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INTRODUCTION

Homer’s Iliad begins with the leadership of the Greek army before Troy preparing to tear itself apart. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar shows us the aristocracy of the late Roman Republic playing out the final act of a drama of self-inflicted disintegration. Stasisfaction and consequent civil conflict-was endemic in the ancient Greek city-state. Livy’s history might lead one to a similar conclusion about republican Rome. It is therefore no wonder that Greek and Roman political theory is above all else the search for a remedy for the malaise of stasis. Like the great Athenian statesman Solon before them, the philosophers want to save the city from itself, and to create or identify a basis for harmony which will preserve it in unity.