Della ragione di stato, libri dieci. Con tre libri delle cause della grandezza della città ... Di nuouo in questa impressione, mutati alcuni luoghi dall’istesso autore, & accresciuti di diuersi discorsi. Con due tauole ... Venice, Gioliti, 1598.

Aggiunte di Gio. Botero benese. Alla sua ragion di stato, nelle quali si tratta dell’eccellenze de gli antichi capitani, della neutralità, della riputatione, dell’agilità delle forze, della fortificatione. Con vna relatione del mare. Venice, Giovanni Battista Ciotti, 1598.

Two works in one vol, 8vo, pp. [xl], 375, [1]; ff. [viii], 95, [1] including blank K7, K8 and M8; devices to title-pages, ‘Relationi del mare’ in second work has separate title-page, woodcut head- and tailpieces and initials; small hole to first five leaves of first work, some foxing and damp staining throughout; in 17th-century limp vellum, ink lettering to spine, new endpapers; a few wormholes to spine, some staining; armorial bookplate of Franz Graf Lamberg to front free endpaper, old ownership inscription on title-page; preserved in a cloth box with a printed spine label.


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The second Gioliti edition of Botero’s neglected masterpiece in the history of economics, first published in 1589, bound with the first Venice edition of the Aggiunte. Of the first work, Schumpeter writes: ‘Divested of nonessentials, the “Malthusian” Principle of Population sprang fully developed from the brain of Botero in 1589: populations tend to increase, beyond any assignable limit, to the full extent made possible by human fecundity (the virtus generativa of the Latin translation); the means of subsistence, on the contrary, and the possibilities of increasing them (the virtus nutritiva) are definitely limited and therefore impose a limit on that increase, the only one there is; this limit asserts itself through want, which will induce people to refrain from marrying (Malthus’ negative check, prudential check, “moral restraint”) unless numbers are periodically reduced by wars, pestilence, and so on (Malthus’ positive check). This path-breaking performance – the only performance in the whole history of the theory of population to deserve any credit at all – came much before the time in which its message could have spread: it was practically lost in the populationist wave of the seventeenth century. But about two hundred years after Botero [1540–1617], Malthus really did no more than repeat it, except that he adopted particular mathematical laws for the operation of the virtus generativa and the virtus nutritiva: population was to increase “in geometric ratio or progression”’ (Schumpeter, History of Economic Analysis, pp. 254–5).

The Aggiunte adds six essays to Botero’s masterpiece, and was published in the same year at Venice, Rome and Pavia.

I. Bongi, II, 462. II. Mattioli 394. COPAC records only one copy of the first work (York Minster) and one of the second (Senate House Library).

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