Front Page Titles (by Subject) A NOTE ON THE TEXTS AND THE TRANSLATIONS - Essays on Church, State, and Politics
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
A NOTE ON THE TEXTS AND THE TRANSLATIONS - Christian Thomasius, Essays on Church, State, and Politics 
Essays on Church, State, and Politics, edited, translated, and with an Introduction by Ian Hunter, Thomas Ahnert, and Frank Grunert (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 2007).
About Liberty Fund:
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
A NOTE ON THE TEXTS AND THE TRANSLATIONS
Three of our six texts—“On the History of Natural Law Until Grotius,” “On the Power of Secular Government to Command Its Subjects to Attend Church Diligently,” and “On the Right of a Christian Prince in Religious Matters”—were originally published as essays in German. The remaining three—“The Right of Protestant Princes Regarding Indifferent Matters or Adiaphora,” “Is Heresy a Punishable Crime?” and “On the Crime of Sorcery”—were university disputations first published in Latin and then translated into German under Thomasius’s supervision and published under his signature. (Publication details are provided in the notes to individual works.) The latter three texts pose two difficulties. The first is that of authorship, as these were first presented as disputations by Thomasius’s doctoral students as part of their graduation requirements, with Thomasius taking the role of praeses, or supervisor. This problem is less severe than it first appears, however, as in early modern universities it was normal for students to simply rehearse their supervisor’s ideas in dissertations that the supervisor might well have written himself. Thus, there was nothing unusual in Thomasius later collecting these disputations for publication under his own signature. The second difficulty is that of establishing an authoritative text for English translation when there are two versions—one in Latin, the other in German—both apparently authorized by Thomasius yet differing in certain regards. In addressing this problem we have not attempted to present a variorum edition, cross-tabulating all of the differences between the Latin and German versions. Rather, we have drawn on both versions in order to produce an English text accessible to the general reader, aiming to present Thomasius’s substantive arguments as clearly as possible while recording major differences between the Latin and German texts in our notes. Additionally, in response to Thomasius’s often abbreviated and occasionally cryptic way of referencing his sources, we have added a bibliographic list of works cited by Thomasius, wherever possible citing the editions that he used. Thomasius’s own footnotes are indicated by alphabetic letters; those of the editors by numbers. Editorial interpolations within Thomasius’s notes are signified by the use of square brackets.