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Greek and Roman Political Ideas

af Melissa Lane

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491411,916 (3.67)Ingen
Where do our ideas about politics come from? What can we learn from the Greeks and Romans? How should we exercise power? Melissa Lane teaches politics at Princeton University, and previously taught political thought at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Fellow of King's College. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of classics, and the historian Richard Tuck called her book Eco-Republic'a virtuoso performance by one of our best scholars of ancient philosophy.'… (mere)
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Such little guides/introductions are always convenient and helpful to refresh one's memory or acquire new knowledge about the past or about events in the past that influence the presence. In this case, an overview of a selection (!) of Greek and Roman political ideas/aspects/visions, otherwise the book would have been much thicker, of course.

00) Introduction: Possibilities of Power and Purpose
01) Justice
02) Constitution
03) Democracy
04) Virtue
05) Citizenship
06) Republic
07) Sovereignty
08) Futures of Greek and Roman Pasts

The first five chapter focus largely, if not entirely, on Greek politics, Greek societies. The introduction mentioned that the Romans based their politics for a large part on the Greek ideas, yet gave them an own twist over the years. The last chapters then treat the Roman view on politics.

Treating such a subject involves taking into account what the more famous persons did: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Scipio, Gaius, Augustus, and so on. It's interesting to read how concepts of the past still are applied today. How it's a never-ending wheel/cycle. How one nation has one kind of vision for itself, yet propagates another (contrasting) vision abroad. Money makes the world go around.

As it's a small guide, several topics or details were not treated, but that was not part of the scope. As it is, and especially when one wants a brief refresh, this is a good step-up to more detailed and worked out books.

Next to the obligatory notes, you'll find a list with brief biographies of key persons, events and places, as well as a list of abbreviations and references. And I'd almost forget the maps and timelines.

Mind you, do read this little guide with attention, as the writing style is fairly heavy. While I like such a style, I don't recommend you read this when you're getting tired. ;-) ( )
  TechThing | Jun 10, 2021 |
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Where do our ideas about politics come from? What can we learn from the Greeks and Romans? How should we exercise power? Melissa Lane teaches politics at Princeton University, and previously taught political thought at the University of Cambridge, where she was a Fellow of King's College. She has received a Guggenheim Fellowship in the field of classics, and the historian Richard Tuck called her book Eco-Republic'a virtuoso performance by one of our best scholars of ancient philosophy.'

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