Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
David Van Heemst
Scholarship of Discovery
I will consider the writings of Polybius of Megalopolis (c. 200 BC – c. 118 BC) and those of Niccolò Machiavelli (1469 – 1527) on the subject of Roman virtue, discussing the concept of virtue, highlighting the conduct of specific Roman citizens, as well as analyzing the Roman constitution and the wider culture from which it arose. Examining the life and historical milieu of Polybius, I'll outline his major contributions to history, and end with a discussion of his conception of virtue in the Republican Roman context. Secondly, after a brief biographical sketch of Machiavelli and listing his significant works, I'll examine his theme of Roman virtue as it emerged in his writings. In the third and final segment of the paper, I compare each author's argument and analyze their differing conclusions.
Graham, Geoffrey, "The Virtuous State: Polybius, Machiavelli, and the Idea of Roman Virtue" (2014). M.A. in Philosophy of History Theses. 7.
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