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Benedictus de Spinoza (1632-1677)
Hamburgi [i.e. Amsterdam]: Apud Henricum Kunrath [i.el. Jan Rieuwertsz], MDCLLXX (1670)
First edition, first issue
BS3985 A3 1670

Printed without authorship attribution, a false publisher and imprint were given in order to maintain anonymity and protect the author and printer from political retribution. In 1673, the book was publicly condemned by the Synod of Dordrecht and officially banned the following year. This is one of the few books banned in the Netherlands during the early modern period. In spite of this, it could be found and bought throughout Europe fairly easily. In this Tractatus Spinoza combined biblical criticism with political philosophy. His metaphysics was heavily influenced by Moses Maimonides and English philosopher Thomas Hobbes, author of Leviathan (1651). From its first page, the book sparked controversy. Spinoza expressed his skepticism of the authenticity and historicity of the Bible, pointing out its inconsistencies.