Title page for ETD etd-06242010-172854

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Russell, Jeremiah Heath
URN etd-06242010-172854
Title Athens and Byzantium: Platonic Political Philosophy in Religious Empire
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Political Science
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stoner, James R., Jr. Committee Chair
Clark, William A. Committee Member
Crystal, Ian Committee Member
Eubanks, Cecil L. Committee Member
Sandoz, G. Ellis Committee Member
Constant, W. David Dean's Representative
  • statesmanship
  • republicanism
  • empire
  • Neoplatonism
  • Plato
Date of Defense 2010-06-16
Availability unrestricted
It is traditionally understood that there is a gap, which spans well over one thousand years, between Platoís own political philosophy and its successor in medieval Islamic philosophy. A most likely bridge between Plato and these later philosophers is Neoplatonism. However, scholars argue that this philosophic school abandoned its predecessorís emphasis on political philosophy. This dissertation challenges the traditional interpretation by reconstructing a political philosophy based on a Neoplatonic commentary on Platoís Gorgias. The first two chapters place this commentary within its historical context, as well as its place within the larger Neoplatonic pedagogy. The remainder of the dissertation reconstructs the commentatorís political philosophy. The third chapter discusses his understanding of the best regime and the art of statesmanship, which in many ways is the centerpiece of his political philosophy. Chapters four and five discuss myth and rhetoric, the tools needed by the statesman to bring about the best regime. The following chapter revisits the theme of statesmanship, particularly the notion of the philosopher as statesman.
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