The Ideal State of Hippodamus from Miletus: In Search of Model Consistency

Keywords: ancient Greece, political thought, Hippodamus of Miletus, ideal state, ambiguities


The author of the article focuses on the mysterious vision of the ideal state, attributed to Hippodamus of Miletus (who lived before Plato), and is known from the testimonies of Aristotle (Politics 1267b22-1268a14) and Stobaeus (Florilegium IV, 1, 93, 1 sqq.). The author shows a possible coherence between those testimonies generally considered to be divergent, as well as a more far-reaching coherence between the political concept and the urban planning projects of Hippodamus (known mainly as an architect who designed the way a number of cities at the time were developed), which implemented the model of a welfare state, whose infrastructure was adapted for the needs of all citizens. The final part of the article is devoted to the influence of the political concept of Hippodamus on the Platonic vision of an ideal polis; this influence—contrary to frequently expressed opinions—does not in any way clearly indicate its presence in Politeia of Plato, who seems to emphasize his independence and originality of the political solutions he presents.


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