Solon the Thinker: Political Thought in Archaic Athens

Solon the Thinker: Political Thought in Archaic Athens

by John David Lewis

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Overview

In Solon the Thinker, John Lewis presents the hypothesis that Solon saw Athens as a self-governing, self-supporting system akin to the early Greek conceptions of the cosmos. Solon's polis functions not through divine intervention but by its own internal energy, which is founded on the intellectual health of its people, depends upon their acceptance of justice and moderation as orderly norms of life, and leads to the rejection of tyranny and slavery in favour of freedom. But Solon's naturalistic views are limited; in his own life each person is subject to the arbitrary foibles of moira, the inscrutable fate that governs human life, and that brings us to an unknowable but inevitable death. Solon represents both the new rational, scientific spirit that was sweeping the Aegean - and a return to the fatalism that permeated Greek intellectual life.

This first paperback edition contains a new appendix of translations of the fragments of Solon by the author.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781472521149
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
Publication date: 11/01/2013
Series: Criminal Practice Series
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 192
File size: 6 MB

About the Author

John David Lewis is Visiting Associate Professor in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program, Bowling Green State University, USA. He is author of Nothing Less than Victory: The Will to Fight and the Lessons of History (2010), and Early Greek Lawgivers (also published by Bloomsbury, 2007).
John David Lewis is Visiting Associate Professor in the Philosophy, Politics and Economics Program, Bowling Green State University, USA. He is author of Nothing Less than Victory: The Will to Fight and the Lessons of History (2010), and Early Greek Lawgivers (also published by Bloomsbury, 2007).

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Preface
Author's Note
Abbreviations
Introduction: Approaching Solon's fragments
1. 'I brought the people together': Solon's polis as kosmos
2. 'To know all things': psychic qualities and the polis
3. 'In time, retribution surely comes': necessity, dikê and the good order of the polis
4. 'A kosmos of words': archaic logic and the organization of poem 4
5. 'Moira brings good and evil': bios and the failure of Dikê
6. 'We will not exchange our excellence': Moira and wealth
7. 'I set them free': tyranny, slavery and freedom
Appendix: glossary of terms used by Solon
Notes
Solon's fragments, translated by John Lewis
Bibliography
Index

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