by Thomas Hobbes
We've identified these texts as great options for text pairings based on similar themes, literary devices, topic, or writing style. Supplement your lesson with one or more of these options and challenge students to compare and contrast the texts. To assign a paired text, click on the text to go to its page and click the "Assign Text" button there.
The Declaration of Independence
- Thomas Jefferson
In “The Declaration of Independence,” representatives from the 13 American colonies declare their independence from Great Britain.Pair “Excerpts from Leviathan” with “The Declaration of Independence” and ask students to compare the two texts. What founding principles, if any, do they share?
The Code of Hammurabi
- 1772 BCE
The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia that dates back to about 1772 B.C. Hammurabi, the sixth Babylonian king, enacted The Code, which consists of 282 laws and corresponding punishments (depending on social status). The notion of trial by ordeal actually has some foundation in this ancient set of laws.Pair “Excerpts from Leviathan” with “The Code of Hammurabi” and ask students to further explore why humans create legal systems, keeping social contract theory in mind. How do these systems become legitimate and/or on what basis do we accept them?
- John Locke
In this document by British philosopher John Locke, Locke argues for individual sacrifice so that people can live peacefully in a political society. Locke’s philosophical works heavily influenced American revolutionaries and the formation of democracy.Pair "Political Society" with the excerpt from “Leviathan” to give students the opportunity for an in-depth study in political philosophy and democratic government.
Excerpt from The Prince
- Niccoló Machiavelli
Niccoló Machiavelli (1469-1527) was an Italian Renaissance historian, politician, and writer based in Florence. His masterpiece, The Prince, published in 1532, advises new princes on how to get and retain power by any means necessary.Pair the excerpts from "Leviathan" with this excerpt from “The Prince” to continue the discussion about the role of the monarch.
Of the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature
- David Hume
In this essay, Scottish philosopher David Hume (1711-1776) discusses how one should approach the question of whether man is inherently good or evil.Pair Excerpts from Leviathan with On the Dignity or Meanness of Human Nature to continue discussing the concept of human nature.