Montesquieu persian letters. Baron de Montesquieu, Charles 2019-01-06

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Persian Letters Themes

montesquieu persian letters

They also frequently bet on the results. They came on horseback having been allowed to ride, though veiled. When a free passage was opened to the great rivers, the stagnant waters shrunk from those marshes, and Germany assumed a new surface. His general politics were inconsistent with his particular passions; he would willingly have seen a free senate, who, by their conduct, might have created a veneration for his government; but then he was also desirous of a senate that would every moment be tractable to his fears, his jealousies, and his aversions. Second, Asia has larger plains than Europe. Some of them have been so affected as to employ another language than the vernacular-a ridiculous thing in a framer of laws; for how can they be obeyed if they are not known? The civil power, which had been continually depressed, was unable to balance the military; each army wanted to make an emperor. When Cæsar had entirely crushed the party who declared for the republic, all the friends as well as enemies he then had in the senate, concurred with equal unanimity, to remove the bounds with which the laws had limited his power, and at the same time they agreed to render him unparalleled honours; some came into these compliances with a view to please him, others intended by such means to make him odious.

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Complete Works, vol. 3 (Grandeur and Declension of the Roman Empire; A Dialogue between Sylla and Eucrates; Persian Letters)

montesquieu persian letters

After the expulsion of the kings, the government became aristocratical: the patrician families only, obtained all the employments and dignities in the state, and consequently all honours civil and military. A general warning: if you're prone to crying with rage any time a European shows curiosity in Oriental sic culture, you'll have to be very, very careful with this book. They were inured to the military pace, that is, to walk twenty miles, and sometimes four and twenty, in five hours. At present, when the universe can furnish no more enemies against us, what would be the fate of the republic? The loss of battles, the decrease of a people, the decay of trade, the consumption of the public treasure, the insurrection of neighbouring nations, might force the Carthaginians to submit to the severest terms of peace: but Rome was not swayed by the consideration of blessings or calamities, being determined by no other motive but its glory; and as the Romans were persuaded they could not exist without commanding over others, neither hopes nor fears of any kind could prevail with them to conclude a peace, the conditions of which were not prescribed by themselves. The book The Persian Letters by Montesquieu is a fictional novel that was written by the author so he could comment on the society in which he was living. Why, truly, to satiate the ambition of five or six monsters! Some analysts have hailed the theory as the greatest achievement of Locke's political writing, whereas others have scorned it as critically misdirected and shallow.

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The Persian Letters by Montesquieu :: Persian Letters Montesquieu

montesquieu persian letters

Letter 138: Rica Paris to Ibben Smyrna Rica is describing four changes in the financial system within three years. And when Fabius replaced in the four city-tribes, the commonalty, whom Appius Claudius had dispersed through them all, he acquired by that action the title of Maximus. Despite everything he just admitted having done to his wife, Usbek believes she loves him. These reforms would generally strengthen monarchical governments, since they enhance the freedom and dignity of citizens. But whatever may be the price of this noble liberty, the gods must be paid it.

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Baron de Montesquieu, Charles

montesquieu persian letters

It takes four to six months from a letter to travel between Paris and Ispahan. When the girl reached maturity, she was married to a eunuch. In the time of the civil wars these gratuities were augmented. The Chief Eunuch begs him to do so. You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this section.

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Montesquieu

montesquieu persian letters

Scipio, by the conquest of Spain and the alliance he made with Masinissa, deprived the Carthaginians of this superiority: The Numedian cavalry won the battle of Zama, and put an end to the war. We have already observed, that the legions raised in Europe were much preferable to those of Asia, but it was directly contrary with respect to the cavalry; I mean that of the Parthians, the Osroanians, and the Saracens. A gross superstition which debases the mind as effectually as true religion exalts it, had reduced all virtue and devout confidence in the deity, to a stupid veneration for images; and history presents us with generals who would raise a siege, or surrendered a city for the gallant acquisition of a relick. The Roman empire was improperly so denominated at that time, and might rather be called an irregular commonwealth, nearly resembling the Aristocracy of Algiers, where the militia, who are invested with the sovereign power, elect and depose the magistrate they called the Dey; and it may perhaps be taken for a general rule, that a military government is, in some respects, a republic rather than a monarchy. But the greatness of Rome soon appeared in its public edifices.

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Persian Letters Summary

montesquieu persian letters

Montesquieu continues to examine the lack of logic in religious belief by questioning how an omniscient God can fit with the doctrine of free will Letter 69. Above all the impact of the Voyages of Jean or John Chardin, to whom he owes most of his information on Persia, which is far from superficial; he owned the first edition of 1687 in two volumes and he bought, in July 1720, the augmented edition in ten volumes. Letter 73: Rica Paris to someone unknown Rica is now mocking the French Academy, which is a kind of intellectual tribunal responsible for establishing and enforcing the rules of the French language. All the Roman citizens who were ever actuated by ambitious views, have attempted to introduce a kind of anarchy in the republic; and Pompey, Crassus, and Cesar, succeeded to a miracle; they authorized an impunity for all public crimes, and abolished every institution calculated to prevent the corruption of manners, and every regulation accommodated to the best politics; and as good legislators endeavour to improve their fellow citizens, these, on the contrary, were indefatigable to lead them into a degeneracy from every virtue. However Usbek does not appear to have taken into account any actual census or quantitative information about the Americas. The Latin cities sprung from Alban colonies, which were founded by Latinus Sylvius: besides their common extraction with the Romans, there were several rites and ceremonies common to both; and Servius Tullius had engaged them to build a temple at Rome, to serve at the center of union of the two nations.

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Persian Letters Quotes by Montesquieu

montesquieu persian letters

Those who live in warm climates have stronger but less durable sensations. It does not seem that Montesquieu is saying that there should not be a government, but rather, not a monarchy. In France, a jealous husband is universally hated. Finally, the laws should try to ensure equality among the nobles themselves, and among noble families. To keep great princes for ever in a weak condition, they would not suffer them to conclude an alliance with those nations to whom they had granted theirs ; and as they did not resuse it to any people who bordered upon a powerful prince, this condition inserted in a treaty of peace, deprived him of all his allies.

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Persian Letters Quotes by Montesquieu

montesquieu persian letters

Dueling was the way to resolve disputes of honor, and frequently the contest went to the best fighter as opposed to the person who had right on his side. Looking at French and Parisian customs from the outside allows Montesquieu to exaggerate the incongruities and contradictions in French society and government to produce satirical political and social commentary. It is impossible for any one to be displeased at the humiliation of this Lepidus; he was the most depraved citizen in all the republic, a constant promoter of disturbances, and one who perpetually formed fatal schemes, wherein he was obliged to associate with people of more ability than himself. In republics, by contrast, banks are extremely useful, and anyone should be allowed to engage in trade. .

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Philip Stewart, Lettres persanes

montesquieu persian letters

While Montesquieu was not the first writer to try to imagine how European culture might look to travellers from non-European countries, he used that device with particular brilliance. Works which have raised, and still raise the greatest idea of its power, were formed under its kings. He tells him to not tell his wives how depressed he is. Imagine Rome herself speaks to you in this manner: O imperial princes! She continued to avoid him and make no attempt to please him. It is true that, by reason of some extravagance springing rather from the nature than from the mind of man, it is sometimes necessary to change certain laws.

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Persian Letters

montesquieu persian letters

A democracy must educate its citizens to identify their interests with the interests of their country, and should have censors to preserve its mores. It has been the opinion of some, that the slime which was rolled down by the current of the Tanais had by degrees formed a kind of incrustation on the surface of the Cimmerian Bosphorus, over which these people are supposed to have passed. The fierce and untractable disposition still remained, and the citizens were used in the same manner as they themselves had treated their conquered enemies, and were governed altogether upon the same plan. This somehow turned Usbek on. Since Europe is naturally divided into smaller regions, it is more difficult for any one power to conquer them all; this means that Europe will tend to have more and smaller states.

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