MARNIX, Jan Van Resolutions politiques et maximes d'estat

Rouen, chez Iean Pain, pres le College des Iesuistes ioignant la Rouge-mare, 1620


8vo. pp. [xii], 467, [i]. Roman letter, some Italic, extensive printed sidenotes. Woodcut arms of Louis XIII on title, wood and metalcut floriated initials, woodcut head pieces, typographical ornaments. Light age yellowing, the odd marginal mark or spot, one page slightly soiled. A very good copy, crisp and clean in contemporary vellum over thin paste boards, later green morocco label gilt lettered on spine, all edges yellow, vellum a little soiled.

A very good early edition of Jean De Marnix’s political aphorisms, an important and influential work of political science from the very beginning of the C17th; the work was most popular and went through many editions. It is divided into eight sections, discussing political science in general, authority and obedience, the qualities of those in authority, the governing of countries, alliances, confederations, dissimulation, and military affairs. The work starts from the basis that political science is necessarily the most difficult and complex of all the sciences to master. For Marnix it is not simply about the old methods of leading a country or a people but it is about how to direct political events. “Les ‘Resolutions politiques’ de J. de Marnix expriment bien les idées du temps touchant ‘l’Art des Arts’ : il part de l’evidence ‘qu’il y a une science politique’ et que cette science est la plus necessaire et la plus difficile. Pour Marnix, ce n’est pas seulement le vieil art de manier le peuple, c’est aussi celui de conduire les evenements… L’ultime fondement de la science politique est le libre arbitre de l’homme: l’existence de Dieu ne supprime pas la responsabilite humaine” E. Thuau, ‘Raison d’Etat et pensée politique’. Much of Marnix’s work is ultimately derived from the writings of Guiccardini “The political maxims originating from ‘Ricordi’ and ‘Storia d’Italia’ by Francesco Guicciardini circulated in sixteenth-century Europe in various guises, coming to represent a significant powerhouse of ideas. In France, a typical example of this diffusion, which had a lasting success in court circles, is the collection of Résolutions Politiques et Maximes d’Estat by Jean de Marnix (1612)”.Severini, Maria Elena. A very good copy of this rare edition.

Not in BM STC Fr. C17th, (612 edn only), Cioranescu (1612 and 1631 editions only) or Brunet.

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