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Beccaria, Cesare (1738–1794)

Cesare Beccaria, born in Milan into a noble family, was one of the most important representatives of the Italian Enlightenment. He was active, with the brothers Pietro and Alessandro Verri and other friends, in the Accademia dei Pugni (Punch Academy) and in organizing the review Il Caffé. He was not primarily a jurist, and his intellectual interests concerned mainly political economy. He taught economic sciences at the Scuole Palatine in Milan and wrote some treatises on those issues, especially about money. However, today scholars associate his name with the classic book Dei delitti e delle pene (Of Crimes and Punishments), which appeared in 1764.

The book was a great success in Europe, especially after André Morellet's translation into French (1766). Voltaire (1694–1778) was a great admirer ...

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