Coleman, Janet

Professor Emeritus Janet Coleman FRHistS 


Position held

Professor of Ancient and Medieval Political Thought


Non LSE positions held

New York University

Global Distinguished Professor


Experience keywords:

Roman; ancient Greek and Roman political philosophy; ancient Greek; citizenship; genesis of the modern European state; history of philosophy; history of political thought; medieval and renaissance intellectual history; medieval; property; renaissance; rights theories; the history of western political thought; theories of property; theories of the state

Research summary > [Click to expand]

Janet Coleman, FRHistS, co-founder and co-executive editor of History of Political Thought, joined the department in 1987. She is one of the convenors of the History of Political Ideas staff/postgraduate seminar at the Institute of Historical Research.

From 2000-03 she was a Leverhulme Major Research Fellow researching: 'Pre-modern understandings of property: personal ownership and self-understanding' reflecting her interests in Ancient Greek, Roman, Medieval and Renaissance intellectual and social history.

As the Benedict Lecturer, Boston University (2002) she delivered a series of lectures on the decline of confidence in public right reason from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance.

In Autumn 2006 she was a Braudel Research Fellow at the European University Institute, Florence, Italy studying contemporary Italian scholarship on pre-Justinian Roman law.

In December 2007 she delivered the Dimaras Lecture at the Institute for Neo-Hellenic Research, National Hellenic Research Foundation, Athens, Greece: 'Ancient Greek, modern and post-modern agonisms: the possibilities for democratic toleration'.

From 2009 she will also be a Global Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at New York University, USA.

Countries and regions to which research relates:

Ancient Greece; Europe


French [Spoken: Fluent, Written: Fluent]; German [Spoken: Intermediate, Written: Intermediate]; Italian [Spoken: Basic, Written: Basic]

Media experience:


Contact Points

LSE phone number:

+44 (0)20 7955 7196



Coleman, Janet (2011) Medieval political theory, c.1000-1500 In: Klosko, George, (ed.) The Oxford Handbook of the History of Political Philosophy. Oxford handbooks in philosophy. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, 180-205. ISBN 9780199238804


Coleman, Janet (2009) Using, not owning-duties, not rights: the consequences of some Franciscan perspectives on politics In: Cusato, Michael and Geltner, Guy, (eds.) Defenders and Critics of Franciscan Life: Essays in Honor of John V. Fleming. The medieval Franciscans. BRILL, Leiden, The Netherlands, 65-84. ISBN 9789004176300


Coleman, Janet (2007) Ancient Greek, modern and post-modern agonisms: the possibilities for democratic toleration. In: The Dimaras Lecture, December 2007, Athens, Greece

Coleman, Janet (2007) Citizenship and the language of statecraft In: Molho, A and Curto, D, (eds.) Finding Europe: Discourses on Margins, Communities, IMAges. Berghahn Books, Oxford, UK, 223-252. ISBN 9781845452087


Coleman, Janet (2006) The philosophy of law in the writings of Augustine In: Lobban, Michael and Miller, Fred D. and Stein, Peter G. and Padovani, Andrea and Biondi, Carrie A. Khan, (eds.) A History of the Philosophy of Law From the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics. A treatise of legal philosophy and general jurisprudence. Springer, Berlin, Germany. ISBN 9781402049507

Coleman, Janet (2006) Are there any individual rights or only duties? On the limits of obedience in the avoidance of sin according to late medieval and early modern scholars In: Makinen, Virpi and Korkman, Petter, (eds.) Transformations in Medieval and Early-Modern Rights Discourse. The new synthese historical library, 59. Springer, Netherlands, 3-36. ISBN 9781402042119


Coleman, Janet (2005) Sui concetti giuridici e politici della costituzione dell'Europa FrancoAngeli Edizioni, Milan, Italy. ISBN 9788846463838

Coleman, Janet (2005) Proprieta: premoderna e moderna In: Chignola, Sandro and Duso, Giuseppe, (eds.) Sui Concetti Giuridici e Politici Della Costituzione Dell'europa. Franco Angeli, Milan, Italy, 119. ISBN 9788846463838

Coleman, Janet (2005) El concepto de republica. Continuidad mitica y continuidad real Res Publica, Revista de Filosofia Politica, 15. 27-48. ISSN 1576-4184

Coleman, Janet (2005) Scholastic treatments of maintaining one's fama ('reputation/good name') and the correction of private 'passions' for the public good and public legitimacy Cultural and Social History, 2 (1). 23-48. ISSN 1478-0038

Coleman, Janet (2005) Pre-modern property and self-ownership before and after Locke: or, when did common decency become a private rather than a public virtue? European Journal of Political Theory, 4 (2). 125-145. ISSN 1474-8851

Coleman, Janet (2005) Ancient and Medieval memories: studies in the reconstruction of the past Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK. ISBN 9780521019378


Coleman, Janet (2003) Images of the city and its citizens in late Antiquity and the Renaissance In: Gosman, M. and Martels, Von and Schmidt, Victor Michael, (eds.) Antiquity Renewed: Late Classical and Early Modern Themes. Peeters, Leuven; Paris, France, 35-62. ISBN 978-90-429-1308-0


Coleman, Janet (2002) Urban experiences: some critical observations on contemporary scholarship concerning the relation between medieval political theories and practices In: Burschel, Peter and Häberlein, Mark and Reinhardt, Volker and Weber, Wolfgang. E. J. and Wendt, Reinhard, (eds.) Historische AnstößE: Festchrift Für Wolfgang Reinhard Zum 65. Geburtstag Am 10. April 2002. Akademie Verlag, Berlin, 296-314. ISBN 9783050036311


Coleman, Janet (2000) A history of political thought: from ancient Greece to early Christianity Blackwell Publishing, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780631218227

Coleman, Janet (2000) A history of political thought, from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance Blackwell, Oxford, UK. ISBN 9780631186533

Coleman, Janet (2000) Giustizia e appartenenza politica in Marsilio da Padova Filosofia Politica, 14 (3). ISSN 0394-7297

Coleman, Janet (2000) The history of political thought in a modern university: the first Henry Tudor memorial lecture History of Political Thought, 21 (1). 152-171. ISSN 0143-781X


Coleman, Janet (1999) J. H. Burns and the history of political thought: a celebration History of Political Thought, 20 (1 Spec). ISSN 0143-781X

Coleman, J. (1999) Ockham's right reason and the genesis of the political as 'absolutist' History of Political Thought, 20 (1). 36-64. ISSN 0143-781X

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Leverhulme Major Research Fellow

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