Philosopher-Kings of Antiquity: Lives of an Ideal by William DesmondPhilosopher-Kings of Antiquity: Lives of an Ideal by William Desmond

Philosopher-Kings of Antiquity: Lives of an Ideal

byWilliam Desmond

Hardcover | December 29, 2011

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One of the most celebrated of Plato's ideas was that if human society was ever to function successfully then philosophers would need to become kings, or kings philosophers. In a perfect state, therefore, philosophic wisdom should be wedded to political power. In antiquity, who were or aspired to be philosopher-kings? What was their understanding of wisdom and the limits of knowledge? What influence have they had on periods beyond antiquity? This volume focuses on Plato and his contemporaries; Alexander the Great and his Hellenistic successors; Marcus Aurelius and the 'good emperors'; Moses, Solomon and early Hebrew leaders; and Julian the Apostate, the last of the pagans. In conclusion it looks at the re-emergence of the Platonic ideal in important moments of European history, such as the Enlightenment. The theme of the philosopher-king is significant for Greco-Roman antiquity as a whole, and this work is unique in detailing the development of an idea through major periods of Greek and Roman history, and beyond.
William Desmond is a Professor of Philosophy at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. His book The Greek Praise of Poverty: Origins of Ancient Cynicism (Notre Dame University Press) won the National University of Ireland Centennial Prize in 2008.
Title:Philosopher-Kings of Antiquity: Lives of an IdealFormat:HardcoverDimensions:272 pages, 9.48 × 6.35 × 0.97 inPublished:December 29, 2011Publisher:BloomsburyLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0826434754

ISBN - 13:9780826434753

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Table of Contents

1: Fundamental Themes - Kingship and Wisdom 2: Plato's Dream 3: From Plato to Plutarch 4: Marcus Aurelius, Stoic-Emperor 5: Julian the Apostate 6: From Moses to Modernity

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