Cover: Republics and Kingdoms Compared, from Harvard University PressCover: Republics and Kingdoms Compared in HARDCOVER

The I Tatti Renaissance Library 40

Republics and Kingdoms Compared

Aurelio Lippo Brandolini

Edited and translated by James Hankins

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Product Details


$29.95 • £19.95 • €21.00

ISBN 9780674033986

Publication Date: 05/31/2009


336 pages

5-1/4 x 8 inches

The I Tatti Renaissance Library


  • Introduction
  • Republics and Kingdoms Compared
    • Preface
    • Book I
      • Princely education during Lent
      • The rise and fall of empires explained
      • The demise of ancient military discipline
      • The problem introduced: Are republics or kingdoms better?
      • The debate between King Mattias and Domenico Giugni is arranged
      • Giugni’s view: Republics are freer, juster and better governed; these claims to provide the structure of the debate
      • Liberty defined; freedom in everyday life
      • Freedom from taxes
      • Freedom in administering the republic: Selection of magistrates by lot
      • The freedom of the magistrate
      • The freedom of elections and deliberation
      • Freedom in the courts
      • The freedom of kingdoms
      • Republican and royal provincial government compared
      • Conclusion
    • Book II
      • The relative justice of republics and kingdoms: Laws, commercial relations, and equality
      • The sources of republican laws: Individuals or deliberative bodies?
      • Are the laws better observed in republics?
      • Are kings or republics more easily corrupted?
      • Is it better to be under law or under a king?
      • Return to the subject of corruption
      • Justice in commercial relations
      • The corruptions of commerce
      • Is commerce even necessary or desirable?
      • Free trade versus tariffs
      • What is the best kind of equality? Equality of possessions
      • Equality under law
      • Is it equality that makes the arts flourish in Florence?
      • Equality of honors
      • Republican equality not enforceable: The poor are punished but not the rich
      • The true reasons for Florence’s cultural preëminence
      • The ineffectiveness of republican education
      • Why Florentine artists leave Florence
      • Equality in kingdoms
    • Book III
      • Do many rulers govern more effectively or one?
      • Examples of governance: the ship
      • The army: Examples from Roman history
      • The household
      • The village
      • The city
      • What is the relationship between size and type of governance? Head of household, shepherd and king compared
      • Do kings or the many better care for the common good? The rest of the debate outlined
      • Does republican deliberation aid the discovery of justice?
      • Is it possible to find a single excellent ruler?
      • What can many do better than one? Factionalism and unity
      • Lorenzo de’Medici praised
      • Are kings or republican magistrates more easily corrupted by their passions?
      • Will the many or one man better serve the common good?
      • Republican versus royal deliberative councils
      • Is the power of the many or of one more stable and enduring?
      • The inevitability of political change
      • Giugni’s final capitulation; some further analogies and examples proving the superiority of kingship
      • If kingship is natural, why do republics exist in nature? An explanation of constitutional change
      • Nature, terrestrial and heavenly, prefers monarchy
      • Most governments in history have been monarchical; republican governments have historically been shortlived and unstable
      • Biblical proofs of monarchy
      • A miniature mirror of kings
      • Conclusions: Kingdoms under excellent kings are to be preferred
  • Appendix: Raffaele Brandolini’s Dedication to Cardinal Giovanni de’Medici
  • Note on the Text and Translation
  • Notes to the Text
  • Notes to the Translation
  • Bibliography
  • Index

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