Leviathan, or the Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil [1651]

Hackett, 1994 (Edwin Curley, ed.)

The Leviathan is Hobbes’s masterwork, published in 1651. It contains four parts: “Of Man,” “Of Commonwealth,” “Of a Christian Commonwealth,” and “Of the Kingdom of Darkness.”

“Of Man” connects Hobbes’s understanding of thought and passion to his account of the state of nature, and the reasons for which we leave the state of nature and construct a commonwealth. “Of Commonwealth” details the rights and duties of sovereigns and subjects in a commonwealth. “Of a Christian Commonwealth” gives an account of the principles of Christian politics and argues that Hobbes’s understanding of political order is not discordant with the Christian view. “Of the Kingdom of Darkness” presents the confusions and dangers that result from false religious ideas and philosophical concepts.

The Curley edition includes the Latin appendix in which Hobbes defends himself against charges of heresy, annotations of significant variants between the English version of 1651 and the Latin version of 1668, a glossary of seventeenth century English terms, and indexes of persons, subjects, and scriptural passages. It also includes Hobbes’s verse autobiography, selections from his prose autobiography, and John Aubrey’s Life of Hobbes.

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