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Republics and Kingdoms Compared

Republics and Kingdoms Compared

Aurelio Lippo Brandolini

Edited and translated by James Hankins

ISBN 9780674033986

Publication date: 05/31/2009

Aurelio Lippo Brandolini’s Republics and Kingdoms Compared is the most fascinating and least-known work of humanist political theory before Machiavelli. A Socratic dialogue set in the court of King Mattias Corvinus of Hungary (ca. 1490), the work depicts a debate between the king himself and a Florentine merchant at his court on the relative merits of republics and kingdoms.

In effect a searing critique of Florentine civic humanism, the work discusses such issues as free trade and the morality of commerce, the inequalities of wealth typical of republics, the nature of freedom and justice, the reasons for the rise and fall of empires, the causes of political corruption, and the conditions necessary for the flourishing of arts, letters, and culture generally. This is the first critical edition and the first translation into any language.

Author

  • James Hankins is Professor of History at Harvard University and founder and General Editor of the I Tatti Renaissance Library. He is the author of Virtue Politics: Soulcraft and Statecraft in Renaissance Italy, winner of the Marraro Prize and a Times Literary Supplement Book of the Year; Political Meritocracy in Renaissance Italy: The Virtuous Republic of Francesco Patrizi of Siena; and Plato in the Italian Renaissance; and editor of The Cambridge Companion to Renaissance Philosophy. Widely regarded as one of the world’s leading authorities on Renaissance philosophy and political thought, he is a Corresponding Member of the British Academy.

Book Details

  • 336 pages
  • 5-1/4 x 8 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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