Giammaria Ortes  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

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.

Orthesis belonged to the kamaldulensiska monastic order. He was probably the first one, according to Adam Ferguson, who used the term "economics" of the science, in which he exercised a remarkable activity, particularly by Economia Nazionale (1774) and Riflessioni sulla popolazione (1790), which along with other his works reprinted in Pietro Custodis anthologies "Scrittori classici italiani di economia politica" (1802–16). He was against mercantilism.

He anticipated certain aspects of Adam Smith and Thomas Robert Malthus, especially the latter, as he felt that the population propagation, if it were offered 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.

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