• “Cyrus appeared both great and good”: Xenophon and the Performativity of Kingship

    Author(s):
    Carol Atack (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Ancient Greece & Rome, Greek and Roman Intellectual History
    Subject(s):
    Political science, History, Classical literature, Greek literature, Performative (Philosophy)
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Tag(s):
    Xenophon, Kingship, history of political thought, Classical Greek literature, Classics, Gender studies, Performativity, Gender
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/q6vk-qx93
    Abstract:
    n this chapter, Atack argues that Xenophon’s depiction of the performance of kingship by Cyrus (Cyropaedia), Agesilaus (Hellenica, Agesilaus), and other kings contains an evaluative model that explores alternative techniques a ruler can use to persuade others to be ruled. By deploying frameworks of performativity and spectacle derived from Judith Butler and Guy Debord respectively, this chapter analyses these narratives of kingship and connects them to other Greek political and ethical concerns about the role of the outstanding individual within society, linking Xenophon more closely to both Plato and Aristotle as a political and ethical theorist. Yet Xenophon’s orientation toward performativity also pulls him in the direction of analysts of status and structure. In its performative aspects Xenophon’s kingship begins to look like gender, equally established through performance and with a troubled relationship to essence.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Book chapter    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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