The Ruins of Empires has 90 ratings and 34 reviews. Owlseyes said: I’ve read the book some years ago: an amazing reflection on ancient civilizations. Ruins of Empire. Les Ruines, ou méditations sur les révolutions des empires ( ) by Constantin François Chasseboeuf, comte de Volney () is one . Or, Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires: Volney’s Answer to Dr. Priestley and a Biographical Notice by Count Daru. Prefaces; The Ruins of Empire.

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Yet again, the want of cultivation led one step farther.

The Ruins of Empires: C. F. Volney: : Books

The weak, that instead of dividing their interests, they ought to unite, because equality constitutes their strength:. The standard being erected, the nation found itself suddenly divided into two bodies of unequal magnitude and dissimilar appearance: Are the streams dried up?

It all depends on the methods: Ruin grew up the magnificence of Persepolis, of empirds you may observe the mouldering columns 8 ; of Ecbatana 9whose seven-fold walls are levelled with the earth; of Babylon 10the ruins of which are trodden under foot of men h ; of Nineveh 11whose name seems to be threatened with emlires same oblivion, that has overtaken its greatness; of Thapsacus, of Anatho, of Gerra, and of the melancholy and memorable Runis.

Inclement seasons, periods of dearth, had rendered the harvests abortive, but government would neither forgive nor postpone its demands. Ye conquerors, with what sentiments does he behold your arms reeking with blood that he Edition: The Pacha, who purchased his office, presently had recourse to the system of farming it for a revenue, and exercising upon it every species of extortion.

The more I meditate on the nature of man, the more I examine the present state of society, the less possible does it appear to me Edition: Are the rain and the dew fixed in the air? Thus, agitated by their own passions, men, whether in their individual capacity, or as collective bodies, always rapacious and improvident, passing from tyranny to slavery, from pride to abjectness, from presumption to despair, have been themselves the eternal instruments of their misfortunes.

Volnsy city subjected its neighbour city, and the result of the conquest was a province; province swallowed up province, and thus produced a kingdom; between two kingdoms a conquest took place, and thus furnished an empire of unweildy bulk. Individuals will feel that private happiness is allied to the happiness of society:.

I was unable to distinguish the voice of reason; but the moment it was known to me, I gave it welcome. Let us unite, and plunder them. These Tartars have been, and would still be troublesome neighbours; the Muscovites are ridding themselves of them. You will find in it a mixture of good and evil.


When these countries enjoyed what constitutes the glory and felicity of mankind, they were an unbelieving people who inhabited them: It is by returning once more to a conformity with this rule, that you can reform abuses and reconstitute a happy order of society. Through them his conduct has been injurious to his own existence, and he has thus violated the duty he owes to himself; they have fortified his heart against compassion, and his mind against the dictates of justice, and he has thus violated the duty he owes to others.

If wars have become more general in the mass of their influence and operation, they have been less destructive in their details. The Jefferson-Barlow translation then went through several reprints during the 19th and 20th centuries, including: By force of experience he will become enlightened; by force of errors he will set himself right; he will become wise and good, because it is his interest to be so: Cease, then, to accuse the decrees of Fate or the judgments of Heaven!

Society was not, however, only a means of promoting survival.

Ruins of Empire

Observing the spirit of egotism that divided mankind, the ambitious adroitly fomented this spirit: God, who in the immensity of the heavens dost guide revolving worlds, and people the abyss of space with millions of suns: After a short silence, the Genius thus resumed his instructions:. Thus perish the works of men, and thus do nations and empires vanish away! Why have an unbelieving people enjoyed the blessings of heaven and of the earth? An amazing reflection on ancient civilizations in the area of today Middle East.

Thus ancient states prospered, because social institutions were conformable to the true laws of nature, and because the subjects of those states, enjoying liberty and the security of their persons and their property, could display all the extent of their faculties, and all the energy of self-love.

Our king cannot be on your side; you have only the phantom of his countenance. What then is the secret enemy that devours us?

Online Library of Liberty

Get to Know Us. Alarmed, I drew my mantle from my head; and casting round me a timid glance, suddenly, by ot obscure light of the moon, through the pillars and ruins of a temple, I thought I saw, at my left, a pale apparition, enveloped in an urins drapery, similar to what spectres are painted when issuing out of the rins. Hear these men, and you would imagine that God is a Being capricious and mutable; that now he loves, and now he hates; that he chastises one, and indulges another; that hatred is engendered and nourished in his bosom; that he spreads snares for men, and delights in the fatal effects of imprudence; that he permits ill, and punishes it; that he foresees guilt, and acquiesces; that he is to be bought with gifts like a partial judge; that he reverses his edicts like an undiscerning despot; that he gives and revokes his favours because it is his will, and is to be appeased only by servility like a savage tyrant.


AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. In societies formed upon such bases, time and industry having developed riches, inordinate desire, restricted by the laws, became artificial without being less active.

Views Read Edit View history. These are the malevolent beings that have laid waste the earth; these are the decrees of fate that have overturned empires; these are the celestial maledictions that have struck those walls once so glorious, and converted the splendour of a populous city into a sad spectacle of ruins! And despots, considering empires in the light of domains, and the people as their property, abandoned themselves to depredations, and the licentiousness of the most arbitrary authority.

Uploaded on August 15, Occupied in our respective callings, we have neither leisure for these studies, nor are we competent of ourselves to the exercise of such functions. He promised to the poor the spoil of the rich, to the rich the subjugation of the poor; threatened this man by that, one class by another; and isolating the citizens by cojnt, he formed his own strength out of their weakness, and imposed on them the yoke of opinion, the knots of empiress they tied with their own hands.

I enumerated the kingdoms of Damascus and Idumea; of Jerusalem and Samaria; and the warlike states of the Philistines; and the commercial republics of Phenicia.

Volney’s Ruins: Or, Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires

By opposing interests or prejudices, he sowed the seeds of divisions and hatred. Is then the God that peoples the air with birds, the earth with animals, and the waters with reptiles; the God that animates universal nature, a God that delights in ruins and sepulchres?

The Jefferson-Barlow edition is easily identifiable by this simple test: The civil govenors said: Are they his passions that, under a thousand forms, torment individuals Edition: Farther on, the coast 3 that you behold limited by the sea on one side, and by a ridge of mountains on the other, was the abode of the Phenician nations; there stood the powerful cities of Tyre, Sidon, Ascalon, Gaza, and Berytus. Do you see those fires which spread over the earth, and are you acquainted with their causes and effects?

Is he a man that he should change, or the son of man that he should repent?