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Associate Professor George Steiris

By Departmental Research Seminar

Tuesday 10 March (Week 3), 2-3.30pm

Seminar Room (1.602), Level 1, Australian Hearing Hub, Macquarie University

The Department of Ancient History in conjunction with the Macquarie University Ancient History Association (MAHA) offers a research seminar series, intended to bring together those within Macquarie and outside who have an interest in the languages, histories, and cultures of the ancient world. View the schedule for the research seminar.

All are welcome! Please arrive on time and join us after the seminar for coffee, tea and biscuits!

Convenor: Dr Alexandra Woods Twitter


Associate Professor George Steiris | National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

Connect with George on Twitter: Twitter

The Ancient Greek Idea of the City and its Reappraisal by Medieval Islamic Political Thought

In addition, the city is a form of political association, a polity (πολιτεία) that safeguards the self-sufficiency of its citizens and affects neighboring political entities. The Islamicate civilization emerged in a world comprised of empires. MuÎammad’s successors established the caliphate, which is an empire, governed by Islamic law, sharīʿa, which was, according the Muslim tradition, revealed to MuÎammad, as the guide to human happiness. From this perspective, it is obvious that the concept of the caliphate was at odds with that of the ancient Greek polis. However, despite the different conditions that prevailed in the Arab world, Greek political philosophy became a useful tool for Muslim philosophers that allowed them to articulate a coherent and stable framework for political organization. The rapid expansion of the Arab empires and the pressing needs the Muslims were confronted with compelled them to seek solutions and lessons in classical political theory and to reconfigure the ancient concept of the polis.

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