According to Index of Prohibited Books, all of the works of Thomas Hobbes were placed on the Index of Prohibited Books in the year 1649.

Thomas Hobbes wrote many more books after 1649, including his magum opos, Leviathan, which was published in 1651. (Hobbes died in 1679.)

QUESTION: Does the aforementioned list really contain all of the works of Hobbes, or just those, perhaps, that were published by 1649? Is it possible that when the list displayed by the above Wiki link indicates "all books," it really means the author himself; e.g., David Hume who died after the year of of his books were banned?

In the case of Hobbes, I am most interested in determining whether or not his Leviathan was actually banned.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


According to INDEX LIBRORUM PROHIBITORUM8 (p. 159), which was authorized by Pope Leo XIII and published in 1900, it seems (if I am interpreting this correctly) that all of the works of Thomas Hobbes were condemned on three separate occasions---the last condemnation taking place in 1703. Thus, Leviathan (first published in 1651) would be subject to the ban.

Finally, Hobbes died in 1679; and presuming that Behemoth (first published in 1682) was his last (posthumous) publication, it would follow that all of Hobbes' literary works were officially condemned by the Catholic Church.

(In English): All the works (of Thomas Hobbes). Decr. 5 Oct. 1649; 29 Aug. 1701; 7 May, 1703.

This assessment seems to be confirmed by Modern History Sourcebook: Index librorum prohibitorum, 1557-1966 [Index of Prohibited Books], which provides the following information:

Author: Thomas Hobbes (ENG) Year: 1649-1703 Work Banned: All works.

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