There is a proverb that reads: "A diamond with a flaw is better than a common stone that is perfect." This 1595 printing of Giovanni Botero's Delle Relationi Universali
is no common stone.
It contains a litany of faults: worming...
underlining and notation.
Almost fully detached from its contemporary vellum binding ("contemporary" in rare book descriptions does not mean modern), this copy of Delle Relatione Universali affords a fine view of the sewn binding and bands.
Why is this book worthy of being called "a diamond with a flaw"? Delle Relatione Universali is a late-16th-century view of the Catholic church throughout the world, including "del Mondo Nuouo," the Americas, thus earning Botero a citation in Joseph Sabin's Dictionary of Books Relating to America.
Giovanni Botero was a Jesuit priest who was discharged from the order in 1580 because he had delivered a sermon that questioned the power of the Pope. In 1589 he wrote Delle Ragione di Stato (The Reason of State), which argues against Machiavelli's philosophy as espoused in The Prince.
Botero's philosophies were read and digested by other European thinkers who wrote their own treatises on subjects such as sovereignty, divine justice, and political economy. As Europe prospered and more citizens became literate, rogue ideas and subversive philosophies were increasingly harder for those in power to control.
The days when a sovereign could say "It's good to be the King" were destined to end.