Discussing the Front Piece of the Leviathan

April 17, 2018 Philosophy

Salah Rushdy POLI 357 Discussing the front piece of the leviathan The Latin quote on the book cover translates into “There is no power on earth to be compared to him”. According to my own interpretation, in this front piece of Thomas Hobbes leviathan, the sea monster is presented as the absolute sovereign. He rules the people that form his being. All the people of that state are looking up to him in the image as to express their submission and acceptance of the social contract to be ruled.

In the front piece, the leviathan holds two objects in his hand which are a crosier and a sword. A crosier in Christianity is a symbol of the governing office of the bishop or apostle. Here, one can assume that what Hobbes meant by the leviathan holding a crosier is that the absolute sovereign of the state will be in charge of the spiritual side of the state to prevent any disagreements or religious wars.

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One has to understand as well that the era by which Thomas Hobbes was living in witnessed a century worth of religious warfare and the book itself was written during the English civil war. So a lot of his philosophy regarding the state of nature and social contract was a solution to the war existed at his era. The sword resembles power by which all has to abide or else will be obligated to face the consequences raised by breaking the social contract which will be perceived as a threat to the stability of the sovereignty as a whole.


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