A Treatise on Government

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by Aristotle

Aristotle (384–322 BCE) was a philosopher in ancient Greece.[1] He studied at Plato's Academy, and later, became tutor to Alexander the Great.[2] His work in A Treatise on Government would be a basic philosophical text for any person interested in the history of political discussion and the merits of various forms of government. In this work, Aristotle moves away from much of the opinion of Plato and establishes his own unique theories of human interaction. Aristotle would provide a perspective that differs from social contract theory on why cities and political entities are formed.[3] This would be incredibly useful in the debate surrounding politics during the eighteenth century.[4]

First published in 1776, William Ellis's translation of Aristotle's Politics was the first English version to appear since 1597, and the first to be translated directly from the Greek.

Bibliographic Information

Author: Aristotle.

Title: A Treatise on Government.

Publication Info: London: T. Payne, 1778.

Edition: 428 pages.

Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in contemporary speckled calf bordered with single gilt fillet, spine elaborately gilt in compartments between raised bands, red morocco label lettered in gilt. Purchased from Abelard Books.

View this book in William & Mary's online catalog.


  1. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, s.v. “Aristotle's Political Theory,” accessed Oct. 3, 2013 http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-politics/.
  2. Ibid.
  3. “Politics by Aristotle: Book 3”, no date posted, http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/politics.3.three.html.
  4. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, s.v. “American Philosophy”, accessed Oct. 4, 2013 http://www.iep.utm.edu/american/#H2.