A Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants, a translation of the Vindiciae contra Tyrannos, with an historical introduction by Harold J. Laski.

BRUTUS Junius.; LASKI Harold J. Introduction (1924.)

£200.00  [First Edition]

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First edition thus. 8vo. [10], 229, [1] pp. Original blue cloth, spine lettered and ruled in gilt, bottom edge untrimmed, dust jacket (faint spotting to endpapers and edges of text block; some wear to extremities with small loss to tips of spine panel, long closed tear at the head of front turn-in fold, notwithstanding a good example of the rare jacket). London, G. Bell & Sons Ltd.

A reprint of the 1689 English translation of the influential sixteenth century Huguenot tract, the Vindiciae contra Tyrannos, with a substantial sixty page historical introduction by the English socialist and political theorist Harold Laski. Originally published in Latin in 1579, the author remains unknown and the text was published under the pseudonym Stephen Junius Brutus.

'There is probably no book of the sixteenth century on the theory of the state more powerful, more characteristic, more influential in its day, and hence more valuable to a modern student, than the Vindiciae contra Tyrannos' (American Political Science Review). The tract raised fundamental questions about the power of monarchies and the rights of their subjects. It 'advanced the idea of a twofold contract: the first contract, between God and ruler on the one hand and the ruler and his subjects on the other, recognised the belief that the king ruled under the aegis of Divine Providence; the second contract, between the king and the people, obliged the king to govern justly and the people to obey him so long as he did so. It followed from the argument in the Vindiciae that subjects had the right to rebel if the prince disobeyed the laws of God or refused to govern his people justly’ (Britannica). 

Stock Code: 244403

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