Dominic J. O'Meara

Published in print September 2005 | ISBN: 9780199285532
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191717819 | DOI:

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Conventional wisdom suggests that the Platonist philosophers of Late Antiquity — from Plotinus in the 3rd century to the 6th-century schools in Athens and Alexandria — neglected the political dimension of their Platonic heritage in their concentration on an otherworldly life. This book presents a reappraisal of these thinkers, arguing that their otherworldliness involved, rather than excluded, political ideas. A reconstruction of the political philosophy of these thinkers is proposed for the first time, including discussion of these Platonists’ conceptions of the function, structure, and contents of political science (including questions concerning political reform, law, justice, penology, religion, and political action), its relation to political virtue and to the divinization of soul and state. This book also traces the influence of these ideas on selected Christian and Islamic writers: Eusebius, Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius, and al-Farabi.

Keywords: Neoplatonism; political science; political reform; divinization; law; justice; state; soul

Book.  264 pages. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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Table of Contents

The Curriculum in Platonopolis


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