The Republic of Venice: De magistratibus et republica Venetorum
At a time when social scientists are increasingly focusing on the reasons why nations fail and democracies die, Filippo Sabetti turns to the opposite issue, asking instead why institutions endure. To do so, he presents Gasparo Contarini’s sixteenth-century description 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 sovereignties. Sabetti suggests that students of politics will find Contarini’s The Republic of Venice just as instructive, if not more so, as Machiavelli’s The Prince. In his analysis of human nature, Contarini matches Machiavelli's secularism and realism, but goes much further; examining the case of Venice, he shows 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, based directly on the original Latin.
- Series: Lorenzo Da Ponte Italian Library
- World Rights
- Page Count: 200 pages
- Illustrations: 5
- Dimensions: 6.5in x 0.7in x 9.3in
"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 InformationGasparo 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
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Gasparo Contarini and Enduring Institutions
Appendix A: The Myth and Anti-myth of Venice
Appendix B: Glossary of Terms
Appendix C: Principal Events in Gasparo Contarini’s Life
Notes on the Translation: The Latin of De magistratibus et republica Venetorum
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
Subjects and Courses