Discorsi politici di Paolo Paruta nobile vinetiano cavaliere e procurator di San Marco ne i quali si considerano diversi fatti illustri, e memorabili di principi, e di repubbliche antiche, e moderne. Divisi in due libri. Aggiontovi nel fine un suo Soliloquio, nel quale l'auttore fa un breue essame di tutto il corso della sua vita [...]

Autore: PARUTA, Paolo (1540-1598)

Tipografo: Domenico Nicolini

Dati tipografici: Venezia, 1599

Two parts in one volume, 4to (233x170 mm.). [22], 12 ll., 13-350, [2], 351-636, [2], 21, [3] pp. Collation: *-**⁴ a-b⁴ c⁶ A-Yy⁴ Zz² Aaa-Nnnn⁴ 2A-2C⁴. Leaves *4, c6, Zz2 and 2C4 are blank. Woodcut portrait of the author on title page with a caption around it: Paulus Paruta eques ac Divi Marci Procurator aetatis suae. Colophon and printer's device of Discorsi politici at l. Nnnn4, colophon and printer's device of the Soliloquio at l. C3v. Many woodcut historiated initials, head- and tail-pieces. Title page a bit soiled and stained, small marginal worm holes to ll. *1-3, on ll. Xx-Bbb3 tiny burn stain to the utter margin, larger stain affecting the upper outer corner of l. Mmmm1, another stain to the lower margin of the last 15 ll. Contemporary flexible vellum with manuscript title on spine and on the lower edge (panels slightly stained and soiled, small restoration to spine, lackiing the flyleaves). A genuine copy.

First edition of this important political treatise. The Discorsi politici were not published till after the death of Paolo Paruta. Gathered here are 25 essays composed by Paruta and disposed without any particular order in which he deals with different issues such as the forms of government, honours and glories, light or invasive state, lost and won battles, blame and praise, alliances, fortifications, etc. Though Paruta is an independent thinker, Macchiavelli's influence is notable. The policy of Italian equilibrium, which a century later developed into that of European equilibrium, was clearly foreseen by him. The Soliloquio is a brief examination of his own existence published here for the first time.

Paruta was a historian and statesman of the Venetian Republic, born at Venice into a family originary of Lucca. After studying at Padua he served the Republic of Venice in various political capacities, including that of secretary to one of the Venetian delegates in the Council of Ten. In 1562 he acted as official historiographer of the Republic at the Court of Emperor Maximilian II, during which he delivered the funeral oration for those killed at the naval battle of Lepanto (1571). He was then made minister for the administration of the Terraferma and was elected a senator. Subsequently he was appointed official historian to the republic, responsible for the Chamber of Loans, governor of the Cadore region, ambassador to the pope in Rome, and governor of Brescia. In 1579 he published at Venice his first political treatise entitled Della perfettione della vita politica libri tre. In 1596 he was appointed procurator of St Mark's and superintendent to the fortifications in 1597. He died in Venice in December 1598, one year before the publication of the Discorsi politici.

Edit16, CNCE31935; Bozza, Scrittori politici italiani dal 1550-1650, pp. 95-6; The Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. 11, col. 1911 (Benigni); Adams, P-363; Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, vol. 81, 2014, s.v. (G. Benzoni).