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Themistius, Julian, and Greek Political Theory under Rome
Texts, Translations, and Studies of Four Key Works


  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107633766

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About the Authors
  • Themistius' close relationship with Christian emperors from Constantius to Theodosius makes him one of the most important political thinkers and politicians of the later fourth century, and his dealings with Julian the Apostate have recently attracted much speculation. This volume presents a new critical edition, translation and analysis of Themistius' letter to Julian about kingship and government, which survives mainly in Arabic, together with texts, translations and analyses of Julian's Letter to Themistius and Sopater's Letter to Himerius. The volume is completed with a text, translation and analysis of the other genuine work of Greek political theory to survive in Arabic, the Letter of Aristotle to Alexander, which dates from an earlier period and throws into relief the particular concerns of Themistius, Julian, and the rulers of the fourth-century Roman world.

    • Presents four key texts for understanding Greek political theory under Rome, especially in late antiquity
    • Provides critical editions and new English translations, in three cases the first ever to have been published
    • Studies in detail the broader issues of government, policy, and the relationship between kings and courtiers, for which the texts are illuminating
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Swain's book makes a significant contribution to our understanding of political theory and rhetoric in the High Empire and allows classicists access to texts previously out of the mainstream of research.' Patrick Paul Hogan, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107633766
    • length: 230 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Studies:
    1. The political letter: Sopater, Letter to Himerius
    2. Themistius, Letter to Julian
    Appendix to Chapter 2. The Letter to Julian – Greek into Arabic
    3. Themistius, Julian, and Julian's Letter to Themistius
    4. Letter of Aristotle to Alexander
    Appendix to Part I. Letter of Aristotle to Alexander
    Part II. Texts and Translations:
    5. Sopater, Letter to Himerius
    6. Themistius, Letter to Julian
    7. Julian, Letter to Themistius
    8. Letter of Aristotle to Alexander.

  • Author

    Simon Swain, University of Warwick
    Simon Swain is Professor of Classics and Chair of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Warwick. He is the author of a number of well-known studies of the Greek literature of the Roman period, including most recently Economy, Family, and Society from Rome to Islam (Cambridge, 2013).

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