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Spectacular Power in the Greek and Roman City$
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Andrew Bell

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780199242344

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199242344.001.0001

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(p.249) Afterword
Spectacular Power in the Greek and Roman City

Andrew Bell (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that it is often a refrain of contemporary political critique that style seems to overshadow substance in republics or democracies. But perhaps it has always been like that. If to be a Greek or Roman citizen was in some measure to have dignity in being a political consumer entitled to expect a good spectacle, then the study of classical politics has the power to offer insight into habits of consumption and affection, scrutiny and judgement. If rhetorics of visibility fix the models and memories of individual power, then we may all wonder at the capacity of even the humble to realize power in their cheers or jeers; and so enjoy liberal dignity.

Keywords:   Greeks, Romans, Richard Nixon, classical politics, political consumer

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