To Have a Democracy, We Must Learn How to Persuade Each Other

If you have any reverence for Persuasion
the majesty of Persuasion,
the spell of my voice that would appease your fury —
Oh please stay.
— Athena in Aeschulys’s The Eumenides

When the Goddess Athena speaks of the “majesty of persuasion,” she is trying to accomplish two different things. First, she is trying to resolve a difficult situation involving the…