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(640 words)

[German version]

The theory of cosmopolitanism (etymology: kósmos, ‘world’, and polítēs, ‘citizen’) had already been developed in the pre-Hellenistic period by the sophist  Hippias [5] of Elis (late 5th cent. BC), who disputed the authority of positive law in favour of unwritten laws.  Democritus [1] of Abdera declared that the entire earth was open to the wise man and that the home of a good soul is the universe (fr. 247 DK). If one wishes to believe Cicero (Tusc. 5,108), Socrates, a contemporary of Democritus, also considered himself a ‘citizen of the World’ (mundi incolam et civem).

The …

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Goulet-Cazé, Marie-Odile (Antony), “Cosmopolitanism”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 15 January 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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