Do sitio de Lisboa. Dialogo de Luys Mendez de Vasconcelos. Com licenc, a da Sancta Inquisicam, & do Ordinario.
Do sitio de Lisboa. Dialogo de Luys Mendez de Vasconcelos. Com licenc, a da Sancta Inquisicam, & do Ordinario.
Do sitio de Lisboa. Dialogo de Luys Mendez de Vasconcelos. Com licenc, a da Sancta Inquisicam, & do Ordinario.
Pioneering Economical Work, References to Brazil

Do sitio de Lisboa. Dialogo de Luys Mendez de Vasconcelos. Com licenc, a da Sancta Inquisicam, & do Ordinario.

Impresso em Lisboa: na officina de Luys Estupina, Anno de M. DCVIII [1608]. First edition. In later leather. Panels, spine, inner edges richly gilt. Marbled endpapers. Engraved frontispiece (not cited by bibliographies). Woodcut initials, typographical head, and tailpieces. Woodcut printer’s device on last leaf. Pages framed by double-line. Housed in a custom-made folder, covered with marbled paper. (1 [leaf of engraved frontispiece]), (8), 242, (22) p.; Signatures: A–Q8, ¶8 (¶8 verso blank). Frontispiece slightly over trimmed. Bleached notes in ink on the last leaves. Artistically restored. Overall in fine condition.

Scarce first edition of this pioneering Portuguese economical work with references to Brazil.

Mendes de Vasconcelos’ Dialogo is considered as the first important monument of Portuguese economic thought and the earliest example of the awareness of the importance of the creative capacity of the economy. (Sérgio, 1924) Written in form of a dialogue between a Philosopher, a Soldier, and a Politician, it deals with the political and economic problems rooted in Portugal’s colonial endeavor and achievements. Mendes de Vasconcelos “observed that the conquest of India had brought Portugal neither new fields to cultivate nor new pastures in which to raise cattle. Moreover, the Indian enterprise constantly lured people from the countryside to the city, further swelling the burgeoning population of Lisbon. From there many embarked to seek their fortunes in the Far East. Meanwhile, the exploding growth of the capital city was not counterbalanced by any increase in food production. In Mendes de Vasconcelos’s mind Portugal was paying a high price for imperial glory, for its agricultural sector was increasingly unable to meet the demands of a rapidly growing metropolis.” (Hanson, 1981) Furthermore, the author provides practical advices regarding the agricultural utilization of the Tejo and Lisbon region and tries to convince King Philip III of Spain (Philip II of Portugal) to relocate the capital of the Iberian Union from Madrid to Lisbon by the exaggeration of the advantages of the city’s location and qualities. The book contains several references to the Portugal colonies, among them to Brazil. (see p. 23.)

Luis Mendes de Vasconcelos (c. 1542–1623) was a Portuguese nobleman, governor of Angola (1617–1621), later the 55th Grand Master of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem (1622–1623). In addition to the present work, he wrote an Arte militar, published in 1612.

With an engraved portrait of Mendes de Vasconcelos as frontispiece, not cited by any bibliographies.

Bibl.: Hanson, C. A.: Economy and Society in Baroque Portugal, 1668–1703. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1981. pp. 112–113.; Sérgio, A.: Antologia dos economistas portugueses. Século XVII. Obras em portuguès. Lisboa: Biblioteca Nacional, 1924.

Ref.: Goldsmiths’-Kress 371.6; Manoel dos Santos, Bibliogafia geral 7337; Not in Sabin.

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Price: €2,400.00