Integral Program Guest Lecturer Professor Josiah Ober

Date & Time:
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 - 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Please join us for Integral Program's Guest Lecture "How to Chose a King in Ancient Persia: Herodotus on Democracy, Monarchy, and Rationality" by Stanford Classics and Political Theory Professor Josiah Ober.

In his Histories, the Greek historian Herodotus tells two stories about the foundation and re-foundation of monarchy in ancient Persia. Far from suggesting that “oriental despotism” arose naturally from the “character” of the residents of western Asia, Herodotus claims that monarchy was a choice: Kingship was the outcome of strategic calculations and a quasi-democratic process involving deliberations and voting. He shows how the rational process of choosing a king resulted either in absolutism or in a constitutionally limited form of kingship. Herodotus’ analytic narratives anticipate methods and concepts used by contemporary game theorists.

Zoom Meeting ID: 349 074 4447

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