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BOTERO, Giovanni.

Della Ragion di Stato, Libri Dieci. Con tre Libri Delle Cause Della Grandezza e Magnificenza Delle Città.

All'illustris. e reverendis. sig. il sig. Volfango Teodorico, Arcivescovo e Prencipe di Salczburg. &c.

Venice: Appresso I Gioliti, 1589 Stock Code: 124167
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Contemporary Italian binding

First edition. Botero's work is in two parts. The first part is his most famous contribution to political philosophy. Entitled "The Reason of State", Botero provides an extended discussion of the moral question of acting in the state's best interests, and offers a direct rebuttal to the ideas espoused by Machiavelli. A champion of the counter-reformation, Botero seeks to reground political philosophy in religion, and affirms the need for morality in statecraft, both on religious grounds but also on grounds of expediency. The second part, "On the Causes of the Greatness and Magnificence of Cities" had originally been published in Rome the previous year. A radical departure from previous Renaissance literature on cities, Botero attempts to explain why some cities prosper and others decline, analysing the impact of the environment and human factors in promoting urban population growth. The author utilises recent reports by travellers and missionaries to the east to include non-European cities into his analysis. Overall the work is practical, and has been commended by modern sociologists as a pioneer in the field; unlike some of his contemporaries, Botero does not trace out a blueprint for an ideal urban community, but studies cities as they actually are. His analysis of the impact of resources on population size has led numerous commenters to see his work as a forerunner of Malthusian ideas.

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Quarto (217 x 160 mm). Contemporary Italian sprinked sheep-backed pasteboards, geometric design in blind to spine and covers.


Woodcut initials, headpieces and tailpeices.


Contemporary Italian annotations in margins. 3 small insect holes to spine, covers lightly marked, front cover slightly abraded, extremities a little worn, hinges slightly cracked, book block loosening, more pronounced in initial signatures, some light blemishes to contents, very faint running stain in gutter, final leaf re-inserted. Overall a very good copy.


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