chapter  1
23 Pages

Life

In the winter of 1652, at the age of sixty-three, Thomas Hobbes was crossing the English Channel from France to England. He probably thought that he was returning in triumph after a self-imposed exile of ten years. Leviathan, his magnum opus, had been published in England the preceding spring. A year before that De corpore politico (1650) was published. A third version of his political philosophy, Philosophical Rudiments Concerning Government and Society, had the date 1651. It was a translation from the Latin of De cive, which had first appeared in a small private edition in Paris in 1642, and then was published in 1647 in an expanded version.