Contains 34 essays from top students in heritage, classics, philosophy, and political technological know-how to light up Greek and Roman political inspiration in all its range and depth.

• deals a extensive survey of historic political proposal from Archaic Greece via overdue Antiquity
• techniques historic political philosophy from either a normative and old focus
• Examines Greek and Roman political proposal inside of historic context and modern debate
• Explores the function of old political proposal in a number of philosophies, similar to the person and group, human rights, faith, and cosmopolitanism

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Extra resources for A Companion to Greek and Roman Political Thought (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World)

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Are the coercive edicts issued by him to be regarded as legitimate because they are the ultimate outcome of their own votes? As well might it be argued that the East African, who breaks a spear in another’s presence that he may so become bondsman to him, still retains his liberty because he freely chose his master. Finally if any, not without marks of irritation as I can imagine, repudiate this reasoning, and say that there is no true parallelism between the relation of people to government where an irresponsible single ruler has been permanently elected, and the relation where a responsible representative body is maintained, and from time to time reelected; then there comes the ultimate reply—an altogether heterodox reply—by which most will be greatly astonished.

Neither can you apprehend by physical perception a political measure : this no less requires a process of mental representation by which its elements are put together in thought, and the essential nature of the combination conceived. Here, therefore, still more than in the cases above named, defective intellectual vision is shown in grouping by external characters, or extrinsic circumstances. How institutions are wrongly classed from this cause, we see in the common notion that the Roman Republic was a popular form of government.

Beyond this the State should not go; it should put no further coercive restraint upon the individual. All that the State can do for the best interests of society—all it can do to promote a permanent and stable well-being of society— is by way of these purely negative interventions. Let it go beyond them and attempt the promotion of society’s well-being by positive coercive interventions upon the citizen, and whatever apparent and temporary social good may be effected will be greatly at the cost of real and permanent social good.

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