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A World History of Ancient Political Thought$
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Antony Black

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199281695

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199281695.001.0001

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Graeco-Roman Humanism

Graeco-Roman Humanism

(p.203) 10 Graeco-Roman Humanism
A World History of Ancient Political Thought

Antony Black (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The Greeks were the only people to regard the human as a significant category. Zeno said that we should regard all men as fellow-citizens. The Roman empire made the Stoic idea of cosmopolis seem relevant. Romans were ever willing to extend citizenship to non-Romans, and now commerce was globalized. Cosmopolis was presented by Seneca, but above all by Cicero, the republican patriot. He argued that we can extend our sense of comradeship outwards from family and friends to fellow-citizens, and finally to the whole human race, since we all share language and reason. Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius thought of themselves as primarily citizens of the cosmos, but in a spiritual rather than political sense. Cicero argued that there is one moral natural law for all: we have obligations to all fellow-humans.

Keywords:   universalism, cosmopolis, citizenship, natural law, globalization, Cicero, Zeno, Epictetus, Marcus, Aurelius

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