Dei Delitti e delle Pene edizione quinta– Commentaire sur le livre Des Delits et des Peines
(Cesare BECCARIA) — VOLTAIRE
(Cesare BECCARIA) — Francois-Marie AROUET, detto VOLTAIRE – Dei Delitti e delle Pene edizione quinta di nuovo corretta ed accresciuta — Commentaire sur le livre Des Delits et des Peines par M. De Voltaire / Relation de la mort du Chevalier De la Barre par Mr. Cass Avocat au Conseil du Roi, à Mr. le Marquis de Beccaria – 1766. Harlem, without editorial indication (but Livorno?) - Without editorial indication. Half leather with golden titles and friezes imprinted on the spine with five nerves, cardboard plates, spray cut; 16th, 18.8 cm - 16th, 17.4 cm; 1 vol. - 2 vols. bound in 1; pp. XII 164 - pp. 104 III (index); 24; ornate vignettes, endings and caplets - French text; ornate vignettes; coeval indication bearing the name of the Author on the back of the end cap. Fifth clandestine edition (the first dates back to 1764) with fictitious editorial indication of Harlem in the Netherlands, but probably printed in Livorno. This is the first definitive version of the work, with all the 47 paragraphs that made it famous. The text begins with a Notice about the French translation of the work thanks to Andrè Morellet, followed by the famous "to the reader" in which a brief overview of the law is outlined, the first criticisms are faced (pending new and more vigorous ) and, by means of special signs, it is permitted to identify the additions of this edition. Dei Delitti e delle Pene is undoubtedly a classic of Enlightenment thought and jurisprudence as a whole. It stands as a regulatory text and as anathema against torture and the death penalty, except in cases deemed exceptional. The book, in 1766, was included in the Index of Prohibited Books at the behest of the Holy Office. The cause of this was the distinction that Beccaria identifies between the categories of sin and crime. In any case, the work was immediately very successful, especially across the border, where translations gradually increased, both in circulation and in language. - First clandestine edition of Voltaire's Commentary on Cesare Beccaria's famous On Crimes and Punishments. Just like the Italian Illuminist, Voltaire theorizes the abolition of torture and the gradual extinction of the death penalty, judged to be harmful to the natural right to life. It transcends, in fact, the purely legal element to cross over into the fields of natural law and ethics, even surpassing Beccaria. In his commentary, he also introduces themes such as relations with heresies, profanation, preaching, witchcraft, etc., which had not been dealt with by the author of Dei Crimes and Punishments. Our copy is part of the first absolute edition of the Commentaire, an edition that we believe to have been distributed in a very small number of copies, only to be replaced (if not withdrawn?) by the next edition of the same year, published in a totally anonymous form. inquisitorial attacks, and stylistically correct. The work added as a sort of supplement to the commentary is a letter written to Voltaire himself, relating to a news story that also occurred in 1766, in which the drafter again lashes out against torture and capital punishment.
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