by Sean Kelly, Managing Editor, Classical Wisdom
We owe a great deal to the world of Ancient Greece and Rome.
The philosophy, the mythology, not to mention the myriad artworks inspired by it through the centuries.
Much of what we love about that era may have been lost if not for another great epoch… that great period of rebirth: the Renaissance.
A time of radical rethinking about the shared infrastructure of humanity, the nature of government and the role of the individual. But what did the people of the Renaissance truly believe? Have they been misunderstood?
Luckily, we have Dr. James Hankins – a Professor of History at Harvard University, a leading expert on the Renaissance and one of the worlds’ foremost historians – to enlighten us.
Raphael's The School of Athens (detail)
Raphael’s The School of Athens
He is the author of many books including Plato in the Italian Renaissance, The Recovery of Ancient Philosophy in the Renaissance with Ada Palmer, and he is also the editor of The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Philosophy.

His most recent publication Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy explores this most fascinating time period… this time with regards to the government.
These days, it’s easy to be cynical. We all know the cliché of the money grabbing politician just out for themselves. It’s so ingrained, that maybe we’ve just become resigned to it.
Yet Dr. Hankins looks at how some of the most famous Renaissance figures, from Petrarch to Machiavelli, believed that shaping individual morality – soulcraft – was essential for government and statecraft to function correctly.
Dr. Hankins explores the questions that drove this world-changing era. Should a good man serve a corrupt regime? What virtues are necessary in a leader? What is the source of political legitimacy?
In Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy Dr. Hankins creates a vivid image of a world at a crucial turning point… a world in the process of laying the foundations for our own times.
Don’t miss your chance to see Dr. James Hankins LIVE at our Symposium this weekend. He will be appearing on a panel alongside historian Niall Ferguson and philosopher Angie Hobbs, where they will be discussing the end of empires and fall of nations; do empires and states die differently? And what can their deaths teach us today? Find out this Saturday at 6pm EST.
Remember if you register in advance, you’ll get access to all the recordings.
You can watch for an hour… or the entire two day event… it’s up to you!
If you haven’t already secured your spot, then make sure to do so before Friday!
Best of all, you can pay what YOU want.