Eric Voegelin (1901-1985) is one of the most well-known of modern political philosophers and theorists, but his massive five-volume series "Order and History," as well as the posthumously published eight-volume History of Political Ideas (Volume 8): Crisis and the Apocalypse of Man (Collected Works of Eric Voegelin, Volume 26), put forward a coherent and somewhat influential philosophy of history. In the Preface to Volume II, Voegelin says, "Order and History is a philosophical inquiry concerning the principal types of order of human existence in society and history as well as the corresponding symbolic forms."
Volume II is in three parts: "Cretans, Achaeans, and Hellenes"; "From Myth to Philosophy"; and "The Athenian Century." In the Preface to Volume III, Voegelin summarized the second volume thusly: "In the Aegean area emerged, from the stratum of order in cosmological form, the Hellenic polis with the symbolic form of philosophy. The study of Polis and Philosophy matches ... the earlier one on Israel and Revelation. Because of its size this second study had to be divided into the present Volumes II ... and III...."
Here are some representative quotations from the second volume:
"The primary field of order is the single society of human beings, organized for action to maintain itself in existence."
A philosophy of history "must be a critical study of the authoritative structure in the history of mankind."
"Our study of The World of the Polis opened with reflections on the delimitation of Greek history through the memory of the classic period."
"The world of the historian is an open field of experience for the inquirer, a manifold of peoples and civilizations with different Nomoi, and especially with different gods; and in this world a struggle for power is going on, between man and man, ruler and subject, nation and nation, motivated by fear and greed, by passion and hope. Such a world threatens to fall apart into individual and national centers of power, rising and falling without a discernible meaning. We shall see how the historians try to preserve the sense of common drama in a world without gods by expressing it in philosophical categories..."
Read my reviews of the subsequent volumes to see how Voegelin's project changed over the successive volumes.)