Vasileios Syros

Vasileios  Syros
  • Princeton University; Academy of Finland
  • Stanley J. Seeger Visiting Research Fellow, Hellenic Studies at Princeton University; Senior Research Fellow at the Academy of Finland
  • Affiliation During NDIAS Fellowship: Academy of Finland at the Finnish Centre of Political Thought & Conceptual Change
  • Residential Fellow (2011-2012)
  • “Giovanni Botero and the Beginnings of Comparative Politics in the West”

Vasileios Syros is a Senior Research Fellow of the Academy of Finland at the Finnish Centre of Political Thought & Conceptual Change. His research interests focus on the interaction among the Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions of political thought as well as on cross-cultural encounters in the early modern period. He is also engaged in the comparative study of European and Islamic empires, ideas on imperial ascendancy and decline, and pre-modern approaches to the comparative study of diverse forms of political organization and types of government.

Syros has published Die Rezeption der aristotelischen politischen Philosophie bei Marsilius von Padua (Brill, 2007); Well Begun is Only Half Done: Tracing Aristotle’s Political Ideas in Medieval Arabic, Syriac, Byzantine, and Jewish Sources (ACMRS, 2011); and Marsilus of Padua at the Intersection of Ancient and Medieval Cultures and Traditions of Learning (University of Toronto Press, 2012). He is currently at work on a new book project entitled Renaissance Jewry in an Age of Skepticism: Simone Luzzatto on Economic Decline and Religious Tolerance. He has published in a number of international peer-reviewed journals, including: Bulletin de philosophie médiévaleHistory of Political ThoughtJournal of Early Modern HistoryJournal of World HistoryMedieval EncountersPhilosophy East & WestRevue des Études Juives, and Viator. In 2009 he was appointed editor-in-chief by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies for the series Medieval Confluences: Studies in the Intellectual History and Comparative History of Ideas of the Medieval World.

He has held research appointments at several institutions, including the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study. He taught previously at The John U. Nef Committee on Social Thought at The University of Chicago, the École Pratique des Hautes Études, and the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, and the University of Helsinki. He also served as visiting professor at the University of São Paulo, Charles University in Prague, University of Beijing, and Eötvös Loránd University. He was recently awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship for Experienced Researchers by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation and a position as Erik Allardt Fellow at the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (Uppsala).


  • Marsilius of Padua at the Intersection of Ancient and Medieval Traditions of Political Thought

    University of Toronto Press, 2012

    Vasileios Syros

    Syros Marsilius Crop

    This book focuses on the reception of classical political ideas in the political thought of the fourteenth-century Italian writer Marsilius of Padua. Vasileios Syros provides a novel cross-cultural perspective on Marsilius’s theory and breaks fresh ground by exploring linkages between his ideas and the medieval Muslim, Jewish, and Byzantine traditions.

    Syros investigates Marsilius’s application of medical metaphors in his discussion of the causes of civil strife and the desirable political organization. He also demonstrates how Marsilius’s demarcation between ethics and politics and his use of examples from Greek mythology foreshadow early modern political debates (involving such prominent political authors as Niccolò Machiavelli and Paolo Sarpi) about the political dimension of religion, church-state relations, and the emergence and decline of the state.

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