Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Ambition
(974 words)

1. Terminology

Even in its original Latin form, ambitio was a morally ambivalent concept. Since the time of Cicero, it meant not just the “circulation” of candidates for office to make themselves known to their voters but also a particularly insistent, ruthless pursuit of offices and dignities. After Augustine this attitude stood in almost irreconcilable conflict with the Christian commandment of humility and diffidence. Theolog…

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Walther, Gerrit, “Ambition”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 30 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_018579>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160321



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