Modrzewski, Andrzej Frycz [aka] Andreas Fricius Modrevius (c. 1503-1572) De Republica Emendanda Libri Quinque, Recogniti & Aucti.
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Modrzewski, Andrzej Frycz [aka] Andreas Fricius Modrevius (c. 1503-1572) De Republica Emendanda Libri Quinque, Recogniti & Aucti. Basel: Johannes Oporinus, 1559. Folio, three volumes in one with divisional titles, with Oporinus's woodcut printer's mark on first title page showing the mythological Arion of Lesbos playing the lyre while standing on a dolphin, large woodcut initials, text in roman letter, single column throughout, some water staining, bound in modern half leather with marbled paper boards, 12 1/2 x 8 in.
The first complete edition of Modrzewski's work, including all five books, was published by Oporinus in 1554. Considered the father of Polish democracy, in this work, he advocates for a strong monarchy, but also insists on greater equality across classes, including penalizing those who commit crimes against nobleman in equal measure to those who prey on the poor. He also felt that peasants who farm the land should own it themselves, and that the right to vote should not be held exclusively by landed gentry. In these and other ways, Modrzewski presaged later founding democratic documents. Even though a priest himself, he argued for a divide between church and state.
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