Carlantonio Pilati was a political thinker, typical freemason and traveller who played an important role as cultural mediator between the United Provinces and Italy. His role and contacts with Dutch and Venetian typographers is revealed through documents at the Biblioteca comunale in Trent, in particular by his correspondence with Christiaan Plaat from Haarlem, which include many suggestions of books to be printed and sold in Italy, especially in the Veneto and Trentino. The same archive possesses letters by Pilati to the typographer and Venetian bookseller Giannantonio Pasquali, that show how books sent by Plaat arrived in Venice through Pilati himself. Pilati lived in the United Provinces for several periods from 1766 onwards, when his work on natural law theory was condemned by the Inquisition. He lived in Rotterdam, Leiden and The Hague, and became close friends with Count Willem Bentinck, the leading Orangist politician and freemason of English rite. During these periods, Pilati published some of his most important works, like the Traité des lois politiques in 1774, the Traité du mariage in 1776, the Voyages en differens pays de l’Europe in 1777, the Lettres sur la Hollande in 1778, the Traité des loix civiles des Romains in 1780 and the Histoire des révolutions in 1782. He also became great friend and editorial advisor to the editor and typographer Christiaan Plaat who published for instance the yearbooks of the Haarlem Society of Sciences and the most important Dutch commentaries on Rousseau's moral-political theory of inequality.
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