15. 29. 4). Despite the night time, the noise and indignation grew: "Some gathered at the stadium shouting, others made incendiary speeches, others rushed around the city... Already squares around the palace, stadium and

46 Sacks К. Polybius on the Writing of History. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1981 (University of California Publications in Classical Studies. V. 24). P. 167.

47 Pedech М. Discussion // Polybe. Neuf exposes suivis de discussions. Geneve, 1973 (Fondation Hardt. Entretiens. T. 20). P. 202.

48 Walbank F.W. Polybius. Berkeley and Los Angeles, 1972 (Sather Classical Lectures. V. 42). P. 157.

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the streets were crowded with people of all states, as well as the square in front of the Dionysus Theater " (15.30. 3-4, F. Mishchenko Lane, with changes). "By this time people had gathered from the whole city , so that not only the smooth places, but even the stairs and roofs of the houses were occupied by people, and there was a confused shouting and roaring, for there were women and children with the men. Indeed, in Alexandria, as in Carthage, children took no less part in such troubles than men" (15: 30: 9-10, trans. by F. Mishchenko). The crowd began to call out for the young king (15. 31. 1). After that, the "Macedonians" - a poorly known type of military contingent-are active, who get their hands on the young king and demand punishment of the guilty (15. 31.2-5). "As the day wore on, the crowd had no one to vent their anger on "(15. 32.6). Using such a psychological state of the crowd, Sosibius gets the young king to hand over Agathocles and his relatives (15.32.6 et seq.). Next, Polybius describes the massacre of Agathocles and his relatives, which took place in the stadium. "All the relatives were sacrificed to the crowd at once, and the rebels bit them, stabbed them with spears, tore out their eyes; as soon as anyone fell, they were torn to pieces, and so they tortured everyone to the last. In general, the Egyptians are terribly ferocious when enraged" (15: 33: 9-10, translated by F. Mishchenko). Even more spontaneous was the execution of the leader of the killing of Queen Arsinoe (sister and wife of Ptolemy IV Philopator) by Philammon. It took place in his own home, and an important role in this action was played by the girls who were brought up together with Arsinoe (15. 33. 11-12).

The heterogeneous urban crowd (whatever Polybius calls it , or whatever else) becomes an active participant in the political struggle in Alexandria. The crowd fills the streets of the city, gathers at the stadium. What are the distinctive features of the Alexandrian crowd? Polybius specifically emphasizes its heterogeneity both on the lexical and descriptive levels. It consisted of both soldiers and civilians, both Egyptians and Greeks, both men, women and children. The latter circumstance is especially emphasized by the historian, speaking about the participation of children (teenagers) in urban riots as a specific feature of Alexandria and Carthage. P. M. Fraser, not without reason, insists on the participation of ethnic Egyptians in the massacre of Agathocles, 49 believing that Polybius, when talking about the Egyptians, had them in mind. The purpose of the gathering was to kill the hated courtier. The movement of masses of people was noted throughout the city, but the stadium became the center. The crowd's actions were initially spontaneous, but Agathocles ' enemies gradually directed them in the right direction.

The actions of the crowd in Ptolemaic Alexandria are fundamentally different from the actions of the masses in earlier periods of Greek history. In Alexandria, citizens and non-citizens, Greeks, Egyptians, men and women take part in mass riots. The activity of the masses does not stop either day or night, while covering the entire city. The stadium becomes the center of it. It is characteristic that there is no information about any involvement of polis institutes in these events, although Alexandria was formally a polis 50 . Everything happens in a completely different way than in the Greek poleis, and this once again confirms the deep difference in the sphere of social life between the classical and Hellenistic periods of Greek history.

Oddly enough, the crowd (more precisely: the danger of the crowd) in the V-IV centuries was more important in the ideological sphere. Opponents of democracy from the circle of Plato and Isocrates began to widely use the term in the sense of an unbridled crowd of Athenian citizens. Xenophon, when describing the trial of the victorious strategists at Arginus, tried to describe demos ' behavior as typical of the crowd. &

49 Fraser P.M. Ptolemaic Alexandria. V. I. Oxf., 1972. P. 81 f. Moreover, the author believes that the massacre of Agathocles by the indigenous Egyptians expressed their hatred towards the Greek authorities (ibid.).

50 There were citizens of philae and phratries (though artificial), etc. See Fraser. Op. cit. p. 38 ff.

page 13

In Plato's Socrates, the mob and the mob are one and the same thing. For Plato, Isocrates and their followers, this is primarily the mob, and in their writings they did not use examples of mob activity, mass riots, but only disapproved of completely official gatherings - the people's assembly, the court. Plato's Socrates avoided the daily city crowd, Plato hated the rabble ("ignorant"), but, as practice has shown, they should have feared first of all the Athenian demos as the main opponent of any anti-democratic constructions. This is why there was such a limited audience that could respond to the ideas of Plato and Isocrates. The crowd was for Plato and Isocrates and their followers an ideological image, a "horror story" and joined the rabble .51 Of course, Plato's concept was significantly different not only from the modern one, but also from that of the Roman authors .52 The latter emphasized the fickleness of the crowd; for Greek authors, the crowd is primarily the mob. And it was not the mass actions of the crowd in the city that the Greek opponents of democracy were afraid of, but the "rabble", i.e., the demos opposed to them .53

Unlike his predecessors and contemporaries (Plato and Isocrates), Aristotle also applied his "scientific" approach here, taking it for granted and treating the crowd neutrally. The crowd (or rather, crowds) are not only Athenians contemporary to the philosopher, but also citizens (Pol. 1285b). The peripatetic tradition accepted this attitude, except that Aristotle's" crowd "turned into Polybius's"crowds" in two centuries. For Polybius, the normal state of the people, "the broad masses of the people." Polybius in this aspect is a continuation of the" line " of Aristotle. Therefore, we should not attach too much importance to Polybius ' "discovery" of ochlocracy - in fact, this is the same extreme (radical) democracy - the historian generally remained in line with the peripatetic tradition. Its vocabulary only reflects some changes in the designation of forms of government 54 .

Thus, the Greeks did not have the concept of a crowd as an unorganized mass gathering separate from the mob, i.e., the lower strata of the population. In classical Greek literature, they are almost indistinguishable. Greek democracy was truly a mob democracy. Democracy was in many ways ochlocracy (so ochlocracy as a separate concept only appeared in the Hellenistic period), and Plato was not entirely wrong in considering all crowded gatherings as identical in nature. Polis institutes were designed for crowds, lightly organized crowds of citizens. Only the danger to the independence of the polis could have prompted citizens to take some semblance of mass spontaneous actions. This is confirmed to some extent by the Athenian revolt against Cleomenes and Isagoras, and the defense of Sparta against the Theban invasion .55 There had to be a change in social psychology to allow the Greeks to act like a crowd (such as in

51 Modern sociologists are somehow convinced that "the idea of a mad (possessed) crowd emerged as a response to the social, economic, and political challenges of the status quo in Europe during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries." See, for example, McPhail Cl. The Myth of the Madding Crowd. N.Y., 1991. P. 1. But it was Plato who first came up with this idea, and his was quite an adequate image of the madding crowd. Only one political scientist has rightly pointed out that of all the ancient authors, "only Plato was able to develop something that precedes (approaching) the theory of crowds" (McClelland J. S. The Crowd and the Mob: From Plato to Canetti. L., 1989.P. 34).

52 See Karpyuk. Vulgus и turba...

53 " The problem that Plato should not have faced is who the crowd consists of and where it came from. The crowd of Athenian democracy was official - the people's assembly, the Council, and the court... " (McClelland. Op. cit. p. 35).

54 It is very strange, but the stages of development of modern social theory of crowds largely repeat the ancient Greek models. If for Le Bon (as for Plato) the crowd is a wild animal, then for Rudet (as for Aristotle) it is a sociological phenomenon. Many philosophers and scientists, beginning with Plato, began to consider the people (demos, populus) and the crowd (ochlos) as identical social phenomena.

55 Mass mob actions were not typical for non-citizens either. An example of this is even the Helot revolt (see the beginning of the Third Messenian War).

page 14

Alexandria). These processes took place in Hellenistic times and were associated with the weakening of the influence of polis institutions.

Thus, the actions of the mob did not directly influence the political life of Greek cities in the classical and Hellenistic periods (at least, we have no evidence of such influence). There was influence, but it was carried out through the ideological sphere. The "threat of becoming a mob" was used by opponents of democracy in anti-democratic propaganda.


S.G. Karpyuk

The author makes an attempt to find any traces of crowd activities in the political life of pre-Hellenistic Greece analysing some cases of alleged unorganised mass activities (Athenian revolt against Cleomenes and Isagoras in 508/7 B.C., Alcibiades' return to Piraeus and the trial over the Arginusae victors during the Peloponnesian war, skytalismos in Argos in 370 B.C., and some others). The author compares crowd actions in classical Greece with that in Hellenistic Egypt (the uprising of masses in Alexandria against Agathocles in 204/3 B.C.) to show the difference in people's conduct.

There were no direct influence of crowd actions upon political life in archaic and classical Greece. The danger of crowd activities had more importance for ideology. The crowd for the opponents of democracy (Plato, Isocrates) was an ideological image, and not a real danger.


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