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In this paper, I set out to analyse issues of civic virtue in the context of revolution, chiefly focusing on German Late Enlightenment. As my starting-point, I take Thomas Mann’s observations on political virtue, trying to reconstruct the intellectual genealogy of the values he claims to be upholding. In the ensuing sections I therefore discuss Johann Gottfried Herder’s and Friedrich Gentz’s take on political virtue in the aftermath of the French Revolution. The coalescence of ‘virtue and terror’ provides the fil rouge of my enquiry.