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First modern treatise on oceanography, and a challenge to Machiavelli: rulers must be moral

BOTERO, Giovanni.
Aggiunte fatte ... alla sua ragion di stato ove si tratta dell... con una relatione del mare.
2 [part 1]) Delleccellenze de gli antichi capitani libri due. ...
3 [part 4]) Dellagilita della forze del prencipe libri due. ...
4 [part 3]) Della riputatione del prencipe libri due. ...
5 [part 2]) Discorso della neutralita [del prencipe] ...
6 [part 5]) Discroso[!] intorno alla fortificatione ...
7 [part 6]) Relationi del mare ...
Rome, Giorgio Ferrari, 1598. A preliminary part and 6 text parts in one volume. 4to. With a general title-page and 6 part-titles. Set in an italic type (cut by Robert Granjon) with incidental roman. Sheepskin parchment (ca. 1700?). [22], [2 blank]; 72; 46, [2 blank]; 31, [1 blank]; 15, [1 blank]; 14, [2 blank]; 31, [1 blank] pp.
€ 8,250
First edition of the first modern treatise on oceanography, by Giovanni Botero (1543/44-1617), along with the first editions of the same authors extensive additions to and expansions of his great 1589 treatise on political philosophy, Della ragion di stato libri dieci, which forcefully argues against the amoral view in Machiavellis 1532 Il princepe (The prince). Parts 2-4, for example, discuss the qualities that a ruler needs, with 31 pages devoted to the importance of reputation, which he had covered in half a page in 1589. His arguments that a ruler without morals cannot maintain a stable state certainly remain relevant today! Part 1 discusses great rulers of classical antiquity and part 5 discusses fortification.
Botero wrote while employed by Cardinal Federico Borromeo, Archbishop of Milan, his moral views were closely tied to his religious beliefs as a Catholic, Jesuit and admirer of Thomas Acquinas, and his ideas supported the Counter-Reformation, but his publications were widely read in many languages and appear to have had a mostly unacknowledged influence on a broad spectrum of writers, including Walter Raleigh, Tommaso Campanella, Thomas Hobbes, Edward Misselden, Montesquieu, Christopher Polhem and Veit Ludwig van Seckendorff.
The treatise on oceanography is wholly new here and also ahead of its time. In nine chapters it covers the relative proportions of sea and land; the depth of the sea; the reasons why seas do not rise, even though rivers flow into them; physical qualities, including salinity and colour; dynamic aspects, including waves, tides and currents (3 chapters) and the geographical divisions into seas and oceans.
The seven parts of this work were clearly designed to be issued together (the general title-page lists each of the 6 text parts and is followed by an index to each part in the same order), though each has its own series of page numbers and quire signatures. The parts are not numbered, but the preliminaries of the text parts are dated, giving nearly the same order as the title-page and indexes from 1 February to 5 March 1598.
An English translation of the 1589 Ragion di stato recently appeared in the series Cambridge texts in the history of political thought, which notes its great importance and that in spite of its enormous influence it remains little known among todays scholars. The present additions have also been unjustly overlooked.
With a contemporary(?) owners name on the title-page, difficult to make out, a few contemporary manuscript notes in the fore-edge margin (some slightly shaved: although the endpapers may be contemporary.The second and fourth text parts (following the order on the title-page) are here interchanged. With a tear along the gutter fold at the foot of the general title-page, mostly marginal water stains and about 4 sheets slightly browned, but otherwise in good condition and complete with all three blank leaves. An unjustly overlooked work by a political philosopher who was ahead of his time, including the first modern treatise on oceanography. ICCU CNCE 7296; USTC 816583; cf. Cipolla, Guns and sails in the early phase of European expansion 1400-1700, p. 166 (1659 Venice ed.); for Botero and his work: Botero (Benedittini & Descendre, eds.), Della ragion di stato (2016); Botero (Robert Bireley ed.), The reason of state (2017); Peter Burke, "Tacitism, sceptisism, and reason of state", in: Cambridge history of political thought 1450-1700, pp. 479-499; Reinert & Carpenter, German language economic best sellers ...: also introducing Giovanni Botero ...", in: Rössner, Economic growth and the origins of modern political economy (2016).
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