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Solon the Thinker Political Thought in Archaic Athens by John David Lewis

Solon the Thinker Political Thought in Archaic Athens


Solon the Thinker Political Thought in Archaic Athens by John David Lewis

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.


'John Lewis's Solon the Thinker containes a careful reading of the poetic fragments of Solon - not as poetry, but as political thought. Lewis's interpretation of these poems provides one with a greater understanding and appreciationof the political views of Solon... and his place in the history of ideas. Anyone interested in early Greek discussions of the polis, justice, tyranny, slavery, and freedom should find this book worthwhile reading' - Robert Mayhew, Professor of Philosophy, Seton Hall University .'

About the Author

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Book Info

Publication date

2nd January 2008


John David Lewis

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Bristol Classical Press an imprint of Duckworth Overlook


192 pages


Social & political philosophy



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