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Chapter Summary

This chapter establishes an initial context by outlining Jean Bodin's life and career a necessary precondition to appreciating him as recipient and then as author of works which contemporary and later readers received. The reception of Bodin was not just a French, but a Europe-wide phenomenon. In the turbulent intellectual history of 'early-modern' Europe, Bodin ranks as a major and controversial figure whose ideas in the fields of moral philosophy, jurisprudence, comparative history and a great deal else continue to attract scholarly research and to provoke wide disagreement. Bodin ranks as "the Aristotle, the Montesquieu of the sixteenth century" a rhetorical flourish that seems less hyperbolical when set alongside the observation of the contemporary scholar and writer Gabriel Harvey.

Keywords: comparative history; Jean Bodin; jurisprudence; moral philosophy



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