Ancient Political Theory

SAME AS V53.0206

This course will introduce the foundations of ancient democracy and republicanism through reading and critical discussion of the works of Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle, Polybius, Cicero, and others. Ancient political thinkers used observations on history and contemporary politics to demonstrate the merits of different constitutions, which we can compare with the approach of modern political scientists. We will discuss the theory as well as the practice of ancient government, paying due attention to its enormous influence on modern thought and its relevance to problems in our time.

Examines the foundation of the ancient polis (city-state), its ancient interpretations, and the emergence of political philosophy with Socrates. Use of ancient sources. Aeschylus?s Seven Against Thebes illustrates what the ancients regarded as problems inherent in political life that, however ?solved,? always persisted. Also includes the Oresteia as the first example of a solution, Sophocles? Oedipus Tryannus, Aristophanes? Knights, Plato?s Republic, Aristotle?s Politics, and Cicero?s Republic and Laws.






Fall 2022

Andrew Monson
TR: 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM SILV 206