J.L. Vives: De Subventione Pauperum sive De Humanis Necessitatibus, Libri II
This work by the Spanish humanist and philosopher, Juan Luis Vives, is the first tract of its kind in the Western world to treat the problem of urban poverty and propose concrete suggestions for a policy of social legislation. The treatise, published in 1526, is dedicated to the civil authorities of Bruges and deals specifically with the problems of that city, but with potential universal application. Vives calls upon the wealthy to share their blessings with those less fortunate, emphasizing that possessions are not given to us for our own use only but to share them with our neighbour. The reader will often find Vives' reflections and solutions surprisingly modern. The book includes an edition of the Latin text and an English translation.