Melissa Lane portrait

Melissa Lane

Class of 1943 Professor of Politics
Director of University Center for Human Values
Princeton University


Melissa Lane is the Class of 1943 Professor of Politics at Princeton University, and director of the University Center for Human Values. She is also an associated faculty member in the Department of Classics and the Department of Philosophy at Princeton.  

Solon, lawmaker of Athens (640-558 BCE)
Art Resource Lycurgus QM Rubinstein

Research Interests

Melissa Lane is a political theorist whose work focuses primarily on ancient Greek philosophy, especially the writings of Plato. She also works on the reception and uses of Plato, informing work which she also does in contemporary political theory, including especially on issues in regard to scientific knowledge, communication, and climate change.


Among Melissa Lane’s publications are four monographs: Method and Politics in Plato’s Statesman (1998); Plato’s Progeny (2001); Eco-Republic (2011 UK / 2012 US); and The Birth of Politics (2015; first published in the UK as Greek and Roman Political Ideas). Her next monograph, Of Rule and Office: Plato’s Ideas of the Political, will be published by Princeton University Press in 2023.

Eco Republic book cover

Recent & Upcoming Events

April 8, 2022

Guarding as ruling: reigning and officeholding in a kallipolis (Republic Books II-VII)

Workshop Details

Stanford Political Theory Workshop – by Zoom

April 21, 2022

Did the Greeks Believe Their Lawgivers Invented Law?

Workshop Details

The Dennis A. Georges Lecture in Hellenic Culture, Tulane University


May 14, 2022

Plato on Rule

Paper Details

Keynote panel for the Annual Conference for the Study of Political Thought, held at Columbia University

Looking ahead: 2024

Isaiah Berlin Lectures

Details of Lectures 

Faculty of Philosophy, Oxford University