The Republic of Venice: De magistratibus et republica Venetorum

By Gasparo Contarini
Edited and introduced by Filippo Sabetti

© 2019

At a time when social scientists are increasingly focusing on the reasons why nations fail and democracies die, Filippo Sabetti turns to the opposite argument, asking instead why institutions endure. To do so, he presents Gasparo Contarini’s sixteenth-century account of the Republic of Venice to help modern readers understand what made Venice the longest-lived self-constituted republic.

In its long history, Venice was the only city that succeeded in constructing a durable republicanism and it was one of the earliest to depart from the hierarchical world of national monarchies and sovereignty. Because of this, the author suggests that Contarini’s The Republic of Venice may be just as instructive, if not more, than Machiavelli’s The Prince to students of politics. Contarini is as secular as Machiavelli and is as realistic in his view of human nature, but he goes much further, examining in the case of Venice how it is possible for fallible human beings to construct a successful and stable government. This is the first modern English-language edition of Contarini’s classic work, De magistratibus et republica Venetorum, from the original Latin.

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Product Details

  • Series: Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 0.7in x 9.3in
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SKU# SP005696

  • PUBLISHED NOV 2019

    From: $26.21

    Regular Price: $34.95

    ISBN 9781487505844
  • PUBLISHED SEP 2019

    From: $26.21

    Regular Price: $34.95

Quick Overview

This book provides an alternative understanding to Machiavelli’s Renaissance Italy.

The Republic of Venice: De magistratibus et republica Venetorum

By Gasparo Contarini
Edited and introduced by Filippo Sabetti

© 2019

At a time when social scientists are increasingly focusing on the reasons why nations fail and democracies die, Filippo Sabetti turns to the opposite argument, asking instead why institutions endure. To do so, he presents Gasparo Contarini’s sixteenth-century account of the Republic of Venice to help modern readers understand what made Venice the longest-lived self-constituted republic.

In its long history, Venice was the only city that succeeded in constructing a durable republicanism and it was one of the earliest to depart from the hierarchical world of national monarchies and sovereignty. Because of this, the author suggests that Contarini’s The Republic of Venice may be just as instructive, if not more, than Machiavelli’s The Prince to students of politics. Contarini is as secular as Machiavelli and is as realistic in his view of human nature, but he goes much further, examining in the case of Venice how it is possible for fallible human beings to construct a successful and stable government. This is the first modern English-language edition of Contarini’s classic work, De magistratibus et republica Venetorum, from the original Latin.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • Series: Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library
  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 200 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.5in x 0.7in x 9.3in
  • Reviews

    "Well-structured, and accessibly translated, The Republic of Venice will stimulate and aid students of history and politics as they assess the global scope and significance of Venetian political ideals and realities. This book is an original contribution to the field of Venetian historiography and the history of political ideas."


    Stephen Bowd, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, University of Edinburgh

    "There is a growing interest in the history of political institutions; Contarini’s is an important voice in the development of balance of powers, and his influence on English and early American thinkers makes this a book that would be relevant to scholars and citizens interested in the Atlantic Republican tradition."


    Monique O’Connell, Department of History, Wake Forest University.
  • Author Information

    Gasparo Contarini (1483–1542) was a Venetian humanist scholar, theologian, diplomat, and Roman Catholic cardinal. He was an advocate of extensive reform within the church and a leader in the movement for reconciliation with the Lutheran Reformers.


    Filippo Sabetti is a professor of Political Science at McGill University.


    Amanda Murphy is a professor of English Language and Translation at the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan


    Giuseppe Pezzini is a lecturer in Latin at the University of St Andrews, Scotland.
  • Table of contents

    Introduction: Gasparo Contarini and Enduring Institutions
    Filippo Sabetti

    Principal Events in Gasparo Contarini’s Life

    Translator’s Note: The Latin of De magistratibus et Republica Venetorum
    Giuseppe Pezzini

    The Republic of Venice

    Book I. The City and the Great Council
    Book II. The Doge
    Book III. The Senate, the Council of Ten, and the Courts
    Book IV. Magistracies of the Republic
    Book V. Magistracies beyond the City, the Army, and Civic Institutions

    Bibliography

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