One of the most relevant topics of Roman and Greek political thought between the 1st and the 2nd century CE is the problem of the princeps’ unlimited power and how it could be restricted institutionally; so the authors were deeply concerned, paradoxically, about limiting what was unlimited by definition. To many of them the metaphor of the sun was the best answer to their question. The course of the sun made the princeps’ space of action as clear as possible: he was both absolute and limited, able to give life or death, essential for all creatures that were indispensable to justify his power. Astronomical space invests the space of politics and the metaphor of the sun with a common political language. In this chapter I focus on the transposition of this idea of space from the metaphorical dimension to the pragmatic field of the princeps’ power as it appears in the To An Uneducated Ruler of Plutarch and in the Third Discourse on Kingship of Dio Chrysostom, in order to highlight analogies and differences, according to their respective political visions.

Astronomical and political space: The sun’s course and the statesman’s power in Plutarch and Dio

CATANZARO, ANDREA
2017

Abstract

One of the most relevant topics of Roman and Greek political thought between the 1st and the 2nd century CE is the problem of the princeps’ unlimited power and how it could be restricted institutionally; so the authors were deeply concerned, paradoxically, about limiting what was unlimited by definition. To many of them the metaphor of the sun was the best answer to their question. The course of the sun made the princeps’ space of action as clear as possible: he was both absolute and limited, able to give life or death, essential for all creatures that were indispensable to justify his power. Astronomical space invests the space of politics and the metaphor of the sun with a common political language. In this chapter I focus on the transposition of this idea of space from the metaphorical dimension to the pragmatic field of the princeps’ power as it appears in the To An Uneducated Ruler of Plutarch and in the Third Discourse on Kingship of Dio Chrysostom, in order to highlight analogies and differences, according to their respective political visions.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11567/879678
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