Saving the City: Philosopher-Kings and Other Classical Paradigms.

Malcolm Schofield, Saving the City: Philosopher-Kings and Other Classical Paradigms. London and New York, 1999.

Overview: –  A theory of the good society entails some account of how the various elements of a society are kept in harmony and how strife among citizens and groups of citizens is resolved. Malcolm Schofield’s Saving the City examines the ways in which several Greek and Roman political philosophers envisioned the substance and architecture of this social harmony. Through analyses of texts by Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Zeno of Citium, and Cicero, Schofield presents different views of how a political community may be saved from stasis. The prevention and resolution of factional conflict is addressed through Schofield’s three main topics of statesmanship, social bonds, and justice. Statesmanship is the topic of chapters on Homer’s Iliad and Plato’s account of the philosopher-king. Schofield then looks at texts of Plato, Aristotle, and Zeno of Citium to examine their views of the bonds that hold a society together, questioning whether a society is best cemented by virtue, economic reciprocity, equality, or hierarchy. Finally, the substance and function of justice is addressed through analyses of Aristotle’s Politics and Cicero’s De Officiis and Republic. Each of the ten essays in this volume were previously delivered orally. Eight have been previously published and Schofield has modified or expanded six of these eight essays. — Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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