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Original price £600.00 - Original price £600.00
Original price
£600.00 - £600.00
Current price £600.00

Zampini, Matteo: Degli stati di Francia, et della lor possanza [...] Alla Christianissima Reina Madre del Re. Impresso in Parigi, appresso Dionisio Duvallo 1578.

First edition of this influential and successful political work, an historical investigation of the French Estates and their relation to the royal power. It was sharply attacked in the famous anonymous Huguenot tract 'Vindiciae contra tyrannos' (‘Counterblast against Tyrants’, 1581). It is considered an excellent display of the modern arts of propaganda. “Notre auteur a en effet, toutes les qualités du propagandiste moderne, qui sont celles de la synthèse. Il repète inlassablement des idées simples, qui sont des vrais mots d’ordre, appuyés sur des exemples historiques, en apparence incontestables, et qui se gravent bien dans les esprits. Point de trace de cette science pesante, qui restraint le nombre de lecteurs et l’audience du livre. Par ce trait, et par sons sens pratique, Zampini est plus proche de Machiavel qu’il ne paraît au premier abord” (L.P. Raybaud, La royauté d’après les oeuvres de M. Zampini, in: “Le prince dans la France des 16e et 17e siècles”, ed. C. Bontems, Paris, 1965, p. 170).

Interesting also for being an Italian-language work printed in and on the subject of France, Matteo Zampini (1590/20-1600), a native of Recanati (province of Macerata), studied history, law and theology at the university of Siena, and lived for a certain time in Rome before leaving for France in 1555. He settled in Paris and became a counsellor to Henry III and Catherine de’ Medici, on whom he published an eulogy in 1586. After Henry’s assassination in August 1589 he joined the Ligue, but when Henry IV came to power he was forced to leave, and died in Rome bequeathing his rich library to the Society of Jesus.


8vo., pp. [4] 234 [2]. Decorative headpieces and initials. Printed in italic. Light waterstaining, repair to bottom outer corner (blank) of title-page, repairs to blank tips of bottom corners, first two leaves, bound in modern half-vellum and pasteboards. Title-page with contemporary or early MS inscription (with price record (1s. 6 d.) to verso), also neat small wax stamp, and later MS shelf mark (another crossed out).

Brit. Mus. STC of French Books, p. 449; H. Hauser, Les sources de l’histoire de France, III-IV, (Paris, 1912-15), no. 1667; U.Scupin & U. Scheuner, Althusius-Bibliographie, (Berlin, 1973), I, P. 226, no. 3530a.