Cesare Bonesana Beccaria, marquis of, an Italian jurist and economist, born in Milan, March 15, 1738, died there, Nov. 28, 1794. He attended the Jesuits' college in Parma and afterward studied philosophy and mathematics. Under the patronage of Count Firmian, governor of Lombardy, he established a literary society in Milan and a periodical, Il Caffe (1764-'5), in which he published (1704) his Dei delitti e delle pene, which was revised by him and by Pietro Verri (2 vols., Venice, 1781), and translated into English (" Crimes and Punishments," Edinburgh, 1798), German, French, and other languages. This essay, which urged the abolition of capital punishment and the torture, established his fame as the originator of a more humane system of penal jurisprudence, and wrought important reforms almost everywhere, though in his own country he was at first depreciated. Voltaire wrote a commentary on it under the title of Un avocat de Besangon, and subsequently Bec-caria visited him and D'Alembert. The correspondence of Baron Grimm attests the great popularity of Beccaria's views in France. Kant commended them, but the most learned disquisition on the subject is by Cesare Cantu, (Florence, 1862). Catharine II. adopted Beccaria's suggestions in the Russian code, and offered him an office, which he declined in order to accept the professorship of political and administrative sciences especially created for him at Milan in November, 1768. His opening discourse, "On Commerce and Public Administration," was translated into French by An-toine Comparet (1769). In 1771 he became a member of the supreme economic council, and on the abrogation of this body he was transferred to the magistracy, and placed in 1791 on the committee for the reform of the civil and criminal code.

He promoted reforms in trade, currency, and statistics, and urged the adoption of uniformity in weights and measures. His lectures on political economy have been published under the title of Elementi di eco-nomiapubblica, in the collection of the Scrittori classici italiani di economia politico,. The best complete edition of his works, including his Ricerche intorno alla natura dello stile, is. by Villari (Florence, 1854).