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Hobbes / Leviathan / Frontis

Hobbes  /  Leviathan  /  Frontis


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Hobbes / Leviathan / Frontis

LEVIATHAN : Frontispiece to the first edition, representing the spiritual and temporal power united in the person of the King, and ruling over the whole earth

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Media ID 593419

© Mary Evans Picture Library 2015 - https://copyrighthub.org/s0/hub1/creation/maryevans/MaryEvansPictureID/10044008

1651 Earth Edition Frontis Piece Hobbes Leviathan Power Representing Rules Ruling Spiritual Supreme Temporal


EDITORS COMMENTS
This striking frontispiece, taken from the first edition of Thomas Hobbes' seminal work "Leviathan," published in 1651, powerfully illustrates the philosophical and political ideas presented within its pages. The image, titled "Leviathan: Frontispiece to the First Edition," depicts a colossal figure of a man, identified as the King, who stands atop a three-headed Leviathan, symbolizing the spiritual and temporal power united in his person. The King's feet crush smaller figures beneath him, representing the earth and its inhabitants, emphasizing his supreme authority and rule over the entire world. Hobbes, a 17th-century English philosopher, wrote "Leviathan" during a time of political turmoil and civil war in England. In the book, he argues for a strong centralized government as a means to maintain order and protect citizens from the chaos and violence of the state of nature. The frontispiece serves as a visual representation of this concept, with the King as the only force capable of taming the chaotic and monstrous Leviathan. The frontispiece is a significant historical artifact, reflecting the political and philosophical climate of the time and providing insight into Hobbes' groundbreaking ideas on governance and the social contract. Its intricate design and powerful symbolism continue to captivate scholars and students of history, philosophy, and political theory today.

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