This book marshals both historical and conceptual analysis to demonstrate a conceptual oscillation between restrictive ‘public office’ and expansive ‘degenerative’ connotations of corruption that persisted until the second half of the eighteenth century when the public office conception overtook and finally superseded the degenerative one. The result is a survey that is fundamental to the understanding of modern ideas of corruption and represents an invaluable tool to both students and scholars of the subject.