Leviathan (book)

Leviathan (book)

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Leviathan or The Matter, Forme and Power of a Common Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil — commonly called simply Leviathan — is a book written by Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

 (1588-1679) and published in 1651. Its name derives from the biblical
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

Leviathan , is a sea monster referred to in the Bible. In Demonology, Leviathan is one of the seven princes of Hell and its gatekeeper . The word has become synonymous with any large sea monster or creature...

. The work concerns the structure of society and legitimate government, and is regarded as one of the earliest and most influential examples of social contract theory. The publisher was Andrew Crooke, partner in Andrew Crooke and William Cooke
Andrew Crooke and William Cooke
Andrew Crooke and William Cooke were London publishers of the mid-17th-century. In partnership and individually, they issued significant texts of English Renaissance drama, most notably of the plays of James Shirley....

. Leviathan ranks high as a classical western work on statecraft comparable to Machiavelli's The Prince
The Prince
The Prince is a political treatise by the Italian diplomat, historian and political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli. From correspondence a version appears to have been distributed in 1513, using a Latin title, De Principatibus . But the printed version was not published until 1532, five years after...

and is one of a number of related works incident upon the crisis of the English state framework
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

 of the time.

In Leviathan, which was written during the English Civil War
English Civil War
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians and Royalists...

 (1642–1651), Hobbes argues for a social contract
Social contract
The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept...

 and rule by an absolute sovereign
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

. He wrote that chaos or civil war – situations identified with a state of nature
State of nature
State of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition that preceded governments...

 and the famous motto Bellum omnium contra omnes
Bellum omnium contra omnes
Bellum omnium contra omnes, a Latin phrase meaning "the war of all against all," is the description that Thomas Hobbes gives to human existence in the state of nature thought experiment that he conducts in De Cive and Leviathan ....

("the war of all against all") – could only be averted by strong central government.


After lengthy discussion with Hobbes, the Parisian Abraham Bosse
Abraham Bosse
Abraham Bosse was a French artist, mainly as a printmaker in etching, but also in watercolour.-Life:...

 created the etching
Etching is the process of using strong acid or mordant to cut into the unprotected parts of a metal surface to create a design in intaglio in the metal...

 for the book's famous frontispiece
Book frontispiece
A frontispiece is a decorative illustration facing a book's title page. The frontispiece is the verso opposite the recto title page. Elaborate engraved frontispieces were in frequent use, especially in Bibles and in scholarly books, and many are masterpieces of engraving...

 in the geometrico style which Bosse himself had refined. It is similar in organization to the frontispiece of Hobbes' De Cive
De Cive
De Cive is a book by Thomas Hobbes published in 1642, and one of his major works.It anticipates the classical republican line of argument in the better-known Leviathan...

(1642), created by Jean Matheus. The frontpiece has two main elements, of which the upper part is by far the most striking. In it, a giant crowned figure is seen emerging from the landscape, clutching a sword and a crosier
A crosier is the stylized staff of office carried by high-ranking Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and some Lutheran and Pentecostal prelates...

, beneath a quote from the Book of Job
Book of Job
The Book of Job , commonly referred to simply as Job, is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible. It relates the story of Job, his trials at the hands of Satan, his discussions with friends on the origins and nature of his suffering, his challenge to God, and finally a response from God. The book is a...

—"Non est potestas Super Terram quae Comparetur ei. Iob. 41 . 24" ("There is no power on earth to be compared to him. Job 41 . 24")—linking the figure to the monster of that book. The torso and arms of the figure are composed of over three hundred persons, in the style of Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Giuseppe Arcimboldo
Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of such objects as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books – that is, he painted representations of these objects on the canvas arranged in such a way that the whole collection of...

; all are facing inwards with just the giant's head having visible features. (A manuscript of Leviathan created for Charles II
Charles II of England
Charles II was monarch of the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland.Charles II's father, King Charles I, was executed at Whitehall on 30 January 1649, at the climax of the English Civil War...

 in 1651 has notable differences – a different main head but significantly the body is also composed of many faces, all looking outwards from the body and with a range of expressions.) The lower portion is a triptych
A triptych , from tri-= "three" + ptysso= "to fold") is a work of art which is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open. It is therefore a type of polyptych, the term for all multi-panel works...

, framed in a wooden border. The center form contains the title on an ornate curtain. The two sides reflect the sword and crosier of the main figure – earthly power on the left and the powers of the church on the right. Each side element reflects the equivalent power – castle
A castle is a type of fortified structure built in Europe and the Middle East during the Middle Ages by European nobility. Scholars debate the scope of the word castle, but usually consider it to be the private fortified residence of a lord or noble...

 to church, crown
Crown (headgear)
A crown is the traditional symbolic form of headgear worn by a monarch or by a deity, for whom the crown traditionally represents power, legitimacy, immortality, righteousness, victory, triumph, resurrection, honour and glory of life after death. In art, the crown may be shown being offered to...

 to mitre
The mitre , also spelled miter, is a type of headwear now known as the traditional, ceremonial head-dress of bishops and certain abbots in the Roman Catholic Church, as well as in the Anglican Communion, some Lutheran churches, and also bishops and certain other clergy in the Eastern Orthodox...

, cannon
A cannon is any piece of artillery that uses gunpowder or other usually explosive-based propellents to launch a projectile. Cannon vary in caliber, range, mobility, rate of fire, angle of fire, and firepower; different forms of cannon combine and balance these attributes in varying degrees,...

 to excommunication
Excommunication is a religious censure used to deprive, suspend or limit membership in a religious community. The word means putting [someone] out of communion. In some religions, excommunication includes spiritual condemnation of the member or group...

, weapon
A weapon, arm, or armament is a tool or instrument used with the aim of causing damage or harm to living beings or artificial structures or systems...

s to logic
In philosophy, Logic is the formal systematic study of the principles of valid inference and correct reasoning. Logic is used in most intellectual activities, but is studied primarily in the disciplines of philosophy, mathematics, semantics, and computer science...

, and the battle
Generally, a battle is a conceptual component in the hierarchy of combat in warfare between two or more armed forces, or combatants. In a battle, each combatant will seek to defeat the others, with defeat determined by the conditions of a military campaign...

field to the religious court
Ecclesiastical court
An ecclesiastical court is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. In the Middle Ages in many areas of Europe these courts had much wider powers than before the development of nation states...

s. The giant holds the symbols of both sides, reflecting the union of secular and spiritual in the sovereign, but the construction of the torso also makes the figure the state.

Part I: Of Man

In Part I, Hobbes attempts an analysis of society from first principles, beginning with Man and the Senses. He develops this in a sequence of definitions (for example: Imagination is "nothing but decaying sense" and is the same as Memory). He points out the Necessity of Definitions, which is a hint that he is attempting an axiomatisation of political philosophy in line with the programme of geometry
Geometry arose as the field of knowledge dealing with spatial relationships. Geometry was one of the two fields of pre-modern mathematics, the other being the study of numbers ....

. He defines various passions in an unsentimental way: e.g. "But whatsoever is the object of any man's appetite or desire, that is it which he for his part calleth good; and the object of his hate and aversion, evil; and of his contempt, vile and inconsiderable. For these words of good, evil, and contemptible are ever used with relation to the person that useth them: there being nothing simply and absolutely so; nor any common rule of good and evil to be taken from the nature of the objects themselves…". A whole sequence of such definitions follows: Appetite with an opinion of attaining, is called Hope; Honourable is whatsoever possession, action, or quality is an argument and sign of power. Chapter XIII is an exposition "Of the Natural Condition of Mankind, as concerning their Felicity, and Misery" and contains the famous quotation describing life in the state of war of every man against every man
Bellum omnium contra omnes
Bellum omnium contra omnes, a Latin phrase meaning "the war of all against all," is the description that Thomas Hobbes gives to human existence in the state of nature thought experiment that he conducts in De Cive and Leviathan ....

Hobbes finds three basic causes of the conflict in this state of nature
State of nature
State of nature is a term in political philosophy used in social contract theories to describe the hypothetical condition that preceded governments...

: competition, diffidence and glory
Recognition (sociology)
Recognition in sociology is public acknowledgement of person's status or merits .When some person is recognized, he or she is accorded some special status, such as a name, title, or classification...

. "The first maketh men invade for gain; the second, for safety; and the third, for reputation". His first law of nature is that "that every man ought to endeavour peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war". In the state of nature, "every man has a right to every thing, even to one another's body" but the second law is that, in order to secure the advantages of peace, "that a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defence of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himself". This is the beginning of contracts/covenants; performing of which is the third law of nature. Injustice, therefore, is failure to perform in a covenant; all else is just. However, Hobbes also posits a primitive form of the inalienable rights – which would later be restated by John Locke
John Locke
John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

 – implying that some covenants may be derived axiom
In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proven or demonstrated but considered either to be self-evident or to define and delimit the realm of analysis. In other words, an axiom is a logical statement that is assumed to be true...

atically, and consequently held to be universally true.

Part II: Of Common-wealth

The purpose of a commonwealth
Commonwealth is a traditional English term for a political community founded for the common good. Historically, it has sometimes been synonymous with "republic."More recently it has been used for fraternal associations of some sovereign nations...

 is given at the start of Part II: THE final cause, end, or design of men (who naturally love liberty, and dominion over others) in the introduction of that restraint upon themselves, in which we see them live in Commonwealths, is the foresight of their own preservation, and of a more contented life thereby; that is to say, of getting themselves out from that miserable condition of war which is necessarily consequent, as hath been shown, to the natural passions of men when there is no visible power to keep them in awe, and tie them by fear of punishment to the performance of their covenants….

The commonwealth is instituted when all agree in the following manner: I authorise and give up my right of governing myself to this man, or to this assembly of men, on this condition; that thou give up, thy right to him, and authorise all his actions in like manner.

The sovereign has twelve principal rights:
  1. because a successive covenant cannot override a prior one, the subjects cannot (lawfully) change the form of government
    Right of revolution
    In political philosophy, the right of revolution is the right or duty, variously stated throughout history, of the people of a nation to overthrow a government that acts against their common interests...

  2. because the covenant forming the commonwealth results from subjects giving to the sovereign the right to act for them
    Social contract
    The social contract is an intellectual device intended to explain the appropriate relationship between individuals and their governments. Social contract arguments assert that individuals unite into political societies by a process of mutual consent, agreeing to abide by common rules and accept...

    , the sovereign cannot possibly breach the covenant; and therefore the subjects can never argue to be freed from the covenant because of the actions of the sovereign.
  3. the sovereign exists because the majority has consented to his rule; the minority have agreed to abide by this arrangement and must then assent to the sovereign's actions.
  4. every subject is author of the acts of the sovereign: hence the sovereign cannot injure any of his subjects
    British subject
    In British nationality law, the term British subject has at different times had different meanings. The current definition of the term British subject is contained in the British Nationality Act 1981.- Prior to 1949 :...

     and cannot be accused of injustice
    Injustice is the lack of or opposition to justice, either in reference to a particular event or act, or as a larger status quo. The term generally refers to misuse, abuse, neglect, or malfeasance that is uncorrected or else sanctioned by a legal system. Misuse and abuse with regard to a particular...

  5. following this, the sovereign cannot justly be put to death by the subjects.
  6. because the purpose of the commonwealth is peace, and the sovereign has the right to do whatever he thinks necessary for the preserving of peace and security and prevention of discord. Therefore, the sovereign may judge what opinions and doctrines are averse, who shall be allowed to speak to multitudes, and who shall examine the doctrines of all books before they are published.
  7. to prescribe the rules of civil law
    Civil law (legal system)
    Civil law is a legal system inspired by Roman law and whose primary feature is that laws are codified into collections, as compared to common law systems that gives great precedential weight to common law on the principle that it is unfair to treat similar facts differently on different...

     and property
    Property is any physical or intangible entity that is owned by a person or jointly by a group of people or a legal entity like a corporation...

  8. to be judge in all cases.
  9. to make war and peace as he sees fit and to command the army.
  10. to choose counsellors, ministers, magistrates and officers.
  11. to reward with riches and honour
    Honour or honor is an abstract concept entailing a perceived quality of worthiness and respectability that affects both the social standing and the self-evaluation of an individual or corporate body such as a family, school, regiment or nation...

     or to punish with corporal or pecuniary punishment or ignominy.
  12. to establish laws about honour and a scale of worth.

Hobbes explicitly rejects the idea of Separation of Powers, in particular the form that would later become the separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 under the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

. Part 6 is a perhaps under-emphasised feature of Hobbes's argument: his is explicitly in favour of censorship of the press and restrictions on the rights of free speech should they be considered desirable by the sovereign in order to promote order.

Types of commonwealth

There are three (monarchy, aristocracy
Aristocracy , is a form of government in which a few elite citizens rule. The term derives from the Greek aristokratia, meaning "rule of the best". In origin in Ancient Greece, it was conceived of as rule by the best qualified citizens, and contrasted with monarchy...

 and democracy):
And only three:
And monarchy is the best, on practical grounds:


The right of succession always lies with the sovereign. Democracies and aristocracies have easy succession; monarchy is harder:

The greatest difficulty about the right of succession is in monarchy:
Because in general people haven't thought carefully. However, the succession is definitely in the gift of the monarch:
But, it is not always obvious who the monarch has appointed:
However, the answer is:
And this means:
Note that (perhaps rather radically) this does not have to be any blood relative:
However, practically this means:
So we end up back at the first-born son, in practice.


In Leviathan, Hobbes explicitly states that the sovereign has authority to assert power over matters of faith and doctrine, and that if he does not do so, he invites discord. Hobbes presents his own religious theory, but states that he would defer to the will of the sovereign (when that was re-established: again, Leviathan was written during the Civil War) as to whether his theory was acceptable. Tuck argues that it further marks Hobbes as a supporter of the religious policy of the post-Civil War English republic, Independency.


Thomas Hobbes also touched upon the sovereign's ability to tax in Leviathan, although he is not as widely cited for his economic theories as he is for his political theories. Hobbes believed that equal justice includes the equal imposition of taxes. The equality of taxes doesn’t depend on equality of wealth, but on the equality of the debt that every man owes to the commonwealth for his defence and the maintenance of the rule of law
Rule of law
The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

. Hobbes also supported public support for those unable to maintain themselves by labour, which would presumably be funded by taxation. He advocated public encouragement of works of Navigation etc. to usefully employ the poor who could work.

Part III: Of a Christian Common-wealth

In Part III Hobbes seeks to investigate the nature of a Christian commonwealth. This immediately raises the question of which scriptures we should trust, and why. If any person may claim supernatural
The supernatural or is that which is not subject to the laws of nature, or more figuratively, that which is said to exist above and beyond nature...

In religion and theology, revelation is the revealing or disclosing, through active or passive communication with a supernatural or a divine entity...

 superior to the civil law, then there would be chaos, and Hobbes' fervent desire is to avoid this. Hobbes thus begins by establishing that we cannot infallibly know another's personal word to be divine
Divinity and divine are broadly applied but loosely defined terms, used variously within different faiths and belief systems — and even by different individuals within a given faith — to refer to some transcendent or transcendental power or deity, or its attributes or manifestations in...

This is good, but if applied too fervently would lead to all the Bible being rejected. So, Hobbes says, we need a test: and the true test is established by examining the books of scripture, and is:
And Seeing therefore miracles now cease this means that only the books of the Bible can be trusted. Hobbes then discusses the various books which are accepted by various sect
A sect is a group with distinctive religious, political or philosophical beliefs. Although in past it was mostly used to refer to religious groups, it has since expanded and in modern culture can refer to any organization that breaks away from a larger one to follow a different set of rules and...

s, and the question much disputed between the diverse sects of Christian religion, from whence the Scriptures derive their authority. To Hobbes, it is manifest that none can know they are God's word (though all true Christians believe it) but those to whom God Himself hath revealed it supernaturally. And therefore The question truly stated is: by what authority they are made law?

Unsurprisingly, Hobbes concludes that ultimately there is no way to determine this other than the civil power:
He discusses the Ten Commandments
Ten Commandments
The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue , are a set of biblical principles relating to ethics and worship, which play a fundamental role in Judaism and most forms of Christianity. They include instructions to worship only God and to keep the Sabbath, and prohibitions against idolatry,...

, and asks who it was that gave to these written tables the obligatory force of laws. There is no doubt but they were made laws by God Himself: but because a law obliges not, nor is law to any but to them that acknowledge it to be the act of the sovereign, how could the people of Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

, that were forbidden to approach the mountain to hear what God said to Moses
Moses was, according to the Hebrew Bible and Qur'an, a religious leader, lawgiver and prophet, to whom the authorship of the Torah is traditionally attributed...

, be obliged to obedience to all those laws which Moses propounded to them? and concludes, as before, that making of the Scripture law, belonged to the civil sovereign.

Finally: We are to consider now what office in the Church those persons have who, being civil sovereigns, have embraced also the Christian faith? to which the answer is: Christian kings are still the supreme pastors of their people, and have power to ordain what pastors they please, to teach the Church, that is, to teach the people committed to their charge.

There is an enormous amount of biblical scholarship in this third part. However, once Hobbes's initial argument is accepted (that no-one can know for sure anyone else's divine revelation) his conclusion (the religious power is subordinate to the civil) follows from his logic. The very extensive discussions of the chapter were probably necessary for its time. The need (as Hobbes saw it) for the civil sovereign to be supreme arose partly from the many sects that arose around the civil war, and to quash the Pope of Rome's challenge, to which Hobbes devotes an extensive section.

Part IV: Of the Kingdom of Darkness

Hobbes named Part IV of his book Kingdom of Darkness. By this, Hobbes does not mean Hell
In many religious traditions, a hell is a place of suffering and punishment in the afterlife. Religions with a linear divine history often depict hells as endless. Religions with a cyclic history often depict a hell as an intermediary period between incarnations...

 (he did not believe in Hell or Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

) but the darkness of ignorance
Ignorance is a state of being uninformed . The word ignorant is an adjective describing a person in the state of being unaware and is often used as an insult...

 as opposed to the light of true knowledge. Hobbes' interpretation is largely unorthodox and so sees much darkness in what he sees as the misinterpretation of Scripture.
This considered, the kingdom of darkness… is nothing else but a confederacy of deceivers that, to obtain dominion over men in this present world, endeavour, by dark and erroneous doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

s, to extinguish in them the light…
. Chapter XLIV

Hobbes enumerates four causes of this darkness.

The first is by extinguishing the light of scripture through misinterpretation. Hobbes sees the main abuse as teaching that the kingdom of God
Kingdom of God
The Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven is a foundational concept in the Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.The term "Kingdom of God" is found in all four canonical gospels and in the Pauline epistles...

 can be found in the church, thus undermining the authority of the civil sovereign. Another general abuse of scripture, in his view, is the turning of consecration
Consecration is the solemn dedication to a special purpose or service, usually religious. The word "consecration" literally means "to associate with the sacred". Persons, places, or things can be consecrated, and the term is used in various ways by different groups...

 into conjuration
Conjuration is used in many video games, mainly RPGs, where it is usually referred to as summoning.* A notable example is the Final Fantasy franchise which incorporates summoning of monsters to fight alongside the characters....

, or silly ritual
A ritual is a set of actions, performed mainly for their symbolic value. It may be prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community. The term usually excludes actions which are arbitrarily chosen by the performers....


The second cause is the demonology
Demonology is the systematic study of demons or beliefs about demons. It is the branch of theology relating to superhuman beings who are not gods. It deals both with benevolent beings that have no circle of worshippers or so limited a circle as to be below the rank of gods, and with malevolent...

 of the heathen poets concerning demon
call - 1347 531 7769 for more infoIn Ancient Near Eastern religions as well as in the Abrahamic traditions, including ancient and medieval Christian demonology, a demon is considered an "unclean spirit" which may cause demonic possession, to be addressed with an act of exorcism...

s, which in Hobbes opinion are nothing more than constructs of the brain. Hobbes then goes on to criticise what he sees as many of the practices of Catholicism: "Now for the worship of saint
A saint is a holy person. In various religions, saints are people who are believed to have exceptional holiness.In Christian usage, "saint" refers to any believer who is "in Christ", and in whom Christ dwells, whether in heaven or in earth...

s, and image
An icon is a religious work of art, most commonly a painting, from Eastern Christianity and in certain Eastern Catholic churches...

s, and relic
In religion, a relic is a part of the body of a saint or a venerated person, or else another type of ancient religious object, carefully preserved for purposes of veneration or as a tangible memorial...

s, and other things at this day practised in the Church of Rome, I say they are not allowed by the word of God".

The third is by mixing with the Scripture diverse relics of the religion, and much of the vain and erroneous philosophy of the Greeks
Greek philosophy
Ancient Greek philosophy arose in the 6th century BCE and continued through the Hellenistic period, at which point Ancient Greece was incorporated in the Roman Empire...

, especially of Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

. Hobbes has little time for the various disputing sects of philosophers and objects to what people have taken From Aristotle's civil philosophy, they have learned to call all manner of Commonwealths but the popular (such as was at that time the state of Athens), tyranny. At the end of this comes an interesting section (darkness is suppressing true knowledge as well as introducing falsehoods), which would appear to bear on the discoveries of Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei
Galileo Galilei , was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support for Copernicanism...

. "Our own navigations make manifest, and all men learned in human sciences now acknowledge, there are antipodes
In geography, the antipodes of any place on Earth is the point on the Earth's surface which is diametrically opposite to it. Two points that are antipodal to one another are connected by a straight line running through the centre of the Earth....

" (i.e., the Earth is round) "…Nevertheless, men… have been punished for it by authority ecclesiastical. But what reason is there for it? Is it because such opinions are contrary to true religion? That cannot be, if they be true." However, Hobbes is quite happy for the truth to be suppressed if necessary: if "they tend to disorder in government, as countenancing rebellion or sedition? Then let them be silenced, and the teachers punished" – but only by the civil authority.

The fourth is by mingling with both these, false or uncertain traditions, and feigned or uncertain history.

Hobbes finishes by inquiring who benefits from the errors he diagnoses:
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 maketh honourable mention of one of the Cassii, a severe judge amongst the Romans, for a custom he had in criminal causes, when the testimony of the witnesses was not sufficient, to ask the accusers,
cui bono; that is to say, what profit, honour, or other contentment the accused obtained or expected by the fact. For amongst presumptions, there is none that so evidently declareth the author as doth the benefit of the action.

Hobbes concludes that the beneficiaries are the churches and churchmen.

See also

  • Behemoth
    Behemoth (book)
    Behemoth, full title Behemoth: the history of the causes of the civil wars of England, and of the counsels and artifices by which they were carried on from the year 1640 to the year 1660, also known as The Long Parliament, is a book written by Thomas Hobbes discussing the English Civil War...

     by Thomas Hobbes
  • Bellum omnium contra omnes
    Bellum omnium contra omnes
    Bellum omnium contra omnes, a Latin phrase meaning "the war of all against all," is the description that Thomas Hobbes gives to human existence in the state of nature thought experiment that he conducts in De Cive and Leviathan ....

  • Classical republicanism
    Classical republicanism
    Classical republicanism is a form of republicanism developed in the Renaissance inspired by the governmental forms and writings of classical antiquity. The earliest examples of the school were classical writers such as Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero...

  • Social contract theories

Further reading

  • Bernard Herbert Baumrin (ed.) Hobbes's Leviathan – interpretation and criticism Belmont, CA: Wadsworth, 1969
  • Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan- Revised Edition, eds. A.P. Martinich and Brian Battiste. Peterborough, ON: Broadview Press, 2010. ISBN 978-1554810031. http://www.broadviewpress.com/product.php?productid=1028&cat=0&page=1
  • Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan: Or the Matter, Forme, and Power of a Common-Wealth Ecclesiasticall and Civill, ed. by Ian Shapiro (Yale University Press; 2010).
  • Francis Campbell Hood The divine politics of Thomas Hobbes – an interpretation of Leviathan, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1964
  • David Johnston The rhetoric of Leviathan – Thomas Hobbes and the politics of cultural transformation, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1986
  • Graham Alan John Rogers Leviathan – contemporary responses to the political theory of Thomas Hobbes Bristol: Thoemmes Press, 1995
  • Carl Schmitt The Leviathan in the state theory of Thomas Hobbes – meaning and failure of a political symbol, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press
    University of Chicago Press
    The University of Chicago Press is the largest university press in the United States. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, dozens of academic journals, including Critical Inquiry, and a wide array of...

    , 2008 (earlier: Greenwood Press, 1996)
  • Francis Lyman Windolph Leviathan and natural law, Princeton NJ: Princeton University Press, 1951
  • Perez Zagorin Hobbes and the Law of Nature, Princeton: Princeton University Press
    Princeton University Press
    -Further reading:* "". Artforum International, 2005.-External links:* * * * *...

    , 2009

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