“Western Tradition 1: Plato to Machiavelli”surveys the development of political thought in the ancient world, in both Athens and Rome. It introduces fundamental questions in the study of political thought, focusing on definitions and discussions of regimes, including the democratic regime of Athens. This course explores both critics and advocates of democracy in the works of Plato and Aristotle alike, working to understand the way these thinkers are in conversation with one another within their seminal texts. This course moves beyond the Athenian example to explore the contours of empire, engaging multiple strands of Roman and Christian political thought. The course concludes by thinking beyond the ancient world, beyond polis and empire, to consider both Machiavelli as a transitional figure in the history of political thought as well as the waythe ideas studied in this class punctuate contemporary debates.This course develops deeper and more sustained readings of ancient textsintroduced in Nature of Politics, and encourages further development of student comprehension and writing practices.