(c. 878 - c. 959)

After working as a night watchman in a garden in Damascus, Al-Farabi moved to Baghdad and studied Greek philosophy. In Political Regime, he contrasts the virtuous city, an Islamic version of Plato’s republic, with other forms of government, classified as ignorant or depraved. A virtuous man living in one of the inferior types, he argued in another treatise, “must emigrate to the ideal cities if such exist in fact in his time. If they do not exist, then the virtuous man is a stranger in the present world and wretched in life, and to die is preferable for him than to live.”

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