Abstract

This paper explores political fear in classical thought. Through an analysis of Plato, Aristotle, Thucydides, and Sallust, I discuss two broad uses of fear: fear as a source of unity and of moral energy. In addition, the paper addresses the enervating role of political fear in Tacitus’ writings. The discussion centers on three issues: first, I draw attention to an important and often neglected set of themes in classical thought; second, I provide a historical resource for contemporary discussions of political fear; third, I argue that fear’s multiple uses in political theorizing ought to be a focus of scholarly inquiry.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3222
Print ISSN
0022-5037
Pages
pp. 353-373
Launched on MUSE
2008-07-25
Open Access
No
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