14 November 2007,
London, King Street
Price Realised GBP 2,750
PUFENDORF, Samuel, Baron von (1632-94). De jure naturae et gentium libri octo. Lund: Adam Junghans, 1672.
4° (225 x 182mm). Title-page in red and black with woodcut vignette (some spotting.) Contemporary limp vellum, manuscript title on spine (slightly rubbed). Provenance: engraved armorial shelf mark.
FIRST EDITION OF ONE OF THE FUNDAMENTAL WORKS OF NATURAL LAW. This work, much admired by John Locke, argues that civil society is established on a contract between individual wills, with sovereignty in the hands of a benevolent ruler. Pufendorf published in Lund where he held the chair in Natural Law, before moving to Berlin in 1688 to become historiographer to the elector of Brandenburg. De jure naturae develops the principles introduced by Grotius and Hobbes about the innate necessities of human nature, but unlike Hobbes, Pufendorf argued that peace, not war, is the state of nature, and suggests that law should not be restricted only to Christendom.
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