Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A World History of Ancient Political Thought - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

A World History of Ancient Political Thought

Antony Black


This book examines the political thought of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, Iran, India, China, Greece, Rome, and early Christianity from prehistory to c.200 CE. The most common discourse was sacred monarchy, ranging from absolutism in Egypt to a conditional mandate in China. Justice, the rule of law, and meritocracy were generally regarded as essential. ‘The people’ were seen as recipients of royal beneficence. The exceptions were Greece and Rome; here democracy and liberty were invented. Theories of class evolved in India and China, and of the nation in Israel. Stoics and Cicero saw humanity as ... More

Keywords: monarchy, justice, the state, democracy, the Greeks, Confucius, liberty, meritocracy, rule of law, nation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2009 Print ISBN-13: 9780199281695
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281695.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Antony Black, author
Professor Emeritus in the History of Political Thought, School of Humanities, University of Dundee
Author Webpage