Giammaria Ortes

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Errori popolari intorno all'economia nazionale e al governo delle nazioni, 1999

Abbé Giovanni Maria Ortes (March 1713 – 1790) was a Venetian composer, economist, mathematician, Camaldolese monk, and philosopher. He is better known for his population predictions that preceded those of Malthus.

Ortes belonged to the Camaldolese monastic order. He was probably the first person, according to Adam Ferguson, to use the term "economics" for the science in which he exercised a remarkable activity, particularly in his works Economia Nazionale (1774) and Riflessioni sulla popolazione (1790), which along with other of his works were reprinted in Pietro Custodi's anthologies "Scrittori classici italiani di economia politica" (1802–16). He was opposed to mercantilism.

He anticipated certain doctrines of Adam Smith and Thomas Robert Malthus, especially the latter, as he felt that the population propagation, if it were allowed free rein, would take place in a geometric progression with a doubling every 30 years. No one knows exactly how he died.


  • Della economia nazionale (1774)
  • Sulla religione e sul governo dei popoli (1780)
  • Dei fedecommessi a famiglie e chiese (1784)


  • Alfred Sauvy, Deux techniciens, précurseurs de Malthus, Boesnier de l'Orme et Auxiron, Population, 1959, no 4.