Year/Century: 17th century
Description: S. Ammirato. The Florence Story. A. Massi, Florence, 1641-1647, 2 volumes in 3 parts. (8),553; (2),557-1188,(2); (8),563,(37) pages, three huge, identical engraved title pieces, original vellum binding in a consistent style. Folios, 9 by 13 1/3"; minor foxing and fading; volume 3's first two leaves have some margin repair; volume 2's front cover repair is visible in the photo; all volumes have the Whig MP George Wilbraham's bookplate on the top pastedown. Scipione Ammirato was an Italian philosopher and historian who lived from 1531 to 1601. He is currently recognized as a key pioneer in the academic field of philosophy history research. Discorsi sopra Cornelio Tacito, or "Discourses on Tacitus," his political treatise published in 1594, is his most well-known work. With multiple translations, the book quickly rose to the status of "an international classic." Ammirato makes a strong first impression as an anti-Machiavellian in his Discorsi, going above and beyond to refute Il Principe's central claims. Ammirato did not view tacitism as a stand-in for Machiavellianism, in contrast to Botero and Lipsius.
Instead, his Discorsi use the Roman historian's writings as a counterbalance to Il Principe, a strategy that would become widely accepted during the protracted Tacitus renaissance. Furthermore, Ammirato's theory of the reason of state defined this "reason" as the reason of the greater public good (such as public safety); as a result, the modern prince did not contradict Christianity by deviating from the standard moral order in extraordinary circumstances.
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