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Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice


Part of Key Themes in Ancient History

  • Date Published: May 2009
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521455954
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About the Authors
  • Ancient Greece was a place of tremendous political experiment and innovation, and it was here too that the first serious political thinkers emerged. Using carefully selected case-studies, in this book Professor Cartledge investigates the dynamic interaction between ancient Greek political thought and practice from early historic times to the early Roman Empire. Of concern throughout are three major issues: first, the relationship of political thought and practice; second, the relevance of class and status to explaining political behaviour and thinking; third, democracy - its invention, development and expansion, and extinction, prior to its recent resuscitation and even apotheosis. In addition, monarchy in various forms and at different periods and the peculiar political structures of Sparta are treated in detail over a chronological range extending from Homer to Plutarch. The book provides an introduction to the topic for all students and non-specialists who appreciate the continued relevance of ancient Greece to political theory and practice today.

    • Short, accessible guide to Greek political thought in its social and historical setting
    • Uses carefully selected case-studies to investigate the dynamic interaction between ancient Greek political thought and practice
    • Draws numerous comparisons between ancient Greek political thought and contemporary political thought and practice
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Cartledge's arguments will doubtless inspire much fruitful debate in student seminars, and his ideas will give more experienced scholars much to think about as they examine the ancient evidence in rather more detail than is possible in a book of this length. Equally, the book will serve as an engaging introduction to the topic for those outside the discipline. It introduces the key texts, events and ideas that underpin Greek political thought in a way that captures the flavour of the current exciting period in the study of this fascinating subject.' Rosetta

    'The scheme of the book, interweaving a narrative of what the Greeks did and a series of vignettes of how they thought, works very well, and for students and others this will be an attractive and stimulating introduction to the political life of the Greeks.' The Anglo-Hellenic Review

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    Customer reviews

    14th Apr 2014 by Maito

    good, educative, enlighten, political facts data collection on Greek, ancient politics, political thought and ideology.

    Review was not posted due to profanity


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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2009
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521455954
    • length: 194 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 11 mm
    • weight: 0.33kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Meaning in context: how to write a history of Greek political thought
    2. The Greek invention of the polis, of politics and of the political
    Narrative I. The Prehistoric and Protohistoric Greek World c.1300 BCE–c.750 BCE:
    3. Rule by one: the politics of Homer, c.750 BCE
    Narrative II. The Archaic Greek World, c.750–500 BCE:
    4. Rule by some: the politics of Solon, c.600 BCE
    5. Rule by all: the Athenian revolution, c.500 BCE
    Narrative III. The Classical Greek World I: c.500–400 BCE:
    6. The human measure: the Greek invention of political theory, c.500–400 BCE
    7. The trial of Socrates, 399 BCE
    Narrative IV. The Classical Greek World II: c.400–300 BCE:
    8. Rule by one revisited: the politics of Xenophon, Plato, Isocrates, Aristotle - and Alexander the Great, c.400–330 BCE
    Narrative V. The Hellenistic Greek World c.300–30 BCE:
    9. (E)utopianism by design: the Spartan revolution, 244–221 BCE
    Narrative VI. 'Graecia Capta' (Greece Conquered) c.146 BCE–CE 120:
    10. The end of politics? The world of Plutarch, c.100 CE
    11. The Greek legacy and democracy today
    Appendix I. Selected texts and documents
    Appendix II. The 'Old Oligarch': a close reading.

  • Instructors have used or reviewed this title for the following courses

    • Ancient Rhetorical Theory/Practice
    • Great Political Thinkers: Ancient & Medieval
    • Greek Civilization
  • Author

    Paul Cartledge, University of Cambridge
    Paul Cartledge is A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University and a Fellow of Clare College. He has published extensively on Greek history over several decades, including The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece (1997, new edition 2002), Sparta and Lakonia: A Regional History 1300–362 BC (2001), and Alexander the Great: The Hunt for a New Past (2004, revised edition 2005).

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