Demagogen dichten

Antike Szenen als Gegenstand moderner Gedankenexperimente

  • Xenia Hanisch


Manipulative rhetoric is a common issue in ancient sources. As the issue of political populism and rhetoric still attracts a high degree of interest among a wide range of people, the author, a singer-songwriter, attempts to ‘revive’ these ancient sources and to adapt them into a lyrical/musical format for modern audiences, in order to test different strategies of manipulation and gauge the reactions of modern audiences. The following article describes the process of adapting and performing two of these experiments, as well as the results and feedback from audiences. The ancient case studies chosen for this are Thucydides’ description of how Alcibiades lead the Athenians into a fatal expedition to Sicily, and Xenophon’s blames of two public orators for executing Athenian generals after the battle of Arginusae through their manipulative speeches.