Abstract/Details

Between city and empire: Political ambition and political form in Plutarch's “Parallel Lives”


2009 2009

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Abstract (summary)

In this dissertation, I use Plutarch's Parallel Lives to examine how the size of political bodies influences the motives of political action. I argue that Plutarch's Lives portray the love of honor (philotimia), rather than self-interest or altruism, as the primary source of political action. When constrained by the proper customs and laws, and directed by the publicity possible within small cities, Plutarch suggests, the love of honor fosters political virtue. Unconstrained, however, the love of honor fuels imperial expansion, destabilizing regimes and severing the ties between honor and virtue. Plutarch's ultimate aim in the Parallel Lives, I conclude, is to promote the healthy expression of the love of honor native to cities, even under the horizon of an empire produced by, and favorable to, unhealthy expressions of the same passion.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Philosophy;
Ancient history;
Political science
Classification
0422: Philosophy
0579: Ancient history
0615: Political science
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Ambition; City; Empire; Honor; Plutarch; Political action
Title
Between city and empire: Political ambition and political form in Plutarch's “Parallel Lives”
Author
Liebert, Hugh Peter, II
Number of pages
367
Publication year
2009
Degree date
2009
School code
0330
Source
DAI-A 70/06, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109210095
Advisor
Tarcov, Nathan
University/institution
The University of Chicago
University location
United States -- Illinois
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3362046
ProQuest document ID
305051340
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/305051340
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