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Considerations on the causes of the greatness of the Romans and their decline.

Author: Charles de Secondat Montesquieu, baron de; David Lowenthal
Publisher: New York, Free Press [1965]
Series: Agora editions.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Montesquieu's Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and Their Decline was published almost midway between his Persian Letters (1721) and The Spirit of the Laws (1748). Today it is the least well known of the three, though not through any fault of its own. It may have been the first (and certainly was one of the first) of all efforts to comprehend the whole span of Roman history, and among such  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat, baron de, 1689-1755.
Considerations on the causes of the greatness of the Romans and their decline.
New York, Free Press [1965]
(OCoLC)680444969
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Charles de Secondat Montesquieu, baron de; David Lowenthal
OCLC Number: 1345086
Description: x, 243 p. 22 cm.
Contents: Beginnings of Rome; its wars --
The art of war among the Romans --
How the Romans were able to expand --
The Gauls; Pyrrhus; comparison of Carthage and Rome; Hannibal's war --
The condition of Greece, Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt after the reduction of the Carthaginians --
The conduct the Romans pursued to subjugate all peoples --
How Mithridates was able to resist them --
The dissensions that always existed in the city --
Two causes of Rome's ruin --
The corruption of the Romans --
Sulla; Pompey and Caesar --
The condition of Rome after Caesar's death --
Augustus --
Tiberius --
The emperors from Caius Caligula to Antoninus --
The condition of the empire, from Antoninus to Probus --
Change in the state --
New maxims adopted by the Romans --
Attila's greatness; cause of the settlement of the Barbarians; reasons why the Western empire was the first to fall --
Justinian's conquest; his government --
Disorders of the Eastern empire --
Weakness of the Eastern empire --
Reason for the duration of the Eastern empire; its destruction.
Series Title: Agora editions.
Other Titles: Considérations sur les causes de la grandeur des Romains.
Responsibility: Translated with notes and an introd., by David Lowenthal.

Abstract:

Montesquieu's Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and Their Decline was published almost midway between his Persian Letters (1721) and The Spirit of the Laws (1748). Today it is the least well known of the three, though not through any fault of its own. It may have been the first (and certainly was one of the first) of all efforts to comprehend the whole span of Roman history, and among such efforts it still has few if any peers -- even after a century and a half of the scientific historiography Montesquieu's own writings did so much to engender, and which has now grown disdainful of its philosophic forbears. It was probably one of the works Gibbon had in mind in his Memoirs when he wrote: "... but my delight was in the frequent perusal of Montesquieu, whose energy of style, and boldness of hypothesis, were powerful to awaken and stimulate the genius of the age." But the context in which it must be understood, and from which it derives its chief value, is not that of history but of political philosophy. In the annals of this subject, it is one of the few instances when a philosopher has undertaken an extended analysis of any particular society, let alone of its entire history. The only comparable thing on Rome is Machiavelli's Discourses, to which it bears a deep inner kinship. But it is simpler than the Discourses, both in structure and meaning. For the most part it uses an historical framework, beginning with Rome's origins and ending with its collapse, and its teaching is in some ways less devious. - Introduction.

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