Giovanni Botero's Della Ragion di Stato (The Reason of State): Bk.I.ii. The Classification Of Dominion

Giovanni Botero (c. 1544 – 1617)
Roman Catholic Priest

2. The Classification Of Dominion 

There are many kinds of dominion: old, new, poor, rich, or distinguished by other qualities of this sort; but coming closer to our purposes, let us say that some dominion is powerful and some is not, some is natural, some is acquired. By natural we mean dominion where those who rule do so by the will of their subjects, either explicitly, as by the election of kings, or implicitly, as by legitimate succession; and the secession may be either apparent or doubtful. By acquired we mean dominion which has been bought by money or its equivalent, or won by arms; and it may be won by arms either by main force or by treaty, and the treaty may be made either at the discretion of the victor or by negotiation. And the greater the resistance offered to the acquisition the worse will be the quality of the dominion. Furthermore, some dominions are small, others are large, others of a middle size, not absolutely but comparatively, and with respect to their neighbors. Thus a small dominion is one that cannot stand by itself, but needs the protection and support of others; such are the republics of Ragusa and Lucca. A middle-sized dominion has sufficient strength and authority to stand on its own without the need of help from others; such is the signory of Venice and the kingdom of Bohemia, the duchy of Milan and the country of Flanders. Those dominions are large which have a distinct superiority over their neighbors, such as the empires of the Turk and of the Catholic King. Again, some dominions are compact, others dispersed: the parts of a compact dominion are contiguous, whereas the members of a dispersed dominion do not form a continuous whole. Such was formerly the empire of the Genoese when they were masters of Famagusta and the Ptolomaid, Faglie Vecchie, Pera and Caffa, and such is now that of the Portuguese, with their possessions in Ethiopia, Arabia, India and Brazil, and that of the Catholic King.

1. Reason Of State Defined
2. The Classification Of Dominion