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The Stoic Idea of the City [Paperback]

Malcolm Schofield
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 1, 1999 0226740064 978-0226740065
The Stoic Idea of the City offers the first systematic analysis of the Stoic school, concentrating on Zeno's Republic. Renowned classical scholar Malcolm Schofield brings together scattered and underused textual evidence, examining the Stoic ideals that initiated the natural law tradition of Western political thought. A new foreword by Martha Nussbaum and a new epilogue written by the author further secure this text as the standard work on the Stoics.

"The account emerges from a jigsaw-puzzle of items from a wide range of authorities, painstakingly pieced together and then annotated in a series of appendixes, the whole executed with fine scholarship, clarity, and good humor."—Times Literary Supplement

Editorial Reviews


An impressive feature of Schofield's book is his clear and meticulous exposition of the evidence, substantial passages of which are given in translation. Any future study of Zeno's Politeia will have to take into account Schofield's fascinating reconstruction of the work of Cassius the Sceptic. -- Classical Review

The plan and argument of this book are refreshingly direct ... A distinguished contribution to the field. It sets a high and innovative standard for historical analysis. -- Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Book Description

The Stoic Idea of the City examines the political thought of the early Greek Stoics. It provides new interpretations of Zeno's Republic and of the later doctrine of the cosmic city, and an original analysis of the associated transition from republicanism to natural law theory. It offers students of classics and the history of political thought the clear and accessible introduction to the subject which has long been needed. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: University Of Chicago Press (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226740064
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226740065
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #815,851 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, But Not So Good August 9, 2001
Schofield delves quite deeply into the minds of the stoics and their views of community or citizenship, particularly the cosmic city and being a "citizen of the universe" (kosmopolitai). In doing so, he presents perennial concepts that relate to the ideal city, such as natural law, friendship and the peculiar philosophy of eros (love), pointing out works that related this subject to the example of the male system of society that characterized both Sparta and Crete (37-39).
In the first two chapters, one has the tiresome task of getting through a defense over Zeno's Republic. His Republic was disowned by some later Stoics, one of them being Cassius. Schofield meticulously but without easy readability defends Zeno's work as continuing the tradition and style of political philosophy established by Plato (27,28,42,56).
Overall, I suppose this book would be an ideal book for someone who has studied Greek philosophy in depth, but for the common reader, nay, even the beginning student in Greek studies, it is a difficult work to get through. He occasionally uses Greek words without translation, naively assuming the reader has a command over the Greek language. I give it 3 stars because of its difficult readability.
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