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Savages, Romans, and Despots – Thinking about Others from Montaigne to Herder - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Savages, Romans, and Despots: Thinking about Others from Montaigne to Herder

Robert Launay


This book examines the ways in which modern Europeans came to understand themselves as such, in comparison to other peoples who were either not modern (in particular to ancient Geeks and Romans) or not European, including American “savages” and Asian “despots”. By the nineteenth century these terms were arranged as a timeline charting the progress from savagery to “Oriental” despotism to ancient and finally modern Europeans. However, from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century, the values associated with these terms was far less fixed, and the superiority of modern Europeans was far less self ... More

Keywords: French, savages and despots, Greeks, Enlightenment, history of ideas, comparisons, Romans, British, German, Europeans

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780226575254
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226575421.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Robert Launay, author
Northwestern University