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Cicero on Politics and the Limits of Reason
The Republic and Laws

$29.99 (C)

Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Publication planned for: May 2020
  • availability: Not yet published - available from
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108816403

$ 29.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • A prolific philosopher who also held Rome's highest political office, Cicero was uniquely qualified to write on political philosophy. In this book Professor Atkins provides a fresh interpretation of Cicero's central political dialogues - the Republic and Laws. Devoting careful attention to form as well as philosophy, Atkins argues that these dialogues together probe the limits of reason in political affairs and explore the resources available to the statesman given these limitations. He shows how Cicero appropriated and transformed Plato's thought to forge original and important works of political philosophy. The book demonstrates that Cicero's Republic and Laws are critical for understanding the history of the concepts of rights, the mixed constitution and natural law. It concludes by comparing Cicero's thought to the modern conservative tradition and argues that Cicero provides a perspective on utopia frequently absent from current philosophical treatments.

    • The only recent book in English that provides in-depth analysis of both Cicero's Republic and Laws
    • Provides a new interpretation of Cicero's central works of political philosophy that pays close attention to both dialogue form and philosophy
    • Discusses the early development of the concepts of rights, the mixed constitution and natural law, appealing to readers interested in the history of political thought as well as to classicists
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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: May 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108816403
    • dimensions: 216 x 140 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from
  • Table of Contents

    1. Reading the Republic
    2. The dream of Scipio and the science of politics
    3. Constitutional change and the mixed constitution
    4. Political society and citizens' rights
    5. Natural law
    6. Legislation for the best practicable regime

  • Author

    Jed W. Atkins, Duke University, North Carolina
    Jed W. Atkins is an Assistant Professor of Classical Studies at Duke University. His research focuses mainly on Greek and Roman political thought and ethics. In addition he works on the modern reception of ancient philosophy and the relationship between Greco-Roman philosophy and early Christian ethics.

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