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VICO, Giambattista.

Cinque libri de' principj d'una scienza nuova d'intorno alla comune natura delle nazioni.

In questa seconda impressione con più propria maniera condotti, e di molto accresciuti. Alla sanita di Clemente XII. dedicati.

Naples: Felice Mosca, 1730 Stock Code: 123497
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An exceptional copy, extensively annotated by the author

A remarkable copy of the radically altered second edition of Vico's masterpiece, annotated by the author on more than 100 pages, many of the corrections and addenda being later included in the final, posthumous third edition of 1744. Vico's work had originally been conceived as a monumental work in two quarto volumes, to be printed in Florence at Cardinal Lorenzo Corsini's expense. But when Vico presented the manuscript, the cardinal baulked at the cost of printing such a large book. Left with the prospect of paying for it himself, Vico trimmed his text to a quarter of its original length. The first edition was of 1,000 copies, with 12 copies on large paper, published in 1725. Nicolini states that Vico signed, inscribed, and annotated several copies before sending them off to friends and libraries; the extent of the annotations varies from around 200 mostly typographical corrections to just a few.

Vico dedicated much of his remaining life to amending and expanding his truncated text. As with the first, Vico again sent out a few annotated copies of the second edition. Whereas those recorded or traceable on the market contain only few and minor emendations, this copy is exceptional both in regard to the number and the extent of many of his annotations. This copy includes the rare appendix of the congratulatory letter sent to the author by Francesco Spinelli, prince of Scalea (16811752), often absent because it was added to those copies still unsold in January 1731 (Bibliografia Vichiana I, pp. 4950).

Vico's Scienza nuova (New Science) has been "justly called 'the vehicle by which the concept of historical development at last entered the thought of western Europe' The concept of a history of ideas, the principles of a universal history and its philosophical criticism, a recognition of the importance of social classes, all begin with Vico" (PMM).

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Duodecimo (148 x 80 mm). Contemporary vellum, spine lettered gilt on a brown background. Housed in a black cloth flat-back box by the Chelsea Bindery.


Engraved frontispiece, large folding table, woodcut initials and tailpieces.


Fore edge of front board and bottom edge of rear board a little worn, a single worm hole (1 mm) throughout, touching the text but sense fully recoverable, small marginal worm track to the upper margin of the final 10 leaves; occasional light spotting and browning, as usual; a very good copy.


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