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Dumbarton Oaks Studies
Early Christian and Byzantine Political Philosophy
Origins and Background
Francis Dvornik

The origin and development of political ideas has interested Professor Dvornik from his early years as a student at the Sorbonne and at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques in Paris, and the thought of writing a history of Early Christian and Byzantine political philosophy took form in 1946 when he served as the Birkbeck Lecturer at Cambridge University. Choosing as the subject of his lectures the idea of kingship in the ancient Near East, its influence on Jewish political thought, on Greek thought, and on Hellenistic thought, Professor Dvornik showed to what extent Near Eastern and Greek political speculation influenced the Early Christians and the Byzantines. The enthusiasm with which these lectures were received encouraged him toward broader and more intensive research, which culminated with the publication of this far-ranging work.