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PS234 – Freedom and Empire: The Drama of Ancient Politics

Examines ancient politics, from the struggle for freedom to the temptations of empire, insofar as it is vividly portrayed in Shakespeare and the classical literature of Greece and Rome: the greatness, challenges and defects of the ancient republic; the nature of political and military ambition; and the causes and character of empire. Focus/possible works: Shakespeare's Roman plays; the Socratic Xenophon's novel on the rise and rule of Cyrus the Great; Tacitus on Roman emperors. The course may also draw upon Machiavelli on Rome. (Not offered 2017-18).

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