Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

William Dean

Second Advisor

David Van Heemst

Scholarship Domain(s)

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.


A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the Department of History and Political Science in Candidacy for the Degree of Master of Arts in Philosophy of History

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