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A Dissertation on the Numbers of Mankind, in ancient and modern Times: in which the superior Populousness of Antiquity is maintained. With an Appendix, containing additional observations on the same subject, and some remarks on Mr. Hume's Political Discourse, of the Populousness of antient Nations?
Edinburgh: G. Hamilton and J. Balfour, 1753 First edition of this important early work in the debate about the size of the population in Britain in the eighteenth century compared to earlier centuries. Wallace here opposed the theories expounded by David Hume in the chapter 'Populousness of ancient nations' in the Political Discourses (1752). Hume himself, however, had read the manuscript of Wallace's book and helped to prepare it for the press; he also drew from it some corrections for the next edition of his own work. The question of the relative populations of Antiquity and modern times was integral to the Age of Enlightenment...a development of the Ancient-Modern controversy which had been waged throughout the seventeenth century and extended into the eighteenth. Hume regarded it as "the most curious & important of all Questions of Erudition"' (Mossner, Life of David Hume, pp. 263?4). . Contemporary calf, joints cracked at head. Octavo. Slight marginal offset from binding. Contemporary armorial bookplate ("John Bond, Grange"). A fine copy, clean and crisp. This work is also important for its significant influence on later writers on the subject, among them William Godwin, Adam Smith, Richard Price and of course Malthus, who names Wallace among the four authors (the others being Hume, Smith and Price) who led him to the population question at the end of the century.
      [Bookseller: Michael R. Thompson, Booksellers, ABAA/I]
Last Found On: 2013-07-27           Check availability:      Biblio    

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