GOV 379S • Leadership in Class Pol Thought- Honors
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
This course explores three Greek models of outstanding leadership: the Homeric heroes, the philosopher Socrates, who in the Apology claims to be a greater hero than Achilles and who makes himself the pattern for the philosopher king in the Republic, and the greatest king of antiquity, Cyrus the Great, whose rise to power is chronicled in Xenophon's novel The Education of Cyrus. Through these works we will explore the passions that lead people to aspire to political power, the nature of courage, the charms and pitfalls of the love of honor, the question of the best regime, the possibility of ordering political life according to reason, and above all the nature and problematic character of justice.
Grades will be based on two or more short papers totaling 6-10 pages (50%), a final (35%), and class participation (15%).
Homer, Iliad, Odyssey (selections), trans Lattimore (Chicago). Plato, Apology of Socrates, in Four Texts on Socrates, trans. West (Cornell University Press). Plato, Republic, trans. Bloom (Harper Collins, Basic Books). Xenophon, Education of Cyrus, trans. Ambler (Cornell University Press).