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A World History of Ancient Political Thought
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A World History of Ancient Political Thought: Its Significance and Consequences

Antony Black


This book examines the political thought of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Israel, Iran, India, China, Greece, Rome, and early Christianity up to c.200 CE. It begins with prehistorical notions of groups, tribes, and religious monarchy. 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 generally seen as recipients of royal beneficence. The exceptions were Greece and Rome; here democracy and liberty were invented. Theories of class evolved in Ind ... More

Keywords: global history, comparative political thought, China, the Greeks, Israel, justice, liberty, monarchy, democracy, cosmopolitanism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780198790686
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790686.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Antony Black, author
Emeritus Professor in the History of Political Thought, University of Dundee