The Legitimation of Autocracy in the Ancient World


WHEN November 2-3, 2014
WHERE Abu Dhabi WHO NYU Abu Dhabi Institute By Invitation Interested scholars please contact

This workshop invites participants to confront one of the central problems of political philosophy in the ancient world: the legitimation of autocracy. The ideological debates of the Greco-Roman world, the ancient Near East, South Asia, and early China are usually studied separately as distinct cultural phenomena. Yet their intellectuals posed similar questions about the ideal organization of society and the proper role of government. They did so within roughly contemporary historical periods characterized by intense military competition and rulers’ attempts to establish autocratic authority. Bringing these historical and philosophical contexts together helps establish a better framework for comparing ancient societies.

Convened by
  • Phillip Mitsis, Alexander S. Onassis Professor of Hellenic Culture and Civilization, NYUAD

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