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Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline (Hackett Classics)

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0872204966
ISBN-10: 0872204960
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Editorial Reviews

Review

Republication of David Lowenthal's elegant translation of Montesquieu's neglected study of the Romans--an indispensable source for understanding the philosopher's treatment of Rome in The Spirit of the Laws--makes the book available to a new generation of English-language readers. Lowenthal's perceptive introduction and useful notes also deserve the attention of those who can read Montesquieu in the original French. --James W. Muller, University of Alaska, Anchorage



It is wonderful to have David Lowenthal's splendid translation of Montesquieu's Considerations on the Causes of the Greatness of the Romans and their Decline back in print. This neglected masterpiece deserves attention from all who are concerned with self-government--whether their focus is on history or on its prospects in our own time. --Paul A. Rahe, University of Tulsa

Language Notes

Text: English (translation)
Original Language: French
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Product Details

  • Series: Hackett Classics
  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Hackett Publishing Company, Inc. (January 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872204960
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872204966
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #309,661 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
A book far too often ignored by modern readers. Montesquieu presents a succinct and readable analysis of the history of the Roman Republic and Empire. For both the layperson and the scholar interested in Roman History this is an essential read. He presents the reasons for the the spread of Rome's empire, the fall of the Republic, and the long duration and eventual collapse of the empire in a clear fashion. He goes through Roman history chronologically and shows how these causes relate to specific events. Edward Gibbon praises Montesquieu in his memoirs, and after reading his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, it is easy to see how the theses presented here on religion and the military may have influenced Gibbon's own conclusions.
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Format: Paperback
Montesquieu's "Considerations..." is a refreshing change of pace from the usual, long winded, dry books on Roman history. It is a concise, clear, chronologically presented work, but still manages to be quite thorough in examining a variety of the causes behind the rise and fall of the Romans. The author touches on the social, military, economic and moral factors that made the Romans great, and in the end led to collapse of their empire. I can recommend it as a worthwhile read to those of you interested in the history of the Romans.
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Format: Paperback
In my opinion, this is the best history of Rome. But it's more than just a recounting of facts and events. Montesquieu gives valuable insights into why Rome became great and then why it declined. His insights, in my humble opinion, are much more accurate than the more widely known Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

Highly recommended for any student of Rome, political philosophy, or political history.

~Michael E. Newton
~The Path to Tyranny: A History of Free Society's Descent into Tyranny
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Format: Paperback
'Considerations' is a good way to sum up this work. Not a treatise, not a theory, but considerations, a series of loosely linked thoughts that eschew a rigid structure in favor of something that isn't afraid to range far out into historical musing. The final third is the best part, where he links the fall of roman civilization with the increasingly large role that Christianity came to play in it. It actually ends up being an impassioned argument for secular society in large part by showing how rigid, dull and malaise-inducing it is when church and state are linked. For being three hundred years old, its refreshingly discursive at times.
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