A Treatise on Government. Translated From The Greek of Aristotle.

“Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human": Exceptionally Rare First Edition in English of Aristotle's A Treatise on Government

A Treatise on Government. Translated From The Greek of Aristotle.

ARISTOTLE; TRANSLATED BY WILLIAM ELLIS,.

$18,000.00

Item Number: RRB-81182.

London: T. Payne 1776.

First edition in English of this important work on government by Aristotle. Quarto, bound in three quarters leather over marbled boards. In very good condition with light toning to the text and wear. Bookseller plate of George Gregory, Bath, Sept. 22, 1936 on the front pastedown. Translated by William Ellis. First editions are rare, with the last example appearing at auction in 1914.

An important text in both the history of philosophy and in sparking the development of western political democracy. Ellis' translation was the first direct into English from the original Greek of Aristotle's "Politics." (Loys Le Roy translated this work into French, which was subsequently translated into English in 1597. Ellis' translation is considered more accurate, and for many the most important translation in bringing Aristotle's treatise to enlightenment statesmen and philosophers. The bibliographer Lowdnes notes that Ellis work appeared in this quarto edition 1776 priced at 15 shillings, and was reprinted (with little change) in 1778. Lowndes praises Ellis' edition as, "A faithful and perspicuous version." Aristotle On Government via this English translation became was a landmark text in the history of Western political thought, a text which influenced late 18th and 19th century political thought in the English speaking world. Dr. B. E. Bryant notes that Thomas Jefferson owned a copy of the Ellis translation which influenced his drafting of the American Declaration of Independence: "Like most other well-educated individuals of his day, Jefferson was thoroughly exposed to classical philosophy.[24] We know for certain he owned a copy of the William Ellis, 1776 translation of Aristotle's Politics, and even cited Aristotle as one of the sources he used for the Declaration [of Independence].[25]" Aristotle's "On Government" constitutes the first treatise of the conditions under which philosophy is possible within politics, and thus the work that as much as any other founded political philosophy. The influence that this work has had on later political thinking is difficult to exaggerate, and the fact that the work became available in a translation into English directly from the original Greek has been of the utmost importance to the development of political thought in England and America. Ellis' Aristotle is the only 18th century translation, a an accurate and smoothly readable version that is still in print after more than 200 years.

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If you are interested in an item from one of our catalogues or our website and would like more information before ordering it, please give us a call; one of our salespeople will be happy to speak with you and answer any questions that you might have. For some items, we can also email digital photographs.

All of our items are guaranteed as described and are shipped on approval. We accept MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover, checks and wire transfer. For first-time buyers, we prefer a credit card and we will only ship to the billing address on the card. We do ask that if you are not satisfied with the item, you contact us by phone as quickly as possible and return the item within ten days.

We ship worldwide and all packages will be sent via UPS or Federal Express unless another carrier is requested. Next-day or second-day air service is available upon request. Shipping and insurance charges are additional.

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