Civic Identity and Piety in Platoʼs Laws
Vilius Bartninkas
Published 2016-03-31


Platoʼs Laws
civic identity
foundational narratives
comprehensive virtue

How to Cite

Bartninkas V. (2016) “Civic Identity and Piety in Platoʼs Laws”, Literatūra, 57(3), pp. 0-0. doi: 10.15388/Litera.2015.3.9873.


This paper explores the meaning of religion and piety in Plato’s Laws. A discussion of contemporary scholarship shows that currently there is a trend to emphasize ethical innovations in Plato’s later thought without discussing its relation to religion. However, an analysis of the key foundational narratives of Magnesia reveals that religion has a substantial role in the dialogue. Plato rethinks the meaning of piety in his last dialogue. On the one hand, he criticizes the traditional Greek religiosity by providing a way to reconcile the performative and the rational devotion to gods. On the other hand, piety is incorporated in ethical theory as a key structural component. Thus, piety emerges as one of the most fundamental ideas in the political project of Magnesia.


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