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 2022.

Eco Republic book cover

Upcoming & Recent Events

April 8 / 12:00-1:30 p.m.

Against Tyranny: Freedom and Friendship in Platonic Constitutionalism

April 2 / 12:00-3:00 p.m.

Kadish Workshop in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory

March 4 / 5:00-7:00 p.m.

Plato on the Value of Rule: Three Dimensions in the Republic, Statesman, and Laws

March 3 / 4:30 p.m.

Old Dominion Series: Lycurgus, Solon, Charondas…