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THE APHORISMI AND A DISCOURSE OF LAWS: BACON, CAVENDISH, AND HOBBES 1615–1620

  • ANDREW HUXLEY (a1)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0018246X04003735
  • Published online: 24 May 2004
Abstract

Attention is drawn to five parallel passages as between Francis Bacon's unpublished Aphorismi de jure gentium maiore sive de fontibus justiciae et juris and A discourse of laws, which was published anonymously in 1620. It is suggested that around 14 per cent of A discourse consists of unacknowledged translations from Bacon's Latin. Questions are raised as to when, where, and why A discourse was composed. These questions bear on, though fail to resolve, the debate over the identity of A discourse's author. The two names discussed most often in this connection are those of William Cavendish and Thomas Hobbes.

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I read a great deal of Bacon between January and May 2001 as Scholar-in-Residence at the Law School, Washington and Lee University, Virginia. My thanks to the Frances Lewis donation for funding the post, and to my Lexington colleagues for their warm hospitality. My thanks also to Professor H. H. Huxley for help with Bacon's Latin.
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The Historical Journal
  • ISSN: 0018-246X
  • EISSN: 1469-5103
  • URL: /core/journals/historical-journal
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