De Cive

De Cive
Hobbes de cive.jpg
Frontispiece of De Cive, engraved by Jean Matheus. Between the state of nature and the civil life there is a large drape in the shape of amphora with the title of the work and a biblical quotation taken from [Prov. 8:15][1]
AuthorThomas Hobbes
Cover artistJean Matheus
CountryFrance, Netherlands, England
LanguageLatin, English
Publication date
1642, 1647
Published in English
Media typepaper

De Cive ("On the citizen") is one of Thomas Hobbes's major works. "The book was published originally in Latin from Paris in 1642, followed by two further Latin editions in 1647 from Amsterdam. The English translation of the work made its first appearance four years later (London 1651) under the title 'Philosophicall rudiments concerning government and society'."[2]

It anticipates themes of the better-known Leviathan. The famous phrase bellum omnium contra omnes ("war of all against all") appeared first in De Cive.


De Cive is the first of a trilogy of works written by Hobbes dealing with human knowledge, the other two works in the trilogy being De Corpore ("On the body"), published in 1655 and De Homine ("On man"), published in 1658. Because of the political turmoil of the time, namely the unrest leading up to the Civil War of 1642, Hobbes hastily "ripened and plucked" the work which would systematically come last: De Cive. This work comprises three parts: Libertas (liberty), Imperium (dominion), and Religio (religion). In the first part, he describes man's natural condition, dealing with the natural laws; in the second, the necessity of establishing a stable government is indicated. Finally, in the third part, he writes about religion.

Other Languages
български: De Cive
català: De cive
Deutsch: De Cive
español: De Cive
français: De Cive
italiano: De Cive
Nederlands: De cive
português: Do Cidadão
ไทย: De Cive