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PSCI 0040 Renaissance Political Thought

This course presents a detailed historical survey of political thinking in the Renaissance. It was during this period that many important and influential political concepts, such as virtue, liberty, equality, power, republics, kingship, and tyranny began to assume the forms that remain familiar to us today. The course analyses the philosophical underpinnings of those concepts, their historical contexts and development, and their changing constellations.

Sample Topics

Dante Alighieri, Monarchy

Marsilius of Padua, Defender of the Peace

Leonardo Bruni, The New Cicero

Coluccio Salutati, On Tyranny

Baldassare Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier

Francesco Guicciardini, Dialogue on the Government of Florence

Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince

Nicolo Machiavelli, The Discourses  

You never know what you'll find
One afternoon, I left St. Michael's Hall with the desire for a cookie and thought I'd pick one up before heading back to the Bodleian. The shop around...
Gabrielle Linnell, Spring Semester 2012, Wellesley College