No. XXXVI (2005)

Did the Ancient Greeks Know of Collective Tyranny?

Ivan Jordović
Institute for Balkan Studies, Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Published 01.12.2005


  • Ancient Greece,
  • collective tyranny,
  • Greek political thought,
  • oppressive regimes,
  • dynasteia

How to Cite

Jordović, I. (2005). Did the Ancient Greeks Know of Collective Tyranny?. Balcanica - Annual of the Institute for Balkan Studies, (XXXVI), 17–33.


The significance of the question as to whether the ancient Greeks had the notion of collective tyranny results not only from the fact that the answer may help us understand the evolution of Greek political thought, but also from the fact that the study of the oppressive regimes whose exact nature was open to controversy should not consider them only in terms of oligarchy or tyranny, since contemporary attitudes to such regimes were often powerfully influenced by stereotypes. For that reason this study focuses on the notion of dynasteia and shows that it, not identical but very similar to the modern notion of collective tyranny, was known to the Greeks.


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