OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

Platonopolis: Platonic Political Philosophy in Late Antiquity

ISBN : 9780199285532

Price(incl.tax): 
¥9,317
Author: 
Dominic J. O'Meara
Pages
264 Pages
Format
Paperback
Size
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Sep 2005
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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.

Index: 

INTRODUCTION
1: The Two Functions of Political Philosophy
2: Neoplatonist Philosophers in Time, Place, and Social Context
NEOPLATONIC POLITICAL THEORY RECONSTRUCTED

I. THE DIVINIZATION OF SOUL
3: Divinization in Greek Philosophy
4: The Scale of Virtues
5: The Scale of Sciences
6: The Curriculum

II. THE DIVINIZATION OF STATE
7: Philosopher-Kings and Queens
8: Political Science: Legislative
9: Political Science: Judicial
10: The Political Function of Religion
11: The Limits of Political Action

III. PLATONOPOLIS IN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM
12: Eusebius and Augustine
13: Ideals of Church and State in the Sixth Century
14: Platonopolis in Islam: Al-Farabi's Perfect State
Conclusion

Appendix I: Themistus and Neoplatonic Political Philosophy
Appendix II: Notes on a Platonist Rhetor: Sopatros 3
Bibliography
Index

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