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Open Access Knowledge and Counsel in Giovanni Botero’s Ragion di stato

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Knowledge and Counsel in Giovanni Botero’s Ragion di stato

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This article examines the relationship between knowledge, political counsel, and reason of state in Giovanni Botero (1544–1617). Botero is primarily known as the champion of Catholic reason of state, mainly on account of his treatise Ragion di stato. I argue that Botero marks a watershed in the history of European political thought not because of his response to Machiavelli, but on account of his conscious and innovative integration of different field of knowledge into a new language of the state. He is the first to capture convincingly the reality of the Counter-Reformation state and European global expansion. While Botero writes with a view to serve the universal church and Catholic secular princes, his language transcends confessional boundaries. This argument is made with reference to Delle cause della grandezza delle città (1588) and Ragion di stato (1589), though it could be extended into his Le relazioni universali (1591–96).

Affiliations: 1: University of Liverpool, UK, h.e.braun@liverpool.ac.uk

This article examines the relationship between knowledge, political counsel, and reason of state in Giovanni Botero (1544–1617). Botero is primarily known as the champion of Catholic reason of state, mainly on account of his treatise Ragion di stato. I argue that Botero marks a watershed in the history of European political thought not because of his response to Machiavelli, but on account of his conscious and innovative integration of different field of knowledge into a new language of the state. He is the first to capture convincingly the reality of the Counter-Reformation state and European global expansion. While Botero writes with a view to serve the universal church and Catholic secular princes, his language transcends confessional boundaries. This argument is made with reference to Delle cause della grandezza delle città (1588) and Ragion di stato (1589), though it could be extended into his Le relazioni universali (1591–96).

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/content/journals/10.1163/22141332-00402007
2017-03-10
2017-11-22

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