John G. A. Pocock, «Classical and Civil History: The Transformation of Humanism», Cromohs, 1 (1996): 1-34, <URL:>.


John G. A. Pocock

  1. Gibbon in the Memoirs insisted that from childhood he could never have been other than a historian [1], and little evidence has appeared to make us think otherwise. Yet it is a riddle for his biographers to explain what went on in his mind between 1764, when he paid his visit to Rome, and 1774 when he was immersed in writing the Decline and Fall [2]; this though there is copious evidence in the form of letters and journals, records of and commentaries on his reading, critical essays and sketches of historical projects. It is possible for scholars to disagree, with a vigour approaching acrimony [3], on how he shaped his intentions towards his one major work. The present study is not a biography, and will not commit itself to the pursuit of these problems. Its intention rather is to establish some major contexts in which Gibbon lived and wrote, and to employ these in exploring the significance of what he was and did [4]. The next group of chapters, therefore, will take au pied de la lettre his assertion that he was born to be a 'historian', and will enquire what it meant to practice the activity we term 'historiography' in the culture Gibbon inhabited.
  2. Biographical threads of course run through these enquiries, and a crucial moment has to be that of the visit to Rome in October 1764. There is contemporary evidence that this visit was an important experience; he wrote to his father to say that there had never been such another people as the Romans in the history of the world, and that for the sake of mankind he hoped there would never be again [5]. The collision it is not a balance between admiration and condemnation articulates the essence of the eighteenth century's view of antiquity, and what it means will have to be explored again. Alongside this statement in a letter written from Rome when Gibbon was there, we must place the immortal «Capitoline vision» mentioned at the end of the Decline and Fall and asserted again in the Memoirs, where he says he «sat musing among the ruins of the Capitol while the barefooted friars were singing Vespers in the temple of Jupiter», and «the idea of writing the decline and fall of the City first started to my mind» [6]. The Memoirs assert that his journal records this incident on the evening of October 15, but in fact it does not, and the experience may be a creation of memory or a literary invention [7]. In either and in any case, it associates Gibbon with a complex of topics central to the literate mind of his age; it links the theme of Roman republican and imperial greatness and decay with that of the Catholic Church's substitution of itself for the empire. Gibbon possessed (we do not know when he bought) the works of Thomas Hobbes, and may by 1764 have been familiar with that philosopher's characterisation of the Church as «the ghost of the deceased Roman empire, sitting crowned upon the grave thereof» [8]. The second theme led away from the first, towards the late antique, medieval and oriental history which Gibbon tells us had been among the discoveries of his childhood [9], and reminds us that from the first he had been something more than a classicist. His letter to his father, and much in the Memoirs besides, revolve around Roman greatness and its fall; but the barefooted friars lead inexorably into ecclesiastical and medieval history the history of barbarism and religion which classically- trained humanists, especially when their culture was Protestant, had to study precisely because they disdained it so much. Philosophes might propose to ignore all Christian history as unworthy of attention; historians in the eighteenth century, no less than at other times, knew that they must study it in order to understand how it had happened. And the history of the city, said to have started to Gibbon's mind as he viewed the ruins of the Forum, could not be separated from the history of both empire and church. This too was a real tension; in the conclusion of the Decline and Fall, a history of empire as well as of barbarism and religion which had carried him to the ends of the earth, Gibbon was to write three chapters on the history of the medieval city as a political, ecclesiastical and architectural structure.
  3. The «Capitoline vision» may be used to explore another twofold theme: that of the presence of the classical paradigm in early-modern neo-Latin historiography, coupled with that of its incessant modification [10]. Though the Enlightened historians modified and obeyed it in their own way, the tension within historiography was very much older and can be traced back to Roman culture itself. To state the paradigm first, in a form which Gibbon knew and recognised in his writings, 'history' was by a powerful convention [11] supposed to be a record of the deeds of great men, or of great peoples in the persons of their kings, captains and magistrates, written by the protagonists themselves, or by participants in or witnesses of their actions, and preserved in writing and in memory. The writing of history might be an official activity, the work of a priest, scribe or poet charged with it as his function, or in the polis or republic the activity of a citizen, who as a protagonist or participant alternated between action and leisure, action and contemplation, action and recollection. A citizen might choose to write the history of his times, perceiving like Thucydides that they would be the scene of extraordinary and exemplary actions; but if he thought them extraordinary, he might be obliged to explain wherein they differed from times and actions preceding them, and the concepts of a past and its unlikeness to the present might begin to appear in historiography. Narrative historians thus composed might be preserved, and read as records of deeds done of old; and thus there might appear 'historians' in a new sense of the term, who like Livy set out to narrate, meaning to re-narrate, the res gestae or things done in the city ab urbe condita or since its foundation, including the especially significant action of the foundation itself. But only if such a history obtained eminent authority would its author come to be recognised as a historian himself; otherwise he would be not only a narrator of other men's deeds but a compiler of other men's narratives, and they would be the 'historians', a title to which he could not aspire. The compilers of the early 'general histories of England' conflated the works of Sir Thomas More for the reign of Richard III, Sir Francis Bacon for that of Henry VII, Lord Herbert of Cherbury for that of Henry VIII, William Camden for that of Elizabeth I and Lord Clarendon for the Great Rebellion; only in epitomising and continuing the last did Bishop Kennett take on himself, with justifiable misgivings, the role and the style of 'historian' [12]. It was unclear whether 'historiography' was an action fit only for the actor, soldier or statesman, or for the cleric or scholar whose function was to record only and not to act; the increasing activity of clerics in medieval or humanists in Renaissance culture was one cause of the slow transformation in the nature of 'history'.
  4. History thus defined was an antique and classical activity; it recorded the actions of men in ancient and typically Greek and Roman times and was written in Greco-Roman style by authors trying to be as like as they could to ancient authors and ancient actors. One source of 'modern' historical sensibility was the question of how far a 'modern' could identify himself as an 'ancient' simply by imitating the latter's deeds or his words. It was a military, political and masculine activity; to find a woman writing it was as rare as Anna Comnena or Christine de Pisan, while to find a woman's deeds as its subject was rarer still there were few heroines in war or statecraft between Semiramis of Babylon and Elizabeth of England. The issue of gender was less crucial in shaping it than the issue of literacy, or rather of clerisy; were the historians of antiquity men of action who had turned to writing in their retirement, or were they sophists and rhetors whose business was words, not deeds, who recorded, narrated, evaluated and above all verbalised the actions performed by others? The history of historical writing is in fact a history of clericalisation, of the steady annexation of action by interpretation until the point is reached where interpreters can deny both actors and authors any existence beyond that which the written and increasingly self-interpretative word chooses to invent them in; but in the still neo-classical culture of Enlightenment the heroic model remained paradigmatic. The historian should be man of action as well as interpretation, of the sword as well as the pen; the captain of militia had not been useless (though the reader might smile) to the historian of empire.
  5. Applied in its pure form, the classical paradigm was not more than a mirror, the miroir des princes in which the deeds of the exemplary individual were exhibited as they had been in life, to be admired, condemned, pitied and judged in the memory of posterity; and memory was not more than the storehouse or theatrum in which the images were exhibited and the judgments reiterated. These need not be positive; while glorification was a prime aim of historiography, condemnation was always an alternative, and in the culture of late-medieval and Tudor England there were «mirrors for magistrates» which exhibited repeated instances of «the fall of princes»[13]. Edifying as these might be, it was possible for the Christian imagination which preserved the Greco-Roman model to question its values. Samuel Johnson, one of the more Christian minds of the eighteenth century, did so in his epitaph for Charles XII of Sweden.
  6. His fall was destined to a barren strand,
    A petty fortress and a dubious hand.
    He left the name, at which the world grew pale,
    To point a moral or adorn a tale [14].

  7. The last line accurately states the objectives of classical historiography, yet intimates that there is something barren about them. Charles appears in the mirror as an image of ultimate lack of meaning, but this extends to the mirror itself. Because he was nothing but a warrior, a conqueror for whom conquest had no objective beyond itself, his death was pure accident, a stroke of fortuna more absurd than tragic; there is no magnificent meaning jumping out of that, and no point in preserving the image other than to say so. The futility of his death is its own warning against itself, and the point Johnson finds in this history is contained in the title of his poem, The Vanity of Human Wishes. This is a Christian concept; for classical antiquity the pursuit of glory was magnificent in itself, and its defeat was tragic. Johnson's insistence on anti-tragedy was an implied criticism of classical historiography, contained within a Christian classicism.
  8. Even in Greco-Roman culture, however, the classical paradigm did not operate in its pure form. We are looking here at the origins of 'kings and battles' historiography to use a phrase favoured by petty-intellectual criticism of l'histoire evénementielle and la storia statale but the ancient historians were citizens of republics before they were the subjects of Hellenistic kings and Roman emperors. They wrote about the deeds in battle and the civic oratory of archons and strategoi, consuls and dictatores, and they knew that the citizen, as captain and magistrate, lived within a complex structure of laws and values which gave his actions significance and which it was his business to maintain. He might, very rarely, be the founder of such a system, the legislator or pater patriae there had been conquerors who were legislators, as well as those like Charles XII who were not he might preserve it against external enemies or internal corruption, find it too far gone in corruption to be preserved, or figure as an agent of corruption himself. The system of laws and values, which was symbolised by the gods of the city and was in a sense the city itself, thus became a factor if not an agent in the history perceived and written, and furnished heroic action with a context. Nor is it the case that to quote another phrase favoured by petty-intellectual iconoclasm history was invariably written by the victors. Several of the classic historians of antiquity Thucydides, Polybius, Tacitus and of neo-classical early modernity Guicciardini, Sarpi, Clarendon wrote their histories from the standpoint of the defeated; they wrote to find out how things had gone wrong, how great leaders had undone themselves, how the unworthy had triumphed, how great political systems had decayed and disintegrated. The institutional thus set itself beside the heroic; it was the city, the monarchy, the empire that gave action meaning, and the deeds of the individual were judged as the system made them possible and as they had contributed to the system's triumph, survival or decay. In this way the laws and values constituting an ancient political system became factors and agencies in ancient historiography, and without ceasing to be a record of exemplary res gestae, the latter became a record of how cities and empires had arisen, flourished and decayed. It was nothing new for Gibbon to undertake the history of the decline and fall of an empire, since that was one aspect of what Thucydides had written, or to accomplish a history of barbarism and religion, since that phrase would serve to describe what Herodotus had written. On the premise that the great deeds of the barbarians as well as the Greeks should be preserved and not forgotten [15], Herodotus had found that this could not be done without detailed accounts of the gods, kings and customs of the non-Greek peoples of the Persian imperial system. The problem of ethnocentricity necessarily arose, but it is our misfortune if we operate a double standard which damns Herodotus for colonialism if he depicts non-Greeks as if they were Greeks, and damns him for colonialism if he represents them as Others. There is something to be said for the view that he found them fascinating and partly intelligible, and represented them acting like Greeks in order to outline the ways in which they acted otherwise. It is the problem of the external perspective; Sparta and Athens existed in a context dominated by the non-Greek Persianempire, and Herodotus wrote in order to show how they had turned back its attempt to colonise them. His narrative thus became an exploration of the 'culture' (as we should call it) of the Greek cities, and of its victory over the 'culture', military and political, of the invading empire. Since we do not have a Persian exploratory narrative of the same events, we may seek to invent one [16], or we may enquire whether one has existed and we have repressed it; alternatively, if one does not exist, whether the practice of writing 'histories' in this sense was specifically Greek and afterwards Roman. In Thucydides's history, Sparta and Athens confront each other in a universe predominantly Hellenic; the 'barbarians' are marginal to the action, and the question is that of the survival, victory and defeat of alternative Hellenic systems, which are maintained and destroyed by the actions of their citizens; the Athenians do more harm to themselves and others than the Spartans do to them. An internal perspective predominates; the issue in history is that of the city's ability to maintain itself, and the Hellenic or barbarian 'others' are contingent. It can of course be added that a system's power to dismiss others to contingency is a way of dominating them even when it is not a way of governing them.
  9. The classical paradigm thus depicted the exemplary individual as acting in a context, and was capable of generating a history of the context he and others had acted in; this is especially the case of the transformations of Roman historiography. When we turn from the 'classical' i. e., the pre-Christian central Mediterranean world to the 'neo-classical' i. e., late Latin and Enlightened western European we make a double discovery: first, that the classical paradigm was still so prominent that it had been a problem to authors in the generation preceding Gibbon's that they could not act the role of noble statesmen in retirement which was central to the writing of accredited 'histories' [17], and was still an occasional problem to Gibbon himself that he could not write history as the record of exemplary actions [18]; second, that the historiography of contexts, legal, philological, cultural and above all religious, had developed in a variety of ways to points where it operated independently of the classical paradigm, could not be accommodated to it, and might have annexed and digested it if the latter had not been so powerful. These phenomena belong to the history of the clericalisation of classical culture; the rebellion of the 'polite' élites against the clerisies is part of it, and the debate about the érudits and the gens de lettres is another. Were the latter to overthrow the hegemony of philological scholarship established by Renaissance humanism, and could they do so without becoming a new ruling clerisy themselves? Gibbon and Hume were among the later though not the last of the gentlemen of letters; in the next century historians were to be typically professionals and even professors. In Glasgow and Göttingen, however, the last-named sub-species was not unknown in Gibbon's time.
  10. Arnaldo Momigliano gave the study of Gibbon's historiography its modern form by observing that his achievement was to integrate philosophic history with humanist and antiquarian scholarship [19]. It does not lessen Momigliano's point in the least to add that this integration of both with classical narrative was the commonly recognised problem of historical writing in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the debates between ancients and moderns, polite authors and antiquarians, gens de lettres and érudits, all in their several ways turn upon it or that the discovery and invention of historical contexts unknown to classical historians, into which classical histories had somehow to be fitted, had been going on since at latest the sixteenth century. A diversity of contexts had been built up, giving rise to the perceptions that structures of human life in the past differed from those obtaining in the present, that history itself might come to denote the archaeology of the past and the narrative of its transformation into subsequent pasts and presents, and that the deeds of individuals and peoples, Greeks and barbarians, were no longer simply exemplary, but had to be interpreted as certainly performed in past contexts and possibly but not certainly active in transforming them into those which had existed subsequently at present. To confront this set of perceptions with the classical paradigm is to confront the 'modern' and the 'ancient' understandings of the term 'history', and it is correct to add that the Decline and Fall appeared at a time when the two were still distinct. Gibbon will sometimes write in the classical mode, re-narrating in his text what some 'authority' or 'historian' tells him of ancient actions and actors, while adding in erudite footnotes a commentary which now and then indicates that he has doubts about what his authority obliges him to narrate. It is possible to classify his chapter-headings and sub-headings into those which narrate events and those which generalise about episodes and patterns in historical change. There are here and there passages in which he pauses to take note of the classical paradigm and the circumstances in which he regretfully finds it inappropriate. Momigliano was right to note that Gibbon successfully overcame the problem of writing both kinds of history together, but did not suggest that he dispelled it or that it ceased to exist.
  11. We have to remember that the classical paradigm was not more than a paradigm: that is, a model or authoritative programme, which exercised great power over reality without necessarily existing in an untrammeled form. Among the exemplary individuals whose actions were recounted, there had been legislators who founded cities among the barbarians at least, there had been prophets who had founded religions and these had given human life new laws, new forms, and new structures which had made some peoples different from all others. There was a canon of such founders: Theseus, Lycurgus, Solon, Romulus, Cyrus and by a dangerously important elision Moses; and these were remembered not because they taught philosophy by their examples, but because they had changed the world by instituting new systems of law. There were those remembered because they had furthered, or momentarily arrested, or tried and failed to prevent, the decay and corruption of the systems the legislators had founded Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus, Marius and Sulla, King Josiah and Judas Maccabaeus and these could be viewed ironically or tragically, as agents whose deeds had had paradoxical results. There were also those Caesar, Augustus, Constantine, Justinian remembered with profound ambiguity, because they had transformed the intelligible world under the guise of preserving it, in ways which could be evaluated both negatively and positively, and in either case divisively. In examining these cases, we pass from the antique to the late antique, from the ancient to the modern, and from the classical to the neoclassical; but the cases are for the most part Roman, and we do not leave behind the historians who wrote according to the classical paradigm. From Livy and Tacitus themselves, Roman historical memory was not simply of triumph and domination, but of decline and fall, and the latter if not also the former phenomena occurred in a world of structures and contexts, as well as of heroes and examples.
  12. Ancient historiography, however, was only in a limited degree antiquarian or scholarly, and to understand the genesis of 'history' in its modern form we have to examine the growth of clerical elites who excelled in the resurrection of past contexts, with which the narratives of past deeds came to be surrounded. It is important to bear in mind that this was not necessarily what the agents in building these elites saw themselves as doing or aimed at doing. We have, in other terms, to investigate the growth of contexts, built up by a diversity of actors pursuing a diversity of objectives, but ending in each case in the construction of a highly textualised tissue of words, perceptions and institutions, constituting a past state of affairs in which historical actors came to be seen as operating and which came to be seen as having a history of its own. Increasingly, each such 'context' came to be accompanied by an elite of érudits possessing the specialised knowledge and critical techniques necessary to interpret it; and a point came to be reached at which 'history' as we use the term was written by these elites, studying the formation and transformation of past contexts, and not by 'historians', as the authors of classical narratives, past and present, continued to be known.
  13. This is the problem of 'humanism and historiography', examined in a recent study of the subject [20]. By 'humanist' a notoriously comprehensive term is meant those who published, annotated and criticised the texts, first Greco- Roman and classical, later neo-Latin, vernacular and medieval, inherited by western European culture from its various pasts. They were composed of diverse groups, with diverse skills and objectives. If they had anything which was common to all, it was a concern with the past states of language, in the first instance Greek and Latin when in the condition of supposed perfection which was characterised as 'classical': Greek when it was Attic, Latin when it was Augustan, though a valuable study of the 'invention' of the 'classical' could be, or very likely has been, written. They often carried their insistence on classical canons to the point of fanaticism there were those who rejected the whole New Testament on the grounds that the Apostles wrote impure Greek [21] but a crucial moment was reached when classicism proved to be self-defeating and it was discovered that no 'modern' could write the Greek of Demosthenes or the Latin of Cicero, still less make it the living language of his own culture, no matter how long and diligently the ancient styles had been studied and practiced there. Language thus became the means of reconstituting a past state of the culture, and at the same time of distancing the past from those most committed to reconstituting it; while the very hopelessness of pursuing language to its 'pure' or 'classical' condition led to the discovery that language itself had a history and could not be divorced from its contexts [22]. By a complex series of reactions and backlashes, the defeat of pure classicism led scholars to interest themselves in language in its non-classical or 'barbarous' conditions: in demotic Greek or late and medieval Latin, in the romance vernaculars derived from Latin, or in the altogether un-Mediterranean languages in Latin Europe typically Germanic, Gothic or Anglo-Saxon which had established themselves as the means of certain types of expression. For theological and ecclesiological reasons, there were those who studied Hebrew, Aramaic, Syrian and Arabic, and sought to decipher Egyptian inscriptions, though a complex of attitudes, Christian, anti-clerical and what we now call 'orientalist', kept these studies apart from the 'humanist' mainstream. By a further series of responses, certain modern languages Italian in its Tuscan form, French in its Parisian, English in its Georgian or Augustan aimed at 'classicisms' of their own, imitating or emulating the Greek and Roman models, and consequently making discoveries about their own 'Gothic' or 'polite' history, and comparing the present state of their culture with the 'barbaric' or 'classical' past.
  14. 'Philology' like 'grammar', usable as a collective term for the whole corpus of textual studies thus became capable of providing a world of contexts within which the classical paradigm must operate and by which it came to be modified. By the mid-eighteenth century, however, it had not replaced the continuingly powerful classical paradigm and was not necessarily seen as competing with it; historians moved back and forth between the two styles, alternating between narratives of action and studies of personality on the one hand, examinations of structures and their change religion, law, literature, manners on the other, and allowing the two to interact as their pens led them. We shall find that Gibbon continued in this dual mode to the end of the Decline and Fall, and that his doing so had something to do with the maintenance of a still partly aristocratic lifestyle and its ideology. Nor would it be sufficient to confront the 'old' or classical historiography with a 'new', based on the humanist recovery of texts and contexts. There was a third presence, and therefore a third contestant, in the relationship. The Neapolitan visionary Giambattista Vico as is usual with Vico, we have to add that his writings could have been known to Gibbon but to all appearance were not declared that philology, rather than philosophy, furnished the keys to truth, and that history was a series of poems in which the human species had inscribed and enacted itself. To understand Vico's claim, we should have to address the standing and meaning of the term 'philosophy', and it is no less important to do so if we confine ourselves to the less daunting task of understanding other historians of the age.
  15. 'Philosophy', as a generic term, denoted the whole field of the human mind's knowledge of reality, up to and sometimes beyond the point at which reality became the knowledge of God. It included and in principle subsumed the study of the processes of knowledge themselves, and a central component of Enlightenment was the apparently, and sometimes really, humble claim that the human mind should confine itself to the study of its own workings and the limited range of knowledge open to it; the philosophical and historical problem of Enlightenment is the extent to which this claim to set limits to the mind's powers in fact expanded them. 'Philosophy' rendered the study of the human and the moral sciences the study of 'nature' and increasingly of 'human nature', and the problem in understanding the character of 'historical' thought in the eighteenth century is to determine the extent to which the study of the increasingly rich context of changing conditions of human life, which 'humanism' and 'philology' had been bringing to light for two or three centuries, was still contained within the study of 'nature' or was escaping from it to the point where 'history' became an autonomous mode of knowledge. Gibbon, like Hume, continued to maintain the unchanging character of 'human nature' and 'the human mind', but this was rather a key to understanding the infinite diversity of its products and the forms it had assumed in the course of history than a means of reducing them to the operations of invariable laws. The word 'laws', however, is crucial because of the plurality of its meanings. No branch of 'humanism' or of 'philology' had been more fecund in the revelation of past contexts than the study of systems of law, whether Roman, barbaric or exotic; and just when humanist philology was making the discovery that Latin could be spoken with purity only in a purely Roman world, humanist jurisprudence had been making the same discovery with regard to the practice of Roman law [23]. The study of the 'laws and customs' of diverse societies was the study of as many societies each in its historical uniqueness, for the reason that law organised the fabric of social living in its entirety to the point where each law could be practiced only under the conditions which it had itself organised, and it could be said that human beings without losing their common underlying 'human nature', nevertheless became distinct cultural, psychological and even moral beings as a result of living in societies distinctively organised by their 'laws'. This perception, while vital to the humanist and philosophe invention of 'history' in the modern sense of the term, was in itself ancient, resting on the Greek and Roman principle that the user was transformed by the usages and acquired a 'second nature' which was the product of the usages, customs and manners of a particular social formation. It was of great importance that ancient, as well as modern and exotic, systems of law were perceived as being partially or wholly based in custom, mos or consuetudo: it could thus be said that a people or nation was what it was by virtue of having, or having had, its own customs, which were not those of its neighbours, and could not be governed, other than despotically, unless governed by these customs operating freely [24].
  16. These perceptions entailed both material and moral reality. In societies primarily agrarian and secondarily commercial or governed in such a way as to entail the ideological assertion of these priorities one of law's principal functions was to regulate, describe and inscribe the occupancy of land, and the notion of 'property' originally denoted the ties which 'law' declared to link the individual to the land and define his being as that of an individual so linked. Some individuals were so far bound to it as to become objects in which other individuals had 'property'; others became 'proprietors', meaning individuals whose 'rights in', 'to', or 'over' land, beasts, goods and other individuals made them 'free' in the sense of having access to the law and a capacity to claim, assert, vocalise and inscribe a place in its processes which defined their autonomy. This capacity was generalised and philosophised until it became a moral claim, an assertion of capacity for both autonomy and sociability; and one of the central assertions of Eurocentricity, as far back at least as the sixteenth century, was the assertion that only in Europe had the interaction of barbaric freedom with Roman jurisprudence [25] produced the free tenures protected by law which had made the European free, sociable, dynamic, expansive, and capable of assuming moral responsibility for his own actions capable, in short, of libertas et imperium. A great deal of what we call 'materialist' social thinking originates in the exploration of the propositions that personality is rooted in property, society in the earth and its products, spirit in matter, the Logos in the Flesh.
  17. Jurisprudence became the main source of scientia civilis [26] in the material, institutional, moral and therefore philosophical senses of the term, because it furnished the richest and most comprehensive set of vocabularies for describing and regulating the full range of man's life in civil society. (The term 'man' is used deliberately, because the jurisprudence of gender, in so far as such a thing could be said to exist, operated to exclude women, not from society, but from property, citizenship, visibility and history.) During the seventeenth century, and running on into the eighteenth, occurred the revival of natural jurisprudence often under Remonstrant and Arminian auspices which tended to supply a morality of social living, in the place of a theology of grace, as the chief instrument of human happiness here and hereafter; we have seen how this was the instrument by which enlightenment replaced wars of religion, especially in Protestant cultures. The scientia civilis, based on philology and enlarging its scope as it supplied an increasing wealth of contexts in which life was conducted and actions recorded and evaluated, became at the same time the dominant vocabulary of both morality and soteriology, approaching the point at which the incarnate God himself must be understood as a social and historical being. The science of man became a science of nature and society, and there arose schemes which depicted the generation of society itself in the course of nature. If there had been a time in nature when men existed but society did not it was easier to depict this in terms of pre-Christian philosophy and jurisprudence than in those of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures such schemes were in a sense historical; but they tended to employ concepts of nature universal and abstract enough to be incompatible with that reconstitution of specific contexts in the past which is of the essence of post-classical history. This is why it was supposed, for so long that the assumption is not yet eliminated from our minds, that schemes of natural jurisprudence were by their nature unhistorical, and that a mental revolution against their paradigmatic domination was necessary before the human being could discover his being in history.
  18. As against this, however, we have been increasingly aware of processes in early modern European thought through which the genesis of society became historically specific and both incorporated and generated those contexts of past culture on which historical thinking is founded. Jurists supposed a 'state of nature' in which property and law did not yet exist, and went on to hypothecate processes rooted in human nature in the raw, by which appropriation could be said to have occurred [27]. In an important conceptual move, however, widely distributed and perhaps unthinkingly performed, they connected these processes with a scheme first found in Greek and Latin poetry and cosmogony, which depicted primeval humans first as gathering the fruits of the earth and hunting its animal inhabitants, then as learning to domesticate its beasts, next to cultivate its soil for vegetable products, and finally to exchange these products through invented metallic media 'money the medium of exchange'. In this marriage of the poetic imagination with natural jurisprudence the process could be accommodated to the Book of Genesis only by supposing post-diluvial man to have regressed to a 'state of nature' are to be found the origins of those 'stages of history', two or four in number, which dominate so much in the increasingly historical jurisprudence and scientia civilis of the eighteenth century [28]. Changes in the philosophy of law and the theological and epistemological perceptions of human nature did so much to facilitate their growth that it can be studied as part of the history of philosophy, but this is not quite the same as the history of that contextualisation of the past which is here considered as central to the history of historiography. Here processes must be discovered which led to the identification of these abstractly conceived and universal stages with specific societies or conceptualised past stages of societies actually existing. A crucial role must be assigned to the identification developing slowly after the Spanish encounter with some but not other Mesoamerican peoples of the solitary and feral existence of wandering individuals or male-headed patriarchal groups, imagined by Greek poets and philosophers as the condition of the Cyclopes, first with the human condition in the 'state of nature', next with the small kinship-based societies, sometimes in or near to a hunter-gatherer economy, encountered or invented by European voyagers and settlers in various parts of the globe. In this way occurred the momentous and destructive invention of the 'savage' and the identification of the 'state of nature' with the 'savage condition' imposed upon specific peoples in lands, outside Europe, and now and then within it [29]. The ancient literary invention of the 'wild man', 'man of the forests', selvaggio, sauvage or orang-utan [30] was conflated with the jurists' conception of the 'natural man' or man in the 'state of nature', not yet humanised by appropriation or the invention of law or extended social relations; and the resultant construction was imposed upon a great many human societies, supposed to be mere hunter-gatherers because they did not practice agriculture by the individualising instrument of the plough. Such societies were supposed to be living in the 'state of nature', not yet fully humanised as individuals; and the effects of this supposition, very often devastating for them, greatly enhanced European societies' consciousness of their own historicity. Navigation, colonisation and commerce organised large sections of global humanity into the increasingly if misleading concrete stages invented by the scientia civilis.
  19. Concurrently with this development, but in ways that situate it more intimately interior to a European consciousness of history, occurred the growth at the end of the seventeenth century of a sense of almost revolutionary modernity in the public and theoretical languages of several societies of Europe's northern Atlantic seacoasts, as they succeeded in putting behind them an era of religious wars. They saw themselves as distinguished by the growth of credit structures which facilitated the state's control of armed force [31], and by a post-fanatical form of religion which put an end to unreal perceptions of God as immediately present and made virtue and even salvation an affair of practising the usages and values of civilised society. They grouped these changes together under the paradigm of 'commerce', and expressed an acute awareness of the distance which 'commerce' established between 'modern' society and its Christian, feudal, barbaric and even classical predecessors. The relations they were able to affirm between themselves and the first and last of these four were especially crucial to their self- understanding and self-evaluation, and it has been suggested that this was the point at which Western man for the first time saw his history as paradoxical, entailing both secular gain and cultural loss [32]. Neo-classical in their continuing admiration for Greek and Roman values, they perceived not only as had their Renaissance predecessors that they could not re-create the life of ancient society, but that their neoclassical values themselves commanded that they should not attempt to do so. There thus arose 'quarrels of the ancients and moderns', in which some claimed a modern capacity to achieve ancient values more fully than had the ancients themselves, and others laid claim to values which surpassed and negated those at which the ancients had aimed; while the capacity to criticise modern society in the name of ancient values was by no means extinguished [33]. The succession of past contexts to one another, around which the concept of a civil history was taking shape, became increasingly exposed to conflicting evaluations, and the process of historical change was perceived in correspondingly sophisticated terms.
  20. We are outlining some of the processes by which there took shape in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a 'civil' and even a 'philosophical history', with which 'history' written according to the classical paradigm, persisting in a deeply neoclassical culture, had to co-exist and continued to contend. A crucial late step in its development was the advent of ethical and aesthetic schemes of 'manners' and 'politeness', denoting codes of human interaction, partly courtly and partly civic in origin, which linked the Ciceronian and Senecan codes of beneficial exchange in ancient society with those of modern 'commerce' a term which denoted exchange of services, manners, ideas and values, as well as of material goods. These codes were neither heroic nor transcendent, but were consciously limited to the conduct of the existing society and its culture. It came to be affirmed, however, that in an epoch when 'commerce' here very much in the sense of 'trade' had been more highly developed than in any which had preceded it, a 'politeness' often identified with 'taste', 'science', and the epistemologies of Locke and the third earl of Shaftesbury, could flourish in ways to which all previous history, organised into 'stages' of the growth of 'commerce', served as the introduction. It became possible for Voltaire to propose rewriting history, not as the Esprit des Lois but in the form of an Essai sur les Moeurs: for Burke to declare that manners were more important than laws; for Burke and Ferguson to affirm that a universal commerce of manners distinguished modern Europe both from Asian civilisation and from that of ancient Greece and Rome [34].
  21. We cannot understand the philosophy of manners without comprehending the extent to which they were designed to replace the attempt of a Christian civilisation to live directly by spiritual values; and in the setting of the present chapter, this means that we must retrace our steps and examine the Christian impact upon history written according to the classical paradigm, as well as the relation between Christian history and the modern historiography which was designed to replace classical and Christian alike. The classical paradigm defined 'history' in terms of exemplary deeds in war and statecraft; it had an extensive moral dimension and could narrate and evaluate the protagonist's deeds in terms of justice and legislation as well as exemplary prowess; we have seen that within its structure, 'history' could become the birth, growth and decline of a society or a system of laws. Yet its morality was secular and this-worldly; glory was one of its ultimate concepts; its vision of the world was political, and its vision of politics heroic. The classical age in which it was written had not contained the vision of a church, a human association formed to live in this world while pursuing values to be realised only beyond it, an association which extended beyond the living and even the dead, considered as members of society, to become a fellowship and communion with God himself, said to have lived on earth in a human body and on his departure to have left his disciples members of his spiritual substance. It was far from clear how the history of such a church could be written, and writing history might be a means of diminishing or replacing the belief in and practice of its existence. The advent of Christian history was thus a challenge to the classical paradigm [35].
  22. It was a further problem to comprehend how a churchman, consecrated as a priest to pursue Christian fellowship and communion with God, could figure as a historian given the sense in which the classical paradigm defined that term. He was not primarily a citizen; the alternation between civic action and leisurely retirement, in which history was written and which was central to the understanding of what history was, meant nothing to him. He might be a celibate, even a monk, separated by vows from the physical and political being of society; even as one of the 'secular' clergy, living by definition 'in the world', he lived there in pursuit of values which were not those of the city or the empire, and church and city might unite in asking him, from polar opposite positions, why he was writing history at all. It is not easy to call to mind a case in which she was a nun, one of a community of women pledged to live out of this world; though given the spread of scholarship among such communities, even this most scandalous challenge to the classical paradigm is not unthinkable. Male or female, the ecclesiastical or sacerdotal historian was mistrusted, as living by values other than those which commended and legitimated the writing of history; Gibbon once wrote of a monk, «who in the profound ignorance of human life had presumed to exercise the office of historian» [36]. Nevertheless, the existence and even the legitimacy of ecclesiastical history could not be denied, given the premise that the church was an association of human beings living in the world and its time, as well as a communion of saints or fellowship of spiritual beings living beyond both. There was, in Augustinian parlance, a church militant as well as a church triumphant. The former was in history, and made history as well as suffering itself to be made by it; if as the orthodox affirmed the former was of one substance with the latter, history was even shaped by the church triumphant acting from beyond it. There were those as diverse as Marsilius of Padua, Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury, and Benjamin Hoadly bishop of Bangor who laboured to deny the essential unity of church militant and church triumphant, and presented the former as part of secular history in no way differing from it; but when these appeared, they found themselves confronted by a formidable apparatus of sacred and ecclesiastical history which they must go about unmaking. Hobbes did this by representing the church as «the ghost of the deceased Roman empire», and by implication little more. We need to understand, however, what more it claimed to be.
  23. God in all three persons existed beyond time and history, but had acted in time and the history of mankind by a series of acts, distributed among revelation, covenant, prophecy and incarnation, of which the two most crucial were the 'old dispensation' given at Sinai which had constituted Israel as a people peculiarly God's and the 'new dispensation' consisting in Christ's incarnation, death and redemption and concluding in the descent of the Spirit at Pentecost; this had brought the old Israel to the end of its mission and substituted a new, the church which was at once a communion of humans in fellowship with God and one another, and the continued presence of Christ in his mystical though no longer his natural body. This series of acts, not yet concluded since more were to come, constituted 'sacred history', the record of God's action in and upon time, and of time as transformed by that action. Sacred history could be written and had left its own scriptures to record it; it was possible for a human author to paraphrase and enlarge it by means of commentary. Sacred history in the first place consisted of the record of action with regard to specific societies: initially the people of Israel, a community existing among the great empires of Egypt and Babylon, Assyria and Media, Macedon and Rome; subsequently the church, a communion local in its origins but held capable of including the whole of humanity. There were also those to whom God had not communicated himself directly, but whose history could nevertheless be traced, ever since the dispersion of the houses of Ham, Shem and Japhet after the Confusion of Tongues had distinguished them into many lineages, or gentes, of whom God had chosen to act only through that of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Sacred history had as its paired opposite that which was known as 'gentile history', and the question was whether the history of peoples not defined by covenant and revelation formed part of God's action in the world or was consigned to some outer darkness of merely 'secular' history meaning by that term the 'history' of time unredeemed by divine action. If so excluded, did the uncovenanted peoples generate a history significant in their own terms, or was their existence devoid of ultimate meaning? The easy solution was to bring them into the story in so far as their actions had affected the history of God's purposes through, or for, his own people. The prophets of the Exile had presented the kings of Egypt, Babylon and Assyria as God's instruments in the punishment of Israel grown false to its covenant with him, and a history of the ancient Near or Middle East could therefore be constructed around that of Israel as paradoxically its center a small and disregarded nation possessing a significance exceeding that of its enormous neighbours. But the problem grew far more complex when the history of the first Israel, and then that of the second, encountered that of Troy, Athens, Sparta and Rome: a history neither barbarous, idolatrous nor oriental, but documented in incomparable richness by a literature and sculpture, including a historiography, altogether its own a literature which furnished Christian and Enlightened civilisation with almost all its cultural models, and appropriated the names of 'humane letters', 'humanity' in the sense of humanitas and 'humane' or 'human' as opposed to sacred history. The Greek and Roman gentes transformed the question of gentile history by rendering the history of unredeemed man the history of Athens and Rome as opposed to Jerusalem, and enlarging 'classical' and 'humane' history to a point where it threatened to engulf sacred history itself. The neoclassical historian could choose to be a neo-pagan, finding the meaning of existence in classical values rather than in Christian; and whatever his choices, his hand was strengthened by the circumstance that his history contained that of the Hellenic 'philosophy', Platonist and Aristotelian, on which a great part of the edifice of Christian belief and doctrine had come to be founded.
  24. The genealogy of the sons of Noah could be employed in tracing the origins of all the peoples, though it did not replace the creation and ancestor myths recorded of other gentes, including especially those of the Greeks and Romans. There arose and was intensified by humanist scholarship in the fifteenth through seventeenth centuries a complicated science known as chronology, aimed at reconciling the gentile accounts of primeval time and the actors in it with those given in the Old Testament and legitimised by the followers of the New [37]. Of all branches of premodern Christian learning this is perhaps the most alien to the post-Enlightened mind; it is full of such propositions as James Ussher's undeservedly notorious dating of the Creation to 4004 B. C., and identifications of biblical with non-biblical figures that read more strangely still; but it was the discovery of geological time in the nineteenth century which put an end to it, rather than the denunciations of Jewish chronology by philosophes who could only substitute some other or no other, and we shall find that its abandonment produced immediate effects less startling than might be supposed. However, the science of sacred and universal history was greatly complicated by the increasing knowledge, thrust upon Europeans in the age of global expansion, of civilisations Indian, Chinese and Meso-American [38], not to be found in biblical or Greco-Roman literature and possessing chronologies of their own even harder to reconcile with the Judeo-Christian than were those of Mesopotamia or still-undeciphered Egypt. Some of these chronologies, like the Maya, Europeans did their best to destroy; others, above all the Chinese, survived, were reported and presented Christian thought with new problems. It was not merely that Chinese and Hindu chronologies were excessively hard to reconcile with those worked out in the Christian-Hellenic-Mesopotamian encounter, or that China, vaguely known to the ancients, and America, utterly unknown to them, presented difficulties to the Noachic genealogies. The latter problem was in fact solved by supposing to our minds not objectionably that America had been peopled by humans from northern Asia, thus making both Chinese and pre-Columbian Americans descendants of either Ham or Japhet. The crux was rather that the newly-discovered civilisations enlarged and complicated the problem of gentile history, and so of the identity between sacred history and universal.
  25. Gentile history might be excluded from sacred history, on the grounds that the Lord had not made himself known to the gentiles through revelation and covenant, and so had not employed or commissioned them in the fulfillment of his purposes. In that case their history might have gone on at a distance, in darkness and without meaning; at most exemplifying the condition of fallen man when grace was not extended to it. But it came to be held that there was a natural as well as a revealed law, and a harmony of some kind between the two; so that the ancient as well as the newly-discovered gentiles (or heathen) had lived in nature and according to it, and might be the subjects at least of natural history meaning investigations of nature not necessarily entailing the written records of human actions. History was only one of the sciences of man, and natural jurisprudence in the role of scientia civilis was increasing the number of the latter. The gentiles, furthermore, were not excluded from the providence of a God who was lord of all the earth and must employ all mankind in the fulfillment of his purposes. There was a sense, however, in which no history of providence could be written; its ways were inscrutable and past finding out, and became visible, even as mysteries, only at those points at which they intersected with the record of revealed 'sacred history' in the proper sense of the term. Christian chronology, which flourished in renaissance and baroque forms, was in fact the science of these intersections; and 'universal history', as laid out by such a master as Bossuet [39], was the history of God's actions in the old and new dispensations, written so as to include the history of those gentile nations who had impinged upon it and acquired significance from their part in it. Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Macedon, Persia and Rome had played vital if hostile roles in the history of the two dispensations, from the Pharaoh of Exodus through Pilate in the Gospels to the Caesars of the persecutions; and we might think of Bossuet as a Christian Herodotus, aware that the great actions of the heathens as well as the Jews and Christians must not be forgotten, and that the history of the former must be written, but more insistent than Herodotus that it was significant, and therefore intelligible, only as contributory (through the mysterious wisdom of providence) to the latter. The history of Islam, however inimically viewed, was visible from the standpoint of sacred history, though it arose too late to play a part in the making of the dispensations, and therefore need not be studied in much detail. But problems of quite another sort arose from the discovery of civilisations and histories in further Asia and Mesoamerica, which were not mentioned in either sacred or classical history, could only be remotely connected with Judeo- Christian chronology, and had played no part whatever, not even a hostile one, in sacred history as the record of the dispensations. There were now known to be recorded 'gentile' histories altogether indifferent to the history of God's actions in the world unless the latter could be rewritten so as to include them and 'universal history' could henceforth be understood either as what it meant to such as the compilers of the English Universal History studied by Gibbon, namely an attempted encyclopedia of all the histories of all the nations so far as they were known, whether they interacted with sacred history or not [40]. There could in principle be a natural, even a civil, history of man, or of human society, written independently of the Judeo-Christian dispensations; we shall have occasion to note the savagery with which Voltaire employed Chinese history to displace Jewish, and by implication Christian history from any central place. This did not mean that he wanted to study Chinese history for its own sake, though there were both Jesuits and philosophes who did; once he had achieved his destructive purpose he dropped it, and the Essai sur les Moeurs, in name an histoire universelle, is in fact a history of Europe. Modern historiography has been so much a product of Europe's quarrel with its various pasts that the histories of India, China, Japan and the «peoples without history» [41] have yet to be normally included in it, and it is easier to contest the notion of history itself than to write it on a global scale. Comprehensive histories of the human race for the most part resemble the original Universal History in being libraries rather than unitary volumes.
  26. Sacred history merged into 'ecclesiastical history' at the point where the church became the vehicle of Christ's presence among his worshippers, and the several events of divine action in the world became, as it were, institutionalised in the church's continuing existence, to endure until the climactic events of the eschata or last days. As time lengthened in the expectation of these events, it became possible and necessary to envisage the church's continuity as history, and extend that vision to include either sacred or gentile history previous to the events  Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Pentecost which had established the church after Christ's physical departure. Ecclesiastical historians were thus both sacred historians and historians of the church considered as a human community; the first of them, after the evangelists themselves, was Eusebius of Caesarea, a contemporary of the emperor Constantine, considered the founder of ecclesiastical history as a literary genre [42]. From him the genre was held to have derived a dual character. In the first place it was designed drawing on the events of sacred history in the broader sense to validate the church's continuously acting as the vehicle, primarily of Christ's presence in the sacraments, secondly of orthodox truth concerning his teachings and his nature, thirdly of the authority to administer the sacraments and the word in which he was present, and therefore to speak in his name. As the history of the church became increasingly a history of debate and contestation concerning Christ's nature, and concerning the distribution of authority among the officers and ministers of the church in which he was present, the history of these debates required to be written; but it was written with the aim of upholding orthodoxy and authority and became in its way a vehicle and not the only one of tradition. It was still being written in this way by Bossuet, Tillemont, Fleury and other Catholic ecclesiastical historians in the generations immediately preceding Gibbon's.
  27. In the second place, Eusebius had been the historian of Constantine, and therefore of the establishment of Christianity as the recognised religion of the empire: a momentous if not climactic event in both ecclesiastical and civil history. From this time history became tam ecclesiastica quam civilis, a narrative of sacred co-existing with secular history the word 'secular' denoted both time and the organisation of human life as it was lived in time and the history of the church as we have seen it emerging became intertwined with that of civil authority and civil action; a history conceived not merely in gentile but in specifically Roman and classical terms. The ecclesiastical historian became one of those who wrote to the requirements of the classical paradigm, but since he was a citizen of the civitas Dei rather than of the civitas terrena he had his own ends in writing and developed his own idiom [43], and there was always something anomalous about his presence in the company of classical historians. As a minister of the Spirit, what business had he recounting the deeds of emperors? How did those deeds appear when performed in the context set by sacred history? As a member of the vehicle of grace which was above nature and transformed it, was it his function to hold the mirror of history in which human nature was reflected? The views one held of the nature of Christ might affect one's understanding of both ecclesiastical and civil authority, and the process might be repeated in reverse; neither the emperor Constantine nor his historian Eusebius had always been orthodox in the debate between Arius and Athanasius, and later historians of the church were obliged to record the partial heresy of the church's first historian [44]. The intensity of theological debate, and the civil authority's involvement in it, in the age of the Fathers and the Councils, gave the ecclesiastical historian much to record that was unedifying and even scandalous, and sacred history which narrated the actions of the Spirit had at the same time to narrate the actions of men, even of saints and confessors, in whom human nature appeared in its least redeemed form. This was inherent in the concept of the church militant in a still fallen world, and did not in itself challenge orthodoxy; but it offered a series of tempting opportunities and telling arguments to those who would recount the church's human and civil history in ways that challenged its sacredness.
  28. During the two centuries preceding that in which Gibbon wrote the Decline and Fall the structure of ecclesiastical history as perceived in Latin Christianity was deeply changed as a consequence of the Protestant Reformation [45]. For Catholics it remained, with greatly increased urgency, a means of displaying the uninterrupted continuity of orthodoxy and authority in the church that was its continuing presence. This enterprise heightened rather than retarded the growth of techniques of textual and other criticism within Catholic scholarship, but these were always at the service of authority. A crisis had occurred in the late seventeenth century, when Richard Simon's histoires critiques of the Old and New Testaments had aimed to show that the scriptures were less reliable than the tradition of the church that interpreted them, but had horrified Bossuet and others who saw Simon as separating authority from its foundations [46]; to sceptical (but not necessarily unbelieving) onlookers it seemed that Bossuet was determined to have his cake and eat it. This, however, was primarily a crisis within the discourse of Catholic authority. Since Luther's own time there had been a Protestant discourse as it came to be termed [47] which challenged orthodox ecclesiastical history at its roots. A great part of the history of the church must now be a narrative and explanation of papal usurpation of the acquisition by the successors of St. Peter (if that was what they were) of powers that did not rightfully belong to them; and the problem of the terms in which this history of false authority was to be written merged with that of establishing the structure in which Christ's true presence had been maintained during the centuries there were enough of them to constitute a millennium of the papal usurpation. The simplest rhetorical device available to Protestant ecclesiastical historians was that of supposing that since the true church was by definition the presence of Christ, a structure claiming falsely to act in his name must be the work, and thereby the presence, of Antichrist a being mentioned in the Christian apocalyptic writings and now promoted to an incessantly important role in Protestant historiography. To identify the papacy with Antichrist was to institutionalise the latter, and furthermore to identify the greater part of the church's institutional history as his work and his presence. The visible church was condemned, and the history of the true church, Christ's true presence, identified with that of the invisible. Christ had been present in his Word, acting in the hearts of his true followers oppressed by the powers of this world, including that of the papal Antichrist. But if the church's institutional structure, including its distribution of constituted authority, was held to provide the mystical body in which Christ's incarnation was continued, a strictly invisible church did not furnish him with such a body and might be held to compromise the doctrine of his incarnation. The history of the church might come to be a history of recurrent pentecosts, of actions by the Third rather than the Second Person of the Trinity; a history of the active Spirit rather than the communicated Son; an antinomian history in which the institutions of the visible church were always corruptible and normally corrupt, and the Spirit acted occasionally to maintain the invisible church whidh resisted corruption. There were many sectarian histories of this kind, one of them Gottfried Arnold's Kirchen- und Ketzerhistorie which Gibbon did not read at Lausanne [48].
  29. In these extreme forms, Protestant historiography became in the eyes of many including many Protestants a history of enthusiasm and not an ecclesiastical history at all. That is, there were many Protestants who most strongly desired to remain part of the history of the visible church and of the continuous structure of its authority since the Apostles, the Fathers and the Councils; they desired to remain within Christ's body, the action in this world of the undivided Trinity, and of the history of the Logos Incarnate. For such Protestants, the history of the papal usurpation must be written differently. There were those who horrified their fellows by denying that the Pope was Antichrist, and of these some wrote the history of papal authority as an accident of civil history, an effect of the disruption of the Roman empire and the advent of the Gothic and Frankish kingdoms [49]. Gallican Catholics, who did not affirm the papal power a usurpation, but maintained the independence of the monarchie française from its jurisdiction, did not write history very differently; and this was to remove the papal usurpation from the field of sacred history where it figured as an Antichristian or a diabolic event into that of ecclesiastical and at the same time that of civil history. By this route, as by many others, we reach the point at which civil and ecclesiastical history were seen to interact. The initiator of such a history was of course Constantine, who like his historian Eusebius was displayed in a momentously ambiguous role. On the one hand he was an actor in sacred history, the imperial prophet who had seen the cross in the sky and acted by victory in battle to unite Christ's body, the church, with the structure of empire. On the other hand he was God's flawed instrument, rather Saul than David; a deeply imperfect being as, to do him justice, he did not deny who had brought the church into conjunction with the necessary imperfections of the earthly city, with consequences of which the almost immediate outbreak of heresy and his own involvement in it were emblematically the first. Constantine was a contested figure throughout the medieval debates between church and empire, and the early-modern debates between the church catholic and the church reformed; whenever, in short, the conjunction between spiritual and secular authority seemed imperfect or contestable. To some he had won eternal glory by setting up the church in the empire; to others he had erred by subjecting the church to the empire and enabling emperors to make unjustified claims on popes and bishops; to others again, he had erred not merely by enabling popes to make claims on emperors, but far more deeply by involving the church in the sin of attempting the exercise of civil government. To many this was the origin of the papal usurpation, to some the beginning of Antichrist's reign in the church, which had commenced its thousand-year rule from one or other of Constantine's donations to the clergy [50]. In the Scots version of a widespread anecdote:
  30. When Constantine set up Sylvester hie,
    On civill seat in his empire of Rome,
    This voyce from heaven then sounded michtilly:
    «Now poyson is pourit out on Christendome». [51]

    But if the civil power was among the victims of Antichrist's usurpation, it might be thought of as maintaining even as acting as the vehicle of the continued presence of Christ among men. The Christian emperor might be Christ's captain against his false representative even though, perhaps even because, Christ had warned Peter to put up his sword; he might even be Christ's representative, entitled to act in his person, and the empire rather than the church the vehicle of Christ's reign among men. When the thousand-year reign of Antichrist was ended, the thousand-year reign of the saints might begin, with the emperor at its head until Christ should return in his risen person. Such visions were articulated when medieval emperors came to Rome intending a reform of the papacy; they were entertained again when the English king, imperator in suo regno, took up the cause of the invisible church and a new and purer Constantine rendered it visible by embodying it in his kingdom. Such a Protestant emperor might come closer being a 'type of Christ', a figure of incarnation, than the unbaptised Constantine himself had ever come.

  31. In the lifetimes of the two generations preceding Gibbon's the period in which his kind of historical consciousness was taking shape the rulers of Christian and especially Protestant Europe displayed (as we have seen) an earnest desire to free themselves from those typified roles in sacred and especially millennial history which had proved above all in the British kingdoms so disastrously double-edged a weapon in their struggle with the papacy. The Gallican Louis XIV found it easier to play the role of an Augustus than that of a Constantine; his adversary William III rode a white horse and figured as a liberating and millennial emperor only in the imagination of Protestant Ireland, being at pains to downplay the role in that of Britain, Holland and the Huguenot exiles. Bayle triumphed over Jurieu because it was increasingly an objective among their contemporaries to show that the civil power was obtaining the ascendancy over the ecclesiastical and putting an end to religious conflict. Sculptors, painters and historians joined to depict the rulers of the age in neo- classical garb and baroque settings with the same end in view; the image of a pre-Christian past in which there had been no church and no theological conflicts was serving the modern purpose of rendering civil authority (whether absolutist or constitutionalist) supreme in a Christian society. Lay authors joined an apparent majority of clerical spokesmen in insisting that sacred history occurred only in the contexts provided by civil society and its history; as the Neapolitan Pietro Giannone put it, the church was in the republic and not the other way round [52]. Pressed in a certain direction, this perception could as we have repeatedly seen end by depriving the church, and Christ with it, of any claim to a divine nature. There was nothing unorthodox, however, in affirming that the church was both a divine and a human society, existing in both sacred and civil history; and it was often conservative Gallican, Lutheran and Anglican historians who put forward the argument, which radical believers and unbelievers could both exploit, that the church as a human society had been shaped by civil history and had followed the increasingly complex patterns of its development. There were orthodox historians who elaborated the history of Christian doctrine itself as moving towards just this understanding of its own character, and losing none of its orthodoxy in the process. In this way historiography acquired a dual structure, «at once ecclesiastical and civil», to employ a phrase common among English historians between Clarendon and Hume [53]; and the two served as contexts to one another. If the history of the church must in the last analysis conform to that of civil society, the history of the latter must be understood in terms of its interactions with the church and its claims to embody the actions of the Spirit in sacred history, and no amount of 'secularisation' of history would ever return it to what it had been in pre-Christian antiquity. We have reached the last and the greatest of the contextualisations and clericalisations which were imposed on the classical paradigm and transformed it.
  32. The classical paradigm none the less persisted with extraordinary strength. Not only was there a continuous undergrowth of exemplary miroirs des princes, but the greatest of Enlightened historians Gibbon among them commented on the sustained pressure they were under to write classical history and their inability to comply with it or to escape from it. This predicament can be traced back to the late Renaissance and the beginnings of the Wars of Religion, if not further. The most admired 'modern' historians those, that is to say, proclaimed to have equalled the achievements of antiquity were held to have equalled the achievements of Tacitus [54]; and when one looks in the Tacitean mirror, one sees not exemplary actions good and evil, so much as the dark and knotty mysteries of ragione di stato in which the springs of human conduct are forever obscured and the consequences of human actions forever unpredictable. One sees Tiberius rather than Scipio, the palace rather than the forum, and it is possible to argue that history has become the mirror of ragione di stato and the arcana imperii because corruption and tyranny have prevailed over virtue and liberty; in the history of a true republic all would be open and intelligible, and the fall of political man would not have occurred. But the great Tacitean historians admired in the late Renaissance and the baroque period were concerned with historical changes even more complex than the decay of liberty, if like their predecessors they were the chroniclers of defeat rather than victory. Francesco Guicciardini's Storia d'Italia was concerned with the conflict between Hapsburg and Valois which destroyed the city-state politics of Italy and was the forerunner of the bipolar politics of the European state system, and after him the neo-classical masters were historians of reason of state and wars of religion. Jacques-Auguste de Thou's Historiarum Sui Temporis libri CXXXVII (1605) was a history of the wars in France and the Netherlands [55]; Paolo Sarpi's Historia del Concilio Tridentino (1619) studied the arcana imperii papalis at the heart of the Counter-Reformation, and advanced a Tacitean understanding of ecclesiastical politics themselves [56]; P. C. Hooft's Nederlandsche Histoorien (1642) was a history of the Dutch revolt against Spain no less Tacitean than exemplary [57]; Lord Clarendon's History of the Rebellion (1702) narrated the civil wars and wars of religion in the three British kingdoms [58]. All of these were neo-classical histories; they excelled according to the canons of the classical paradigm, yet they dealt with matters above all those of history tam ecclesiastica quam civilis of which the ancient historians could have had no knowledge at all. They were the heirs of Eusebius as well as of Tacitus, but were moving into post- medieval and post-Reformation world whose neo-classicism was paradoxically the emblem of its modernity. A lesser but unjustly neglected figure Thomas May, the parliamentary historian of the First Civil War, who had earlier written verse histories of great medieval kings [59] explains the difficulty of writing classical history under seventeenth-century conditions. However heroic, actions are not exemplary when performed in an 'unnatural' civil war; their motivation is more obscure than even Tacitus knew, when shaped by differences of religious conviction. Speeches by captains to their soldiers cannot be recorded, even if delivered, in the din of a gunpowder battlefield; and their place is taken by an exchange of printed manifestoes, unknown to the ancients, which has to be considered as itself contributing to constrain actions and shape events [60]. The neo-classical, even the Tacitist, historian writes in a world where the classical paradigm is only partly applicable.
  33. All these historical changes, or rather all these shapings of historical contexts unknown to the classical paradigm, were accompanied by recent technological or social innovations, such as gunpowder, typography, navigation, commerce, fiscality, the standing army, civil religion; medieval innovations, such as feudalism, scholasticism, barbarian language and laws; late antique innovations, such as Roman law, the theology and the authority structure of the Christian church. These, and any other discoveries and inventions which might impose themselves on the early modern and early Enlightened mind, could be brought together under such general rubrics as 'manners' or 'civil society', and employed as contexts within which histories according to the classical paradigm continued to be written.
  34. David Hume's History of England was divided into reigns, each narrated in language closely following that of the chroniclers of the time; yet this language was as far as possible rendered modern and polite, the accompanying 'philosophical' commentary at times took over the structure of narration, and at the end of each reign a chapter was inserted reviewing the king's character, the significant legislation enacted by or under him, the general state of society and the progress (if any) of the liberal and occasionally the useful arts during his reign. The history of social and cultural conditions (as we should term it) was still regularly, but not always, made to subserve the narrative of res gestae in the role of contexts; but there was developing a new kind of sequentially-written history, whose function was to narrate the transition from one historical context, or one generalised state of society, to another. Hume and Gibbon, major historians, continued to write the two kinds of narrative concurrently, and faced the problem of linking them more revealingly than by such convenient copulae as «About this time [...]», or «During his reign the state of society [...]». There were other major historians who offered subversively like Voltaire in the Essai sur les Moeurs more conservatively like Robertson in the View of the Progress of Human Society... or Ferguson in the Essay on the History of Civil Society writings which were essentially, or exclusively, narratives of the processes of social or contextual change. These authors could be termed 'historians', yet there was an unextinguished doubt whether their works were properly to be termed 'histories'; perhaps they were essays, discourses, treatises on 'origins' or 'progress', and the word 'history' should be reserved for works in which the narrative of exemplary deeds remained autonomous if not preponderant. We may even find cardinal and crucial contributions to historical literature in works like Montesquieu's De l'Esprit des Lois or Adam Smith's Lectures on Jurisprudence which did not aim at being described as 'histories' at all [61]. The two kinds of 'history' were converging and interbreeding, but still maintained separate habitats; taxonomically speaking, they were more like genders than like species, though morphologically speaking, they were on the way to producing a new species.
  35. The new structure of contexts which had grown up around classical 'history', had done much to transform it and in some ways beginning to replace it, is best described as 'civil history' and is so described in the title of this book. It was in a great many respects a product of the study of civil law and the latter's transformation into scientia civilis; the image of ancient republican life, which it maintained, rejected and transformed all at once, had been known to Florentine humanists by the name of vivere civile, though there were and are tensions between the political connotations of the word 'civic' and the juristic connotations of the word 'civil'». Even the great transition from an exclusive stress on lois to a more inclusive stress on moeurs, which gave rise to the adage that 'manners were more important than laws', occurred within the study of natural jurisprudence and culminated in the post-classical (yet still neo-classical) paradigm of 'civil society'». History was capable of becoming the study of the origins and progress of civil society, and conveyed the normative message that civilised men and women whose visibility it increased, if only marginally were inhabitants of civil society, a modern construct existing in the history it defined: neither the heroic actions of classical antiquity, nor the spiritual communion seen as active in sacred and ecclesiastical history. It was the Enlightened enterprise to substitute civil history for sacred history, a strategy thought necessary in order to subject churches and sects to the authority of society; that there was also an enterprise of substituting modern history for ancient was in part accidental, a product of the circumstance that republican (which were not Christian) values were used in presenting a challenge to certain values which became 'modern' about the year 1700. The history most regularly denied and swept out of visibility other, that is, than the histories of labour and of women was the history of barbarism and religion; the late antique and medieval history of Christian and feudal culture, neither ancient nor modern; the history which Gibbon was paradoxically to write.
  36. 'Civil history' might also be termed 'philosophical history'. The 'history of civil society' directly or by implication advanced the claim that humans were inhabitants of a civil rather than a sacred order; it was part of an enterprise of subjecting religion to social control. The long history of philosophy, and more immediately the long history of 'philosophy' as a term, concept, or construct, contain reasons why the epithet 'philosophical' could be used of, and in, this enterprise. There were philosophies Locke's or Hume's which conveyed the message that human knowledge was knowledge of itself as the consciousness and conscience of a social being, never by its nature the apprehension of metaphysical being or spiritual communion. There were even histories of philosophy which conducted it towards this understanding of itself [62], and presented the 'history of philosophy' as a branch or aspect of 'philosophical history'. In all these ways, 'civil history' could be termed 'philosophical history', and the two terms used, as they often were, interchangeably; Gibbon could so use them without instantly reviving his debate with d'Alembert as to whether 'philosophy' needed 'history' any longer. But it is better to give priority to the term 'civil history', in order to remind ourselves of the identity between the two terms, and to keep in mind that 'philosophical history' was not necessarily identical with the history written by philosophes. These, as gens de lettres had their own agenda in writing history: agenda, not identical with Gibbon's, with which his must be compared.


[*] This essay was originally a chapter in a forthcoming study of Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire; its argument has now been incorporated in that work in different form. The aim of that section of the work to which it pertains is to situate the Decline and Fall in the context furnished by European historiography, (a) in the eighteenth century, (b) in its development over a longer period. In addition to the historiographical context, the Decline and Fall is also situated in the context of Gibbon's biographical trajectory, with which the present essay opens.[B]

[1] Edward Gibbon, Memoirs of My Life: edited from the manuscripts by George Bonnard (New York: Funk and Wagnalls, 1966), p. 119.[B]

[2] D. M. Low, Edward Gibbon, 1737-1794 (New York: Random House, 1937), pp. 217-20; Giuseppe Giarrizzo, Edward Gibbon e la cultura europea del Settecento (Napoli: Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Storici, 1954), chs. IV and V; Patricia Craddock, Young Edward Gibbon, Gentleman of Letters (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1982), ch. 12, and Edward Gibbon, Luminous Historian (a., 1989), ch. 1; Michel Baridon, Edward Gibbon et le mythe de Rome: Histoire et Idéologie au Siècle des Lumières (Lille: Service de Reproduction des Thèses, 1975), vol. II, pp. 563-66; David Womersley, The Transformation of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Cambridge University Press, 1988), pp. 41- 44.[B]

[3] P. R Ghosh, «Gibbon's Dark Ages: Some Remarks on the Genesis of the Decline and Fall», Journal of Roman Studies LXIII (1984), pp. 1-23.[B]

[4] This, rather than the biographical, is also the approach of Giarrizzo and Baridon. [B]

[5] J. E. Norton (ed.), The Letters of Edward Gibbon (London: Cassell, 1956), vol. I, p. 184 (to Edward Gibbon senior, 9 October 1764).[B]

[6] Memoirs, ed. Bonnard, p. 136; this, the best-known variant of the text, is given in footnote 4. The insistence on the Journal recording is in the variant preferred.[B]

[7] Craddock, Young Edward Gibbon p. 29, and the references to the bibliography of debate given in n. 112. [B]

[8] Leviathan (ed. Tuck; Cambridge University Press, 1991), ch. 47, p. 480.[B]

[9] Memoirs, pp. 41-43.[B]

[10] There is a considerable literature on this subject in English alone. See particularly F. Smith Fussner, The Historical Revolution: English Historical Writing and Thought, 1580-1640 (London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1962); Arthur B. Ferguson, The Articulate Citizen and the English Renaissance (Durham, NC; Duke University Press, 1965) and Clio Unbound: Perception of the Social and Cultural Past in Renaissance England (Durham, NC; Duke University Press, 1979); Joseph M. Levine, Humanism and History: Origins of Modern English Historiography (Ithaca, NY; Cornell University Press, 1987). More generally, Orest Ranum (ed.), National Consciousness, History and Political Culture in Early Modem Europe (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975); Arnaldo Momigliano, Essays in Ancient and Modern Historiography (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, and Middletown, CT, 1977). For French classical historiography in the baroque period, see Ranum (ed.), Jacques Bénigne Bossuet Discourse on Universal History (University of Chicago Press, 1976) and his Artisans of Glory: Writers and Historical Thought in Seventeenth-Century France (Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1980).[B]

[11] Philip S. Hicks, Neoclassical History and English Culture: from Clarendon to Hume (London: Macmillan, 1996), discusses the predicament of this convention in English and Scottish culture.[B]

[12] For this episode see Levine, op. cit., pp. 16-71; Hicks, op. cit., pp. 198-201; G. V. Bennen, White Kennett, 1660-1728 Bishop of Peterborough (London: S.P.C.K., 1977), pp. 168-74; Deborah Stephan, «The Eighteenth Century Reviews its Seventeenth-Century Past», unpub. PhD dissertation, University of Sydney, 1986, pp. 72-110; Laird Okie, Augustan Historical Writing: Histories of England in the English Enlightenment (Washington: University Press of America, 1991), pp. 27-32; Roger Schmidt, «Roger North's Examen: a Crisis in Historiography», Eighteenth-Century Studies XXVI, I (1992), pp. 57-66. North's Examen was a reply to Kennett's version of Restoration and Revolution history.[B]

[13] Lily B. Campbell (ed.), The Mirror for Magistrates (Cambridge University Press, 1938). [B]

[14] Samuel Johnson, lines 219-22[B]

[15] Herodotus History, I, 1.[B]

[16] This has been done in an admirable novel by Gore Vidal, Creation (New York, 1982), which plays at being the autobiography of Cyrus Spitama, Persian ambassador to Athens. His adventures carry him across Eurasia in the Axial Age, and are not confined to the campaigns in Greece.[B]

[17] Hicks, op. cit., passim[B]

[18] See the observations at the end of chapter 9 of The Decline and Fall. References to this text should now be to the critical edition by David Womersley, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, edited with an introduction and appendices (Harmondsworth and London: Allen Lane, the Penguin Press, 1994); here vol. I, p. 252.[B]

[19] Arnaldo Momigliano, «Gibbon's Contribution to Historical Method», in Studies in Historiography (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1966), pp. 4G55. A full bibliography of Momigliano's writings on Gibbon may be found in Craddock, Edward Gibbon: a reference guide (Boston: G. K. Hall 1987).[B]

[20] Joseph M. Levine, Humanism and History: origins of modern English historiography (Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1987).[B]

[21] E. g. Gibbon himself, Memoirs, p. 77.[B]

[22] Nancy S. Struever, The Language of History in the Florentine Renaissance: Rhetoric and Historical Consciousness in Florentine Humanism (Princeton University Press, 1970); R. R. Bolgar, The Classical Heritage and its Beneficiaries (Cambridge University Press, 1954); Pocock, The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law, (Cambridge University Press, 1957/1987), ch. 1.[B]

[23] Pocock, The Ancient Constitution and the Feudal Law; Donald R. Kelley, The Foundations of Modern Historical Scholarship: Language Law and History in the French Renaissance (New York: Columbia University Press, 1970).[B]

[24] J. G. A. Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine political thought and the Atlantic republican tradition (Princeton University Press, 1975), pp. 9-18, 22-25.[B]

[25] For the «Roman-German» debate in its sixteenth-century form, see Pocock, Ancient Constitution, ch. 1, and Kelley, Foundations, chs. VI and IX.[B]

[26] Donald R. Kelley, The Human Measure: Social Thought in the Western Legal Tradition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1991).[B]

[27] Richard Tuck, Natural Rights Theories: their Origin and Development (Cambridge University Press, 1980).[B]

[28] A study of this matter should begin with Ronald L. Meek, Social Science and the Ignoble Savage (Cambridge University Press, 1976) and Peter Stein, Legal Evolution: the story of an idea (Cambridge University Press, 1980).[B]

[29] Meek, op cit.; Robert A. Williams, Jr., The American Indian in Western Legal Thought the Discourses of Conquest (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990); Pocock, «Tangata Whenua and Enlightenment Anthropology», New Zealand Journal of History, XXVI, 1 (1992).[B]

[30] This Malay term, meaning «men of the woods» is included here, because discussion of the anthropoid as prehuman or degenerate human is found in authors as dissimilar as Lord Monboddo (Ancient Metaphysics, 1779-99) and Thomas Love Peacock (Melincourt, 1819). There was also a more sharply-focussed debate over the anthropoid's bone structure and anatomy; see Robert Wokler, «The ape debates in Enlightenment anthropology», Studies on Voltaire, CXCII (1980), and «From apes to races in the Scottish Enlightenment: Kames and Monboddo on the history of man», in Peter Jones (ed.), Science and Philosophy in the Scottish Enlightenment (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1989).[B]

[31] Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment, chs. XII-XIV; Virtue, Commerce and History: essays on political thought and history, chiefly in the Eighteenth century (Cambridge University Press, 1985), passim.[B]

[32] The Machiavellian Moment, p. 466.[B]

[33] Joseph M. Levine, The Battle of the Books: History and Literature in the Augustan Age (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1991.[B]

[34] Edmund Burke: Reflections on the Revolution in France (ed. J. G. A. Pocock, Indianapolis: Rackett Publishers, 1987), pp. 67, 0-70; Adam Ferguson, History of the Progress and Termination of the Roman Republic (Edinburgh, 1799), pp. 417-18.[B]

[35] An excellent summary of this and related matters may be found in C. A. Patrides The Phoenix and the Ladder: the rise and decline of the Christian view of story (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1964)[B]

[36] Bury, IV, p. 159 (ch. 38). The monk is Gildas, supposed the author of De Excidio Britanniae, a work of the fifth century.[B]

[37] There seems no comprehensive modern study of this science in English. See Anthony Grafton, Joseph Scaliger: a study in the history of classical scholarship, vol. 1 (Oxford: the Clarendon Press, 1983). [B]

[38] See J. H. Elliott, The Old World and the New (Cambridge University Press, 1970); Anthony Pagden, The Fall of Natural Man: the American Indians and the Origins of comparative ethnology (Cambridge, 1982) and European Encounters with the New World: from Renaissance to Romanticism (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993).[B]

[39] Orest Ranum (ed.), Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet: Discourse on Universal history (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1976), and the editor's introduction.[B]

[40] The fullest studies of the Universal History are those of Giuseppe Ricuperati, « Universal History: storia di un progetto europeo. Impostori, storici ed editori nella Ancient Part» and Guido Abbattista, «The Literary Mill: per una storia editoriale della Universal History (1736-1765)», in Studi Settecenteschi 2 (1981), pp. 7-90, 91-134, the latter available also in an English, slightly enlarged version as «The business of Paternoster Row: towards a publishing history of the Universal History» in Publishing History, 17 (1985): 5- 50.[B]

[41] Eric R. Wolf, Europe and the Peoples Without History (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1982).[B]

[42] There is a valuable introduction to the relations between Eusebius and the recognised 'ecclesiastical historians' Socrates Scholasticus, Sozomen and Theodoret who followed him in Jaroslav Pelikan, The Excellent Empire: the Fall of Rome and the Triumph of the Church (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1987). This book is also a useful commentary on Gibbon.[B]

[43] In early modern English historiography, such phrases as «the poor man», and «knew the temper of the man», are strong signs that a cleric is the subject if not the author. There is an instance of the former in Gibbon, Memoirs, p. 31.[B]

[44] Fleury, Histoire Ecclésiastique (Brussels ed. of 1715), vol. III, pp. 238 43.[B]

[45] A. G. Dickens, I. M. Tonkin, with Kenneth Powell, The Reformation in Historical Thought (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1985).[B]

[46] Ranum, op. cit., pp. xxxiii-xlii.[B]

[47] The term 'Protestant' came into use after the Diet of Speyer in 1529; by what stages it grew and came to be disseminated need not concern us here, but should impose caution on historians employing it.[B]

[48] The best studies of this debate in English history are K. R. Firth, The Apocalyptic tradition in Reformation Britain 1530-1645 (Oxford University Press, 1979); Paul Christianson, Reformers in Babylon: English Apocalyptic Visions from the Reformation to the Eve of the Civil War (Toronto University Press, 1978); William M. Lamont, Marginal Prynne 1600-1669 (London: Macmillan, 1963), Godly Rule (1603-1660) (London: Macmillan, 1969) and Richard Baxter and the Millennium (London, 1975).[B]

[49] A good example is Peter Heylyn (1600-62), Archbishop Laud's chaplain and biographer. See his Cosmographia (London, 1652), esp. «To the Reader», sig. 1, 4 Historical and Miscellaneous Tracts (London, 1631), p. vi, and Ecclesia Vindicata (London, 1657, ed. of 1681), pp. 25-28.[B]

[50] This is generalised language; the famous history of the forged Donation is part of it.[B]

[51] Arthur Williamson, Scottish National Consciousness in the Age of James VI (Edinburgh: John Donald, 1979), p. 93. Williamson gives a detailed account of the Scottish debate over the figure of Constantine.[B]

[52] Giannone, Istoria Civile del Regno di Napoli (Naples, 1723), vol. I, p. 49: «[...] la Chiesa è nella Republica, come disse Ottato Milevitano, e non già la Repubblica nella Chiesa».[B]

[53] Stephan, diss. cit., chapter II, and Hicks, Neoclassical History, 36-41 and 91-93.[B]

[54] See Jean Bodin's judgment on Guicciardini's Storia d'Italia; Kenneth C. Schellhase, Tacitus in Renaissance Political Thought (University of Chicago Press, 1976), p. 114.[B]

[55] Samuel Kinser, The Works of Jacques-Auguste de Thou (The Hague: Nijhoff, International Archives of the History of Ideas 18; 1966).[B]

[56] The fullest study in English is in chapter 7 of William J. Bouwsma, Venice and the Defense of Republican Liberty: Renaissance Values in the Age of the Counter-Reformation (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1968); See also David Wootton, Paolo Sarpi: Between Renaissance and Enlightenment (Cambridge University Press, 1983).[B]

[57] E. H. Kossmann, Politieke Theorie en Geschiedenis (Amsterdam: Bert Bakker, 1987), pp. 199-204. [B]

[58] Hicks, Neoclassical History, chapter 3.[B]

[59] D. N. B., sub «May, Thomas».[B]

[60] Thomas May, The History of the Parliament of England: which began November the third MDCXL. With a short and necessary view of some precedent years (London, 1647), Introduction, sig. A3-B2, Book II, pp. 18,19-20,45 46. [B]

[61] Smith's lectures are not strictly even a work, being unpublished during his lifetime and known to us only through the notes of his students. See the edition in vol. V of The Glasgow Edition of the Works and Correspondence of Adam Smith (Oxford University Press: 1978, and Indianapolis: Liberty Press, 1982).[B]

[62] Jacob Brücker, Historia Critica Philosophiae a mundi incunabulis ad nostram usque aetatem deducta (ed. Leipzig, 1742).[B]

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