Observations on the Romans. Written originally in French …

London: Printed for R. Griffiths … 1751.

8vo., pp. [8], 240, with half-title; some minor soiling to the lower edge of the first few leaves, else a fine copy in contemporary speckled sheep, spine gilt with red morocco label.

£875

Approximately:
US $1150€1038

Add to basket Make an enquiry

Added to your basket:
Observations on the Romans. Written originally in French …

Checkout now

First English edition of this Roman history (first published in the same year in Geneva as Observations sur les Romains). Mably studies episodes from the pre-imperial era (the seven kings, Gracchi and Punic wars), before skimming the vast majority of imperial dynastic rule to finish with a chapter on Constantine and the fall of the Western empire. In keeping with contemporary fashion, Mably cites Rome’s ‘boundless avarice’ as the chief agent behind its decline. Indeed, the translator’s introduction cites a glowing review from Nouvelles Literaires (April 1751) which aligns Mably’s Observations with Montesquieu’s Considerations (1734), and describes it as a worthy companion to that celebrated work. Gibbon too was familiar with Mably: ‘his accurate distinction of times gives him a merit to which even Montesquieu is a stranger’.

Born into a noble family, Mably came to dedicate himself to intellectual pursuits after abortive, yet instructive, periods in seminary education and the diplomatic corps. He was an outspoken republican, yet wary of the propensity of revolutions to encourage atrocity. He became friendly with John Adams, founding father of the American constitution, when Adams was in Paris in the early 1780s, and they were known to enjoy lively debates on the practical realities of post-revolutionary society. Mably, keen to write a book on the American Revolution, found encouragement in Adams that resulted in Remarks concerning the Government and Laws of the United States of America: in Four Letters addressed to Mr. Adams (1785).


You may also be interested in...

PRINTED FOR THE CHANNEL ISLANDS AND THE SAVOY [BOOK OF COMMON PRAYER.]

La Liturgie. C’est a dire, le formulaire des Prieres publiques, de l’Administrations des Sacreman; at des autre Ceremonies … avec le Pseautier, ou les Pseaumes de David …

First edition of this translation, printed for the use of ‘toutes les Eglisses Paroissiales & dans les Chapelles de Isles de Jersey, Guernsey, & autres Isles adjacentes’, as well as for the French congregation at the Savoy in London.

Read more

ANTIPHONAL,

with neumes, containing music for Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday; a complete leaf written in dark brown ink in a good early gothic bookhand, 14 lines, ruled in ink, neumes on four-line staves ruled in dark brown ink (red marking the C-clef), capitals touched in red, small initials in red, rubrics, two large initials ‘V’ ('Vespere autem sabbati') and ‘A’ ('Angelus domini descendit') in red with elaborately entwined leafy tendrils; rather soiled and slightly rubbed from use in a binding, the recto very worn, but the verso mostly clear and legible. 290 x 200 mm (written space 260 x 170 mm)

From a well-written Antiphonal with elaborate penwork initials.

Read more