Spring 2024

Ancient Political Thought

Listed in: Political Science, as POSC-254


Thomas L. Dumm (Section 01)


This course is a survey of some consequential ancient writings on enduring questions in political theory, such as democracy, authority, justice, freedom, and power. Among those whose writings we may explore are Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Paul. Focus will be on close reading of texts, supplemented by key secondary sources.

Requisite: Recommended prior coursework; Introduction to Political Theory. Limited to 30 students. Spring semester. Professor Dumm.

How to handle overenrollment: Priority to second-year students.

Students who enroll in this course will likely encounter and be expected to engage in the following intellectual skills, modes of learning, and assessment: Reading, written work.

POSC 254 - LEC

Section 01
Tu 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM CHAP 103
Th 2:30 PM - 3:50 PM CHAP 103

ISBN Title Publisher Author(s) Comment Book Store Price
The Orestia: Agamemnon, The Libation Bearer, The Eumenides Penguin Classics Aeschylus, Trans. Robert Fagles Amherst Books TBD
The Republic and The Laws Oxford University Press Cicero ; translated by Niall Rudd Amherst Books TBD
The Odyssey W.W. Norton Homer, trans, by Emily Watson Amherst Books TBD
The Book of Job Harper Stephen Mitchell Amherst Books TBD
The Birth of Tragedy: Out of the Spirit of Music Penguin Books Friedrich Nietzsche Amherst Books TBD
The Republic Penguin Plato ; translated by Desmond Lee. Amherst Books TBD
The Oedipus Cycle: A new Translation Harper Sophocles Amherst Books TBD

These books are available locally at Amherst Books.


2024-25: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Spring 2024