I'm interested in political philosophy, and I was hoping to become rounded in Greek political theory and philosophy, in hopes of moving on to Roman political philosophy with a bit of context. My assumption is that ethics and political philosophy should be understood (if not taught) in conjunction with one another, so are there any suggested authors and/or specific titles that you can recommend me on these two subjects?

I'm currently reading Aristotle's Politics and have just finished Plato's The Republic.

Also: I've noticed that some of the more obscure(d) philosophers of Greek and Roman times survive only in fragmented form. Are these fragments worth reading?

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    Cicero, I've heard is good. I'd suggest trying to find a book that looks at how Aristotle is responding to Plato. May 7, 2014 at 6:22

2 Answers 2


If you want to do political philosophy, the answer is yes. You should get a copy of Long and Sedley's The Hellenistic Philosopher's in Translation if you want to read the primary sources.

In terms of what to read, the account of Epicurus's community should prove interesting. As should Cicero's De Officiis.

For more information, read the entry on ancient political philosophy.

But for doing ancient political theory, you will need to also read contemporary sources that explain what these figures are doing and to some extent what we have done with them. This is not my specialization, but a good place to start is with the entries for Plato's political philosophy in the Stanford Encyclopedia and Aristotle. I can also highly recommend the Ackrill volume Aristotle: The Philosopher for a secondary source. You should also consider looking at relevant sections from Aristotle.

  • "...the account of Epicurus's community..." What specifically is this? May 7, 2014 at 14:09
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    Epicurus's community = plato.stanford.edu/entries/epicurus see community of friends in the entry.
    – virmaior
    May 7, 2014 at 14:20
  • Forgive me, but I'm not sure I understand. Is "Epicurus's community" a concept or idea? May 7, 2014 at 14:36
  • Epicurus advocated communities of friends as the base unit of social organization that had parties and engaged in life together. They were to enjoy life together and practice Epicurus' philosophy. It's in the entry I linked to, but it's also in Long and Sedley.
    – virmaior
    May 7, 2014 at 14:38

Zeno of Citium's repubplic and ethics. The Stoic Philosophy of Seneca: Essays and Letters by Seneca. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. The Nicomachean Ethics by Aristotle. And The Apology, Phædo and Crito by Plato.

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