This course explores the political thought of the ancient Greeks, Romans, and early and medieval Christians from Plato to Marsilius. The emphasis is on canonical texts likely to be of most use to those preparing to teach in this or related fields, but anyone curious about the politics or the philosophy of these periods is encouraged to enrol. No Greek or Latin is assumed, though we will be attentive to original terminology and key terms will be will be taught and discussed throughout the course. Historical context will be supplied by the instructor and by additional recommended readings if desired.
- Aug 29. Introduction
- Sep 5. Plato, Republic I-IV
- Sep 12. Plato, Republic V-X
- Sep 19. Plato, Laws I-IV, X-XII
- Sep 26. Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics I-III, VI-X
- Oct 3. Aristotle, Politics I-III
- Oct 10. Aristotle, Politics IV-VIII and Rhetoric I
- Oct 17. Hellenistic philosophy (Inwood/Gerson reader); Epictetus’ Discourses extract tbd
- Oct 23. Livy, extracts tbd; Polybius VI *** NB different day
- Oct 31. Cicero, De Re Publica and De Legibus; Lactantius extract on Carneades
- Nov 7. ** NO CLASS **
- Nov 14. Cicero, De Officiis; Sallust, Conspiracy of Catiline
- Nov 21. Lactantius, Divine Institutes extract; Augustine, City of God, extracts tbd
- Dec 5. Aquinas, Political Writings (Hackett); Marsilius of Padua, Defensor Pacis extracts tbd
- Dec 12. Conclusion.
Note: Qualified undergraduates are welcome with permission of the instructor.
Requirements are a short (c. 200 word) weekly discussion post and a choice of either 3 short papers (6-8 pp), 2 medium-length ones (8-12pp), or one longer paper (c. 25 pp).