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Lycurgus to Moses: Lawgivers in Political Theorizing in Ancient Greece and Beyond (Half-Term)

POL 569/CLA 569/HLS 569/PHI 569

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This course explores how political theorizing by Greek authors (classical and post-classical) drew on the figure of the lawgiver to animate questions about law and founding. It considers Plato and Aristotle on lawgivers against the backdrop of Herodotus and Greek oratory; moves on to later Greek biographers and historians such as Plutarch, and to the post-classical portraits of Moses as framed in Greek texts by Philo and Josephus; and asks how these approaches came to shape later interventions in the history of political thought. Students may write on reception of the figures studied as well as on the Greek sources themselves.
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Section S01