Ancient and Medieval Political Theory

Ancient and Medieval Political Theory
Political Science 450
Final Exam Study Sheet: Exam: Thursday (December 9), 10:15-12:15
Short Answer Section. The following list of terms and concepts it to assist you in
preparing for the short answer section of the exam. There will be 12 short answer
questions, of which you are to answer 10 (4 points each).
Problem of the multitude
Rule of one or many
On obedience
Christians and secular power
Essence of law
4 kinds of law
known in two ways
justified theft
on usury
just war
relationship to unbelievers
mixed government
standing armies
natural law (Aquinas and Hobbes)
natural rights
cycle of corruption
case of Rome
problem with hereditary power
Sparta or Venice
role of religion
wisdom of the masses?
loved or feared?
Louis’s mistakes
force of law vs. force
geometric method
state of nature = state of war
social contract
monarchical rule
Essay Question. Two of the following three topics will be on the exam. You are to write
an essay on one of the two (60 points).
1. Aquinas argues that a single prince or ruler is better than rule by a few
(aristocracy) or many (democracy). His ultimate basis for this argument is his
understanding of the relationship between natural and human law. In particular,
discuss the problem of the multitude as it relates to Aquinas’s thought.
2. An important contrast for Machiavelli is that between Fortuna and Virtue (or
fortune and ingenuity). In many ways this distinction sets Machiavelli apart from
his ancient and medieval predecessors with respect to his understanding of
politics and the significance of history. By drawing from the arguments in the
Discourses and the Prince, elaborate upon these claims.
3. Analytical Egalitarianism (AE) is a term that has been used to describe a certain
type of political theory, of which Hobbes is often taken to be the first proponent.
Explain AE and contrast Hobbes’ version from any of the other theories we have
discussed in class. In the context of this essay, discuss Hobbes theory of natural
right and the state of nature and how and why the state of political power (and in
particular monarchical rule) comes about. Be sure to elaborate.