The pervasive civic importance of poetry in Athenian democracy during the fifth and fourth centuries BCE has been obvious since ancient times. The figure Demades in Plutarch calls the theoric fund, which paid for the entrance fee into dramatic festivals for all citizens, the"glue of the democracy" rhos e1ege Dernades, kollan onornazon ta theorika tes demokratias, PlatonicQuestions 1011b). In Aeschines' oration Against Timarchus, Aeschines asks his jury to apply wisdom from the poetry of Euripides in their judgment of the case before them:
Skepsasthe de, 0 Athenaioi, tas gnomas has apophainetai ho poietes. Ede de pollen pragmaton phesi gegenesthai krites, hosper nun humeis dikastai, kai tas kriseisouk ek ton marturion, all'ek ton epitedeumaton kai ton homilion phesi poieisthai... ouk knesen apophenasthai toiouton einai hoisper hedetai xunon, Oukoun dikaion kai peri Timarchou tois auto ishumas Euripidei chresasthai logismois.