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The Clementia Lipsiana: Political Analysis, Autobiography And Panegyric

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Chapter Summary

Clementia as defined by Justus Lipsius has not received much attention or any separate treatment in the way that his concepts of prudential and iustitia have undergone critical evaluation. This chapter not only attempts to remedy this neglect, and looks for the reasons behind Lipsiuss copious reference to the classical virtue. There was more at stake than a simple emulation or paraphrase of Seneca and his De Clementia. Lipsius stress on clemency also reveals more than pure political theory, as it was a concrete analysis of the contemporary debate on princely clemency during the Dutch Revolt. But equally importantly, Lipsius emphasis on clemency related to his autobiography, namely to his personal reconciliations with Philip II, and to Habsburg dynastic representation.

Keywords: clemency; De Clementia; political theory



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