Die göttliche Ordnung in den Veränderungen des menschlichen Geschlechts, aus der Geburt, dem Tode und der Fortpflanzung desselben … Erster Theil.

Berlin, Verlag des Buchladens der Realschule, 1761.

8vo, pp. [8], xvi, 576, 114, [2, errata], engraved head- and tail-pieces and initial letters; some water staining to the top of the title-page, occasional very light foxing, otherwise a very clean and crisp copy in contemporary half sheep and sprinkled paper over boards, panelled spine with five raised bands and gilt-lettered yellow leather label, corners and edges rubbed, covers rubbed and creased; inscription ‘Rantzau’ on title-page.


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The first volume of the second, much enlarged edition of this pioneering work on statistics by a German clergyman, which first appeared in a single volume in 1741. The second volume appeared separately a year later, and the two are very seldom to be found together. ‘J. P. Süssmilch ... may be said to have put vital statistics definitely on its feet by developing and systematizing the work of his English predecessors’ (Schumpeter, p. 212). ‘Süssmilch collected material with great care wherever it was accessible ... and his work is a fairly complete compendium of all the statistical literature up to his time ... Having no mathematical training, he was naturally led to accept without much criticism the results which other authors, such as Deparcieux, had found. He is however, by no means lacking in critical judgement, and many of his remarks show a sound common sense’ (Westergaard, Contributions to the History of Statistics, p. 71).

For Süssmilch the proportion of births and deaths and the balance of the sexes (leading naturally to monogamy) was regulated by the Divine Order. Among many interesting passages, the author maintains that life-expectancy is constant across time and estimates that a world population of 14,000 million might be possible. The second sequence of pagination within the volume comprises 36 tables of statistics, influenced by Wargentin, with accompanying notes. These record baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials in various German cities, counties and principalities across the 16th to 18th centuries, together with data for London, Paris, Vienna, and Dutch, Danish and Norwegian cities.

Higgs 2572; Kress S987; Menger I, c. 66; Humpert 12169; not in Einaudi. Copac records copies at the London School of Economics and in the Goldsmiths’ Library.

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