After Ethnicity: Zeno as Citizen

Daniel S. Richter

in Cosmopolis

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199772681
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199895083 | DOI:
After Ethnicity: Zeno as Citizen

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This chapter examines how Stoicism provided a way of thinking about space, culture, ethnicity, and the relationship of the parts to the whole. It discusses how Athenian intellectuals (or perhaps better, intellectuals writing in or about Athens) adapted a fifth- and fourth-century Athenian language of lineage and descent to imagine how the various parts of the rapidly shrinking oikoumenê formed a cohesive whole and how post-classical Stoic thought provided a kind of template out of which the monogenic and polygenic ideas of the modern world grew. The focus here is on how the Mediterranean world created Stoic political theory and how Stoic political theory in turn structured a cosmopolitan Mediterranean. The chapter argues that the political thought of the early Stoa is far less universalizing than some have suggested and demonstrates that early Stoic political theory was primarily concerned with the status of outsiders within the classical polis. This chapter focuses on Zeno’s ideas about the unity of mankind as a response to contemporary Athenian debates over the status of “outsiders” within the polis.

Keywords: Stoicism; Zeno; Epictetus; Marcus Aurelius; Cicero; Oikeiôsis; empire

Chapter.  18339 words. 

Subjects: Classical Philosophy

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