De Monarchia Hispanica. Editio novissima, aucta & emendata ut præfatio ad lectorem indicat.

Amsterdam, Elzevir, 1641.

16mo, pp. [3], 379 (i.e. 376), with an engraved title-page (working loose); a good copy in full dark green morocco, gilt, by Thouvenin, gilt edges, pink moiré endpapers, foot of spine chipped.


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Second Elzevir edition in Latin of Campanella’s important political tractate on a universal monarchy, including in Chapter 31, ‘De altero Hemispherio & Mundo Novo’, a discussion of the settlement of America and the importance of defending it from English (Protestant) influence.

Written in 1598-9, revised a year later, and first published in German in 1620 in a translation from the Italian manuscript, De Monarchia Hispanica foresaw (or hoped for) an ideal universal Christian monarchy led by the King of Spain. It was wrongly interpreted, even at the time, as ‘a “Machiavellian” strategy for extending the power of the papacy and the Spanish monarchy, so as to reduce the peoples of the world “under the unsupportable tyranny both in [matters] civil and spiritual” of Spain’ (Pagden), but in fact the happiness of the populace was central to Campanella’s Utopia. An English translation, A Discourse touching the Spanish Monarchy, was published in 1654.

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