Cesare Beccaria

(224 words)
  • Editors

Beccaria was born into the lesser aristocracy of Milan and educated in a repressive Jesuit academy which he detested. He then studied law at the University of Pavia, graduating in 1758. He became friends with Count Pietro Verri, with whom he set up a literary society which became a meeting point for Enlightenment intellectuals. In 1764 he published his widely-influential Dei delitti e delle pene [Of Crimes and Punishments] in which he advocated the abolition of torture, the death penalty and secret trials, and advocated penalties proportionate to the crime which would reform the individual and prepare them to resume a normal social life. His work was particularly taken up by the philosophes in France, …

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are not a subscriber, please click here to read about membership. All our articles have been written recently by experts in their field, more than 95% of them university professors.

Citation:
Editors. "Cesare Beccaria". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 15 September 2002
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=320, accessed 29 August 2014.]