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Video: Political Scientist Susan Collins on Violence and Political Founding in Ancient Greece

Author: Todd Boruff

“The Ancients need to be made relevant to the concerns that we have today,” says Susan Collins, associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame.

Collins specializes in ancient political philosophy. Her most recent book is a translation of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, with Robert Bartlett (University of Chicago, 2011), which was reviewed in the New York Times book review and nominated for the John D. Criticos prize. She is also the author of Aristotle and the Rediscovery of Citizenship (Cambridge 2006).

Her current research examines how ancient Greek authors viewed political founding. “Authors such as Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophon—they don’t see founding coming about as a result of consent,” says Collins. “The ancients rightly see the true founding as the victory of one set of partisans. That’s a very different view of founding and I think it gets at some of the dilemmas we have today when we see revolutions and civil wars. How does one build a political community out of that?”

You can also watch this video on YouTube.

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