Pinceps: cum Animadverionibus Politicis Hermanni Conringli – Nicolai Machiavelli

Nicolai Machiavelli

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Princeps : cum Animadversionibus Politicis Hermanni Conringii . . . (1686)

by Nicolo Machiavelli, Hermanni Conringii

Full Title: Nicolai Machiavelli : Princeps : cum Animadversionibus Politicis Hermanni Conringii, textui singulorum capitum in sectiones diviso ita additis, ut quae ad quamque sectionem pertinent animadversiones sub ea statim legantur . . . Accessit : Vita Castruccii a Nic. Machiavello descripta, cum aliis nonnullis : Curante : Herman. Johanne Herm. Fil. : Conringio

7 ½ x 6 ¼. In Latin. Published by Helmstedt, Georg-Wolfgangi Hammii, 1686. Edited with extensive commentary by German polymath Hermann Conring. A New Edition. 36 unnumbered leaves + 328 pages + a two-page short index. Verified complete by WorldCat. Full, mottled calf boards a bit chafed, but in universally stable, if not appealing, condition. Corners light-to-moderate bumping. Four raised bands with elaborate gilt in compartments, fading at joints, light rubbing present. Hints of previous repair. Gilt title nearly diminished. Spine head and tail are solid. Clean marble pastedowns and endpapers consistent with age. Small bookplate, upper left of front pastedown. Otherwise, the entire book free of any ownership markings. Sharp title page. Text block a shade less than bright upon occasion. Light-to-moderate browning somewhat consistent throughout. Marbled fore edges, matching pastedowns. Overall, a very collectible copy, the binding solid and internally quite clean. Imperfections are trivial relative to book’s age and importance.

“The Prince,”first published in 1532, is an extended analysis of how to acquire and maintain political power. It includes 26 chapters and an opening dedication to Lorenzo de Medici, which declares Machiavelli’s intention to discuss in plain language the conduct of great men and the principles of princely government. He does so in hopes of pleasing and enlightening the Medici family. This, the first combined edition of Conring’s Latin translation and his critical commentary on the text, is VERY RARE in commerce.

The book’s 26 chapters can be divided into four sections: Chapters 1 – 11 discuss the different types of principalities or states, Chapters 12 – 14 discuss the different types of armies and the proper conduct of a prince as military leader, Chapters 15 – 23 discuss the character and behavior of the prince, and Chapters 24 – 26 discuss Italy’s desperate political situation. The final chapter is a plea for the Medici family to supply the prince who will lead Italy out of humiliation.

Hermann Conring (1606 – 81) was a true Renaissance man, considered the father of German legal history. From 1632 he held professorships at Helmstedt University in natural philosophy and rhetoric, medicine, and political science. He translated “The Prince” into Latin from the original Italian in 1660, and in 1661 published his “Animadversiones,” an argument against Machiavelli’s reliance on a monarch as the sole source of stability or instability in the government. Some found Conring’s offering to be helpful in navigating the political turmoil of the day, as Louis XIV of France and the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I contested for dominance in Europe.


Year published: 1686


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