Athens Victorious: Democracy in Plato's Republic

Athens Victorious: Democracy in Plato's Republic


By (author) Greg Recco

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  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Format: Paperback | 262 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 23mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 30 January 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0739123270
  • ISBN 13: 9780739123270
  • Edition: 1

Product description

Plato's Republic is typically thought to recommend a form of government that, from our current perspective, seems perniciously totalitarian. Athens Victorious demonstrates that Plato intended quite the opposite: to demonstrate the superiority of a democratic constitution. Greg Recco provides a brilliant rereading of Book Eight. Often considered an anticlimax, Book Eight seems to be a mere catalogue of mistakes but is in fact one of Plato's most neglected literary creations: a mythic or epic restaging of the Peloponnesian War that pitted Sparta's militaristic oligarchy against Athens' democracy. In Plato's reenactment, Athens wins. Recco argues that the values identified in Book Eight as distinctively democratic were the very ones that served as the unannounced touchstones of moral and political judgment throughout the dialogue. Athens Victorious is an important reinterpretation of The Republic. It is an excellent resource for students and scholars of Classical studies, philosophy, and political theory.

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Author information

Greg Recco is tutor at St. John's College in Annapolis.

Review quote

Recco's book is truly ambitious and provocative. Bryn Mawr Classical Review, November 2008 Rooting his argument in a fresh interpretation of Plato's understanding of the soul and its relation to politics, Recco successfully undermines the view of Plato as an authoritarian. He sheds light on the complex psychology of freedom and its connections to democratic rule and to philosophy. -- Svetozar Minkov, Roosevelt University

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Self-Relation and the Division of the Soul Chapter 2 Spirit, Honor, and Courage Chapter 3 Citizen Socrates Chapter 4 The Battle of Constitutions