Aristotle’s Political Philosophy in its Historical Context : A New Translation and Commentary on Politics Books 5 and 6 book cover
1st Edition

Aristotle’s Political Philosophy in its Historical Context
A New Translation and Commentary on Politics Books 5 and 6

ISBN 9780367593612
Published August 14, 2020 by Routledge
230 Pages

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Book Description

This book offers new translations of Aristotle’s Politics 5 and 6, accompanied by an introduction and commentary, targeted at historians and those who like to read political science in the context in which it was produced. Philosophical analysis remains essential and there is no intention to detract from the books as political theory, but the focus of this volume is the text as a crucial element in the discourse of fourth-century Greece, and the conflict throughout the Greek world between democracy, oligarchy, and the rise of the Macedonian monarchy.

Table of Contents



1. Introduction

2. The Politics - themes, structure, and chronology

3. Political change and civil strife in Politics Book 5

4. Aristotle's theory of political change

5. Aristotle and democracy

6. Aristotle's preference - the politeia

7. The Politics, Macedon, and Macedonian sympathisers

8. The Politics and ethical theory

Politics Book 5, sections 1-12

Commentary on Politics Book 5

Politics Book 6, sections 1-8

Commentary on Politics Book 6


Index of ancient texts

Index of proper names

Index of subjects

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Andrew Lintott is Emeritus Professor of Worcester College, University of Oxford, UK.


"Andrew Lintott deploys his expertise – and few people know more about ancient political disorder – to make the riches of the Politics more accessible to those without a background in ancient philosophy. Expanding Aristotle’s often infuriatingly brief historical examples, and explaining the context of his project as a whole, Lintott’s analysis and commentary offer a timely primer on ancient ideas about political decline and change."

- Carol Atack, St Hugh's College, University of Oxford, UK


"This translation with commentary of Politics Books 5 and 6, aimed primarily at historians and political scientists, provides a welcome contextualization of the work. The approach is particularly useful given the practical nature of these books, which not only define existing political systems and the mechanisms of change within them (Book 5), focusing on democracy and oligarchy in Book 6, but also on how to sustain or subvert the various systems considered. Lintott’s commentary offers extensive explanations of Aristotle’s plentiful historical and political references, as well as contextualization within the Politics as a whole and Aristotle’s larger philosophical system."

- Velvet Yates, University of Florida, USA, Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2018