The Ruins of Empires has 90 ratings and 34 reviews. Owlseyes said: I’ve read the book some years ago: an amazing reflection on ancient civilizations. Ruins of Empire. Les Ruines, ou méditations sur les révolutions des empires ( ) by Constantin François Chasseboeuf, comte de Volney () is one . Or, Meditation on the Revolutions of Empires: Volney’s Answer to Dr. Priestley and a Biographical Notice by Count Daru. Prefaces; The Ruins of Empire.

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The king cannot decree any thing which the safety of the people does not demand; the sovereign cannot ordain but according to law. But those are all good things. The political Right dislikes Volney because in the last four chapters of the Ruins he investigates the origin of world religions and proposes a solution to the world’s enduring religious conflicts.

I’d like to read this book on Kindle Don’t have a Kindle? I perceived the deep attention that was given to the interests of government; but no public interest, no sympathetic spirit. As every citizen was called upon indiscriminately to contribute his proportion of property and personal effort, the armies and the treasuries of the state were inexhaustible.

Constantin François de Chassebœuf, comte de Volney

Want to Ciunt Currently Reading Read. At first, disconnected in its parts, each individual Edition: Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. If he be infinite, what can your homage add to his glory?

I have wandered over the earth, I have visited cities and Edition: The history of past times strongly presented itself to my thoughts. In this dissolution the subjects of the empire, freed from the yoke that held them together, will resume their ancient distinctions, and a general anarchy will take place, as happened in the empire Edition: As the laws and institutions favoured this accumulation, nations were divided into a small body of indolent rich, and a multiude of mercenary poor.


They have said that he is incomprehensible, and they have undertaken to be interpreters of his will. Every day I visited some of the monuments which covered the plain; rkins one evening that, my mind lost in reflection, I had Edition: I can see nothing more than that these insects seem to carry on a sort of mock battles; they ruind, they approach towards each other, they attack, they pursue.

After the Bourbon Restoration he was made a Peer of Franceupon recognition of his hostility towards the Empire. Hence originated gloomy and misanthropic systems of religion, which painted the Gods malignant and envious like human despots. Oh sublime and truly celestial doctrines!

Ruins of Empire

The plan of this publication was formed nearly ten years ago; and allusions to it may be seen in the Preface to Travels in Syria and Egypt, as well as at the end of that work, published in Since no religion is able to scientifically “prove” its most basic assertions, Volney concludes the book with a call for an absolute separation of church and state:.

Thus he gave to fire motion and activity, to air elasticity, to matter weight and density; he made air lighter than water, metals heavier than earth, wood less cohesive than steel; he ordered the flame to ascend, the stone to fall, the plant to vegetate; to man, Edition: Tombs, what virtues and potency do you exhibit! Among these columns magnificent edifices were observable, some entire, others in a state half demolished. If a truth Edition: We desire nothing but our rights: But if, as is the fact, in this discordance the majority deceive themselves, and deceive themselves with sincerity, it follows that the human mind as readily imbibes falsehood as truth; and in that case how is it to be enlightened?

In truth, the period soon arrived when men, tired of the ills they occasioned each other, sighed after peace; and reflecting on the nature and causes of those ills, they said: Young man, believe the voice of tombs Edition: The dusk increased, and already I could distinguish nothing more than the Edition: Franklin, then Ambassador to Paris, mentored a young Volney in bolney years prior to the French Revolution and later introduced him Constantin-Francois Volney is one of those historical personalities once famous in their own day but now largely forgotten.


Empiress are a numerous people, and we want strength! As everyman ploughed his own field, cultivation was more active, provisions more abundant, and individual opulence constituted the public wealth. In reality, scarcely were the faculties of men expanded, than, seized by the attraction of objects which flatter the senses, they gave themselves up to unbridled desires.

You subjugated nations, but you did not oppress them. Kings cannot be separated from the nation in which urins reign.

Nor is this all; the facts of history might indeed be equivocal, but it is farther necessary that we should contradict the living fact of the nature of man; that we should assert that he is born with a perfect science in the use of his senses; that, previous to experience, he is able to distinguish poison from aliment; that the sagacity of the infant is greater than that of his bearded progenitor; that the blind man can walk with more assurance than the man endued with sight; that man, the creature of civilization, is less favoured by circumstances than the cannibal; in a word, that there is no truth in the existing gradation of instruction and experience.

But the charm of my reverie was presently dissolved rukns the last step in the comparison. In these chapters Volney describes “General Assembly of Nations,” a fictionalized world convention wherein each religion defends its version of “the truth” empirea to its particular holy book. I pay thee homage! If the people carry to the combat less personality and less exertion, their struggles are less sanguinary and ferocious.