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Peter Ahrensdorf


Ph.D. University of Chicago
B.A. Yale University

I'm the James Sprunt Professor of Political Science and an affiliated professor of classics. My teaching focuses on classical political theory, modern political theory, and American political thought. My current research focuses on the relationship between political theory and classical poetry. In 2013 I was honored to receive Davidson College's Hunter-Hamilton Love of Teaching Award.

Research Interests and Background

Born in Manila, Philippines, I grew up in Washington, D.C. and received my undergraduate degree from Yale, and my Ph.D. from the University of Chicago Committee on Social Thought.

With the support of the Earhart Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Olin Foundation, and a Fulbright Scholarship, I have published articles on Plato, Thucydides, Hobbes, Sophocles, and Domingo Sarmiento, as well as five books: Homer on the Gods and Human Virtue: Creating the Foundations of Classical Civilization (2014); Greek Tragedy Sophocles' Theban Plays, co-translated with Thomas L. Pangle (2013), Greek Tragedy and Political Philosophy: Rationalism and Religion in Sophocles' Theban Plays (2009), Justice Among Nations: On the Moral Basis of Power and Peace, co-authored with Thomas L. Pangle (1999), and The Death of Socrates and the Life of Philosophy: An Interpretation of Plato's Phaedo (1995).


Classical Political Theory
Contemporary Political Ideologies
Education and Politics
Ambition, Freedom, and Empire
Lincoln and the Crisis of American Democracy
Machiavelli and the American Founding
Medieval Political Theory
Thucydides on Justice and War
Heroism and Politics
The Crisis of Liberal Democracy: Nietzsche and Strauss
Religion, Politics, and Law