The Hellenistic Stoa: Political Thought and Action / Edition 2

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Overview

Stoicism, which came to be closely identified with the Roman establishment, began as a radical doctrine. Indeed Zeno, the first Stoic (335-263BC), embarrassed his Roman successors by advocating the abolition of money, private property and marriage. How did this change come about? Dr Erskine pieces together the evidence for early Stoic political thought to examine the transition. He sets the philosophy in its historical context showing how political thought and action interrelate in the process. Chapters discuss Stoic attitudes to slavery, Roman imperialism, property and justice, as well as specific cases of political participation such as in third-century Athenian politics, the Spartan revolution and the land reform programme. There has been increasing interest in Hellenistic philosophy. This is the first book to treat in depth the Stoic attitude to society within the context of its political environment.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
‘Erskine tells a clear, well organised and ambitious story. ... after decades in which English-speaking ancient historians had nothing much to say about politics and philosophy [he] has made a stimulating and substantial contribution to the new debate on their interaction.’

‘Although it should appeal to a broad range of scholarly approaches, Stoic political philosophy has received little attention. Hence Andrew Erskine’s new book is especially welcome. It is impressively broad in scope. It not only offers the first detailed study of the early Stoics’ political philosophy and its Roman reception, but three of its eight chapters also treat their participation in politics and their influence on political ideology ... this book marks the first serious account of Stoic political philosophy.’

‘This book should be on the reading-list of any graduate-level course which considers the philosophy or political thought of the Hellenistic period.’

‘All students of ancient society will find this a book worth reading.’

‘... learned and provocative with valuable comments on the connection between philosophic notions of psychology and political theory.’

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781853997471
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 4/14/2011
  • Edition description: 2nd
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Erskine is University Fellow in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University College of Swansea.

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