City-State and World State in Greek and Roman Political Theory until Augustus

City-State and World State in Greek and Roman Political Theory until Augustus

City-State and World State in Greek and Roman Political Theory until Augustus

City-State and World State in Greek and Roman Political Theory until Augustus

Excerpt

The following chapters do not attempt to trace the historical development of the world state, whether, that of Alexander or that of the Romans. They are concerned primarily with the conflict in political thought between the dominant political concept of the city-state, as established by Aristotle and Plato and developed in the Hellenistic period in the theory of the mixed constitution, and the pressing need to find some theoretical basis for the larger political organizations which arose in fact in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Historical material is presented, therefore, only in so far as it either illuminates political thought or has provided the material for political thinkers. The chapters are not concerned with the political experience of the Hellenistic world and the degree to which this was taken over by Augustus and his successors. In particular, many aspects of the development of the Roman empire and of the contributions thereto of individual Romans like Flamininus, Cato the Elder, Sulla, Lucullus, or Pompey have been slighted because they apparently had no great effect on the political thought of Polybius and of Cicero. Cicero's own practical concern with the problems of provincial government, as evidenced, for instance, in the speeches against Verres or the correspondence from Cilicia with Caellus, similarly had little influence on his political doctrine as expressed in the de Republica, the de Legibus, and to some extent in the de Officiis. Thus . . .

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