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La gloire et l'outrage. Heurs et malheurs des statues honorifiques de Démétrios de Phalère

Abstract : Demetrius of Phaleron ruled over the City of Athens from 317 to 307 B.C., and was honoured with many statues. Whereas those distinctions, throughout all of the classical period, were very parsimoniously handed out by the Athenian people, Demetrius the legislator deliberately crowded the civic landscape with effigies of himself, as new sculptural forms were invented and given pride of place - equestrian statues, for instance - as new spaces were being invested - such as the demes - and other monumental manifestations in the public space were being all the while limited. When Demetrius of Phaleron came to power, honorific effigies got to be much more imposed than they were negotiated, or, at least, were much more generously vouchsafed by the community - the members of which, incidentally, had been drastically redefined and restricted. As they gradually cluttered up the public space, honorific statues - supposedly erected for eternity - became the targets of numerous degradations. By a phenomenon of compensation, the effigies of Demetrius of Phaleron were hence destroyed, transformed or desecrated, along different modes which now allow the defining of a genuine culture of outrage, established on the long run. Beyond the case of Demetrius of Phaleron alone, those honorific statues have proved indeed useful to the understanding of that period of time : they have enabled us to study at once the short-term history of political turning points and legislative reforms, and, on a long-term basis, that of rituals and civic memory. Studying those statues requires the combination of the anthropological approach with an institutional - or even procedural - perspective.
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https://hal-upec-upem.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00738828
Contributor : Vincent Azoulay <>
Submitted on : Friday, October 5, 2012 - 11:31:24 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 7:07:03 PM

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Vincent Azoulay. La gloire et l'outrage. Heurs et malheurs des statues honorifiques de Démétrios de Phalère. Annales. Histoire, Sciences sociales, Armand Colin, 2009, 64 (2), pp.303-340. ⟨hal-00738828⟩

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