[Kriegskunst; Libro della arte della guerra.] Kriegskunst Dess herren Nicolaj Machiauellj, Burgers und Secretarij von Florentz. Darinnen die heutigs Tags in vbung stehende vornembste Kriegs Disciplin/gegen der alten Römern/Griechen […] H. C. W. V. B. [Hans Conrad Wieland von Basel].
[Kriegskunst; Libro della arte della guerra.] Kriegskunst Dess herren Nicolaj Machiauellj, Burgers und Secretarij von Florentz. Darinnen die heutigs Tags in vbung stehende vornembste Kriegs Disciplin/gegen der alten Römern/Griechen […] H. C. W. V. B. [Hans Conrad Wieland von Basel].
[Kriegskunst; Libro della arte della guerra.] Kriegskunst Dess herren Nicolaj Machiauellj, Burgers und Secretarij von Florentz. Darinnen die heutigs Tags in vbung stehende vornembste Kriegs Disciplin/gegen der alten Römern/Griechen […] H. C. W. V. B. [Hans Conrad Wieland von Basel].
First Machiavelli Edition In German, Only One Other Copy Known

[Kriegskunst; Libro della arte della guerra.] Kriegskunst Dess herren Nicolaj Machiauellj, Burgers und Secretarij von Florentz. Darinnen die heutigs Tags in vbung stehende vornembste Kriegs Disciplin/gegen der alten Römern/Griechen […] H. C. W. V. B. [Hans Conrad Wieland von Basel].

Gedruckt zu Mümpelgardt [Montbéliard; Mömpelgard]: Bey Jacob Foillet / In verlegung Ludwig Königs, 1619. First German edition. In 18th century leather. Spine with five raised bands, gilt compartments, and gilt lettered title vignette. Marbled endpapers. Red-tinted edges. Title printed in red and black. 4º: (:)4, (*)4, (.)2, A–Z4, Aa–Zz4, Aaa–Ccc4. (20), 419, (1) [263–292 omitted; complete]. Loss of the tail compartment of the spine. Occasional foxing. The print space darkened. Artistically restored. Overall in very good condition.

The excessively rare first edition of the German translation of Arte della guerra, the first influential modern treatise on military art. Machiavelli’s first book ever translated into German. Only one other copy known, in Montbéliard.

Kriegskunst is the first work of Machiavelli translated into German, and it remained the only book by him in this language until the 18th century.

It was translated from French by the Basler Hans Conrad Wieland (1563–1629), and printed by Jacob Foillet (1554–1619), the prominent printer of Montbéliard (or Mömpelgard, then part of Württemberg) who had strong connections to the members of the Machiavellian movement of Basel. Although Foillet was commissioned by Ludwig König, the influential publisher and Machiavellist from Basel, it is supposed that the actual man behind this publication was Johann Nikolaus Stupanus (1542–1621), the Italian-Swiss physician, who also lived in Basel at the time. (Kaegi; pp. 49–50.) Stupanus was the author of the infamous foreword of the second Latin edition of The Prince (Princeps. Basel: Perna, 1580), wherein he committed the provocation to dedicate the book to the Bishop of Basel, a powerful force in the Counterreformation. He is also recognized as the first Latin translator of Discourses on Livy which was printed by Foillet too (Disputationum de republica. Montbéliard: Foillet, 1588.). (Ruffo Fiore; p. 40.)

The second edition of Kriegskunst (also by Foillet) appeared in 1623 with a new, this time engraved title page and set of text.

Arte della guerra is one of Machiavelli’s major works besides the Prince and Discourses, and the only one published in his lifetime, (Libro della arte della guerra. Firenze: Giunta, 1521.). It was written between 1519 and 1520 and reflects Machiavelli’s experiences he gained during the years 1506 and 1507 while organizing a new Florentine militia. Extremely scarce book. According to Piero Innocenti and Marielisa Ross, the editors of the most recent Machiavelli-bibliography, the only known copy of this edition is held in the Library of Montbéliard.

Bibl.: Ruffo Fiore, S.: Niccolò Machiavelli. An Annotated Bibliography of Modern Criticism and Scholarship. New York, etc.: Greenwood, 1990.; Bibliografia delle edizioni di Niccolò Machiavelli: 1506–1914. Manziana: Vecchiarelli Editore, 2015.; Kaegi, W.: Machiavelli in Basel. In: Basler Zeitschrift für Geschichte und Altertumskunde. Vol. 39. Basel, 1940. pp. 5–51.

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Price: €20,000.00