Beccaria, Cesare

   Born in Milan, Beccaria studied jurisprudence at Pavia until 1758 and was drawn into an illuminist circle whose members published, between 1764 and 1766, the journal Caffe. In this setting, the young jurist wrote Dei delitti e delle pene (Of Crimes and Punishment, 1764). By arguing that prevention is more useful than repression or punishment, he launched the movement to seek individualized punishments in criminal law and to let the punishment fit the crime. For the first time, the possibility was considered that wrongdoers might be rehabilitated with humane treatment. After translation into virtually every European language (the French edition bore a commentary by Voltaire), these ideas spread to the entire Western world and—with the eventual adoption of the civil law in Africa, Asia, South America, and the Middle East—to the rest of the world as well. Frederick the Great of Prussia, Empress Catherine of Russia, and Pietro Leopoldo of Tuscany vied to incorporate Beccaria’s ideas into programs of judicial reform. Speedy trials, elimination of torture and of the death penalty, and equality of treatment and of punishment regardless of social class trace their origins to Beccaria. His book is probably the single most influential work on Western criminal (penal) procedure. The principles that only legislators (not judges) can make laws and that punishment can flow only from illegal acts (nullum crimen sine lege; nullum poena sine lege) stem from Beccaria. Having rejected offers of a post in St. Petersburg, he accepted a teaching appointment from the Austrian government. It took him to Brera in December 1768, where his course on David Hume became the basis for his Elementi di economia pubblica (Elements of Political Economy).
   So impressed was the Hapsburg government that he was offered, and accepted, nomination to Austria’s Supreme Economic Council (1771), simultaneously beginning his life as a bureaucrat and ending his extraordinary creativity. His daughter Giulia (born in 1762 of his union with his first wife, who died in 1774) was to become the mother of Alessandro Manzoni.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Beccaria, Cesare — born March 15, 1738, Milan died Nov. 28, 1794, Milan Italian criminologist and economist. He became an international celebrity in 1764 with the publication of Crime and Punishment, the first systematic statement of principles governing criminal… …   Universalium

  • Beccaria, Cesare — (15 mar. 1738, Milán–28 nov. 1794, Milán). Criminólogo y economista italiano. Se convirtió en una celebridad internacional en 1764 con la publicación de Crimen y castigo, la primera exposición sistemática de los principios que rigen el castigo… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Beccaria, Cesare Bonesana, marqués de — ► (1738 94). Jurista y economista italiano. Su obra capital es De los delitos y de las penas (1764), crítica del derecho penal de su tiempo …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cesare Beccaria — Beccaria redirects here. For the physicist, see Giovanni Battista Beccaria. Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria Born March 15, 1738 Milan Died November …   Wikipedia

  • Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria — Beccaria redirects here. This article is about the philosopher and politician. For the physicist please see Giovanni Battista Beccaria. Infobox Person name =Cesare, Marquis of Beccaria image size = caption = birth date =March 15, 1738 birth place …   Wikipedia

  • Cesare Beccaria — Cesare Bonesana, Marqués de Beccaria (Milán, 15 de marzo de 1738 28 de noviembre de 1794), fue un literato, filósofo, jurista y economista italiano, y padre de Giulia Beccaria, que a su vez fue madre de Alessandro Manzoni. Ligado a los ambientes… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Beccaria — Beccarĭa, Cesare Bonesano de, ital. Staatsrechtslehrer, geb. 15. März 1738 zu Mailand, 1768 Prof. das., gest. 28. Nov. 1794; erwarb sich durch seine oft übersetzte Schrift »Dei delitti e delle pene« (1764; deutsch, 2. Aufl. 1876), worin er gegen… …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Beccaria [1] — Beccaria, Cesare Bonesana, geb. zu Mailand 1735, wo er Lehrer der Staatswirthschaft war und 1793 st., hoch verdient um Verbesserung und Milderung der Justiz in ganz Europa durch seine Schrift: »Dei delitti e delle pene« 1764. die vielfach… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Beccaria — Beccaria, Cesare Bonesana, marqués de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Beccaria — (Cesare Bonesana, marquis de) (1738 1794) juriste italien: Des délits et des peines (1764) …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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