HoP 354 - Greed is Good - Economics in the Italian Renaissance

July 26th, 2020

Leon Battista Alberti, Benedetto Cotrugli, and Poggio Bracciolini grapple with the moral and conceptual problems raised by the prospect of people getting filthy rich.

HoP 353 - The Good Place - Utopias in the Italian Renaissance

July 12th, 2020

Tommaso Campanella’s “The City of the Sun” and other utopian works of the Italian Renaissance describe perfect cities as an ideal for real life politics.

HoP 352 - The Teacher of Our Actions - Renaissance Historiography

June 28th, 2020

Bruni, Poggio, Machiavelli, and Guicciardini explore political ideas and historical method in works on Roman and Italian history.

HoP 351 - Quentin Skinner on Machiavelli

June 14th, 2020

Leading Machiavelli scholar Quentin Skinner joins Peter to discuss morality, history, and religion in the Prince and the Discourses.

HoP 350 - The Sentence - Machiavelli on Republicanism

May 31st, 2020

Peter celebrates reaching 350 episodes by explaining a single sentence in Machiavelli's "Discourses."

HoP 349 - No More Mr Nice Guy - Machiavelli

May 17th, 2020

Machiavelli’s seminal work of political advice, "The Prince," tells the ruler how to be strong like a lion and cunning like a fox.

HoP 348 - The Sweet Restraints of Liberty - Republicanism and Civic Humanism

May 3rd, 2020

Did “civic humanism” really make republicanism a newly dominant political theory in the Italian Renaissance?

HoP 347 - Bonfire of the Vanities - Savonarola

April 19th, 2020

The prophetic preacher Girolamo Savonarola attacks pagan philosophy and puts forward his own political ideas, before coming to an untimely end.

HoP 336 - We Built This City - Christine de Pizan

November 17th, 2019

Christine de Pizan's political philosophy, epistemology, and the refutation of misogyny in her "City of Ladies".

HoP 329 - Greeks Bearing Gifts - Byzantine Scholars in Italy

July 14th, 2019

Bessarion and George Trapenzuntius, rival scholars from the Greek east who helped inspire the Italian Renaissance.

HoP 325 - Platonic Love - Gemistos Plethon

May 19th, 2019

Was Gemistos Plethon, the last great thinker of the Byzantine tradition, a secret pagan or just a Christian with an unusual enthusiasm for Platonism?

HoP 321 - Judith Herrin on Byzantium and Islam

March 24th, 2019

Historian Judith Herrin joins us to talk about competition and mutual influence between Islam and Byzantium.

HoP 312 - Past Masters - Byzantine Historiography

November 18th, 2018

The larger meaning of history in the chronicles written by Michael Psellos, Michael Attaleiates, Anna Komnene, and Niketas Choniates.

HoP 311 - The Elements of Style - Rhetoric in Byzantium

November 4th, 2018

Psellos and other experts in rhetoric explore how this art of persuasion relates to philosophy.

HoP 310 - Purple Prose - Byzantine Political Philosophy

October 21st, 2018

Byzantine political thought from the time of Justinian down to the Palaiologos dynasty wrestles with the nature and scope of imperial power.

HoP 308 - Dominic O’Meara on Michael Psellos

September 23rd, 2018

Dominic O'Meara speaks to Peter about Michael Psellos, focusing especially on his political philosophy.

HoP 307 - Consul of the Philosophers - Michael Psellos

September 9th, 2018

Michael Psellos and his attitude towards pagan philosophy and the political life.

HoP 296 - Morning Star of the Reformation - John Wyclif

February 25th, 2018

John Wyclif refutes nominalism and inspires the Lollard movement, which anticipated Reformation thought with its critique of the church.

HoP 295 - The Most Christian Doctor - Jean Gerson

February 11th, 2018

Jean Gerson’s role in the political disputes of his day, the spread of lay devotion and affective mysticism, and the debate over the Romance of the Rose initiated by Christine de Pizan.

HoP 271 - Do As You’re Told - Ockham on Ethics and Political Philosophy

February 12th, 2017

William of Ockham on freedom of action and freedom of thought.