Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Hardback)
  • Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Hardback)
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Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity (Hardback)

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£96.00
Hardback 262 Pages / Published: 01/05/2003
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Conventional wisdom suggests that the Platonist philosophers of Late Antiquity, from Plotinus (third century) to the sixth-century schools in Athens and Alexandria, neglected the political dimension of their Platonic heritage in their concentration on an otherworldly life. Dominic O'Meara presents a revelatory reappraisal of these thinkers, arguing that their otherworldliness involved rather than excluded political ideas, and he proposes for the first time a reconstruction of their political philosophy, their conception of the function, structure, and contents of political science, and its relation to political virtue and to the divinization of soul and state. Among the topics discussed by O'Meara are: philosopher-kings and queens; political goals and levels of reform: law, constitutions, justice, and penology; the political function of religion; and the limits of political science and action. He also explores various reactions to these political ideas in the works of Christian and Islamic writers, in particular Eusebius, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and al-Farabi. Filling a major gap in our understanding, Platonopolis will be of substantial interest to scholars and students of ancient philosophy, classicists, and historians of political thought.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199257584
Number of pages: 262
Weight: 533 g
Dimensions: 241 x 162 x 19 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
O'Meara has done a fine job of shedding light on such a neglected aspect of Neoplatonic thinking. * Peter Lautner, Classical World *
Against the presumption that Neoplatonism was fundamentally escapist, O'Meara argues convincingly for the existence of Neoplatonic political philosophies. Following a historical survey of the major figures in Neoplatonism, he undertakes a summary reconstruction of Neoplatonic theories of politics which nevertheless does justice to their complexity... O'Meara's presentation of the material is readily accessible and his arguments are clearly structured. Even less advanced students could read the book with profit, but because the study is pioneering in many ways, advanced students and scholars will also find it noteworthy...The abundance of such fascinating and learned discussion, coupled with the breadth of material analyzed, makes this study most impressive. * Theological Studies *
... a lucid, orderly and comprehensive survey ... Erudite and judicious. * Bryn Mawr Classical Review *

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