By Beate Jahn

Classical political theorists resembling Thucydides, Kant, Rousseau, Smith, Hegel, Grotius, Mill, Locke and Clausewitz are usually hired to provide an explanation for and justify modern overseas politics and are noticeable to represent different colleges of idea within the self-discipline. in spite of the fact that, conventional interpretations usually forget about the highbrow and ancient context within which those thinkers have been writing in addition to the lineages by which they got here to be appropriated in diplomacy. This choice of essays presents substitute interpretations delicate to those political and highbrow contexts and to the trajectory in their appropriation. The political, sociological, anthropological, criminal, fiscal, philosophical and normative dimensions are proven to be constitutive, not only of classical theories, yet of overseas concept and perform within the modern international. furthermore, they problem conventional money owed of undying debates and colleges of idea and supply new conceptions of center matters similar to sovereignty, morality, legislation, estate, imperialism and enterprise.

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Alert to Thucydides’ use of the antithesis, however, we suspect that on closer reading the text may be inviting us to search for good politics in the critical examination of Pericles. Thucydides’ catalogue of Pericles’ virtues is well known. 5). 5). Moreover, he is a master of the art of persuasion. 2ff). 8). Nevertheless, we detect in the History as a whole a subtle interrogation of this glowing appraisal. While opposing the people on difficult occasions, Pericles unwaveringly supports their desire for empire; while extolling Athenian virtues, he undermines the norms of social cohesion; while advocating a prudent course of action, he engages Athens in an adventure that produces momentous turns of fortune.

50. 30 Pericles, realism and the normative conditions of deliberate action contradicting the wishes (or whims) of the multitude. 9). Each of Pericles’ three speeches turns public opinion in a particular direction. And indeed Thucydides explicitly distinguishes Pericles from all subsequent leaders precisely on this point. But although Pericles is quite unlike the crop of leaders that succeed him, he does not differ from his successors as regards his attachment to empire. During his leadership, the Athenians boldly transfer the treasury of the Delian League from Delos to Athens and use it to finance the adornment of the city.

G. g. the Periclean funeral oration and the plague narrative) is well known. But the presence of antithesis in the treatment of Pericles, a part of the text usually thought to exhibit a more straightforward teaching, has commanded less attention. g. 65), we believe that the progress of his narrative, perhaps unbeknownst to the author, interrogates that glowing assessment. The fuller, more subtle treatment of Pericles as it emerges from the text as a whole, suggests tension between two antithetical yet complementary attitudes regarding the possibility of conducting ourselves wisely.

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