Elogi di Galileo Galilei e di Bonaventura Cavalieri.
First collected edition, scarce: not in Copac, OCLC locates ten copies. Paolo Frisi (1728-1784) was an Italian mathematician, astronomer and physicist who is best know for his work in hydraulics. “His most significant contributions to science, however, were in the compilation, interpretation, and dissemination of the work of other scientists… The commentaries he wrote on the work of such scientists as Galileo Galilei and Sir Isaac Newton were influential in bringing their ideas to the attention of a wide audience” (Encyclopaedia Britannica online). These pioneering works have been described as “carefully crafted lives [that] are, at once, a celebration of exceptional individuals – who are effectively transmuted into icons of modern science – and the reconstruction of the process of emancipation of the human mind from religious obscurantism and cultural backwardness” (Massimo Mazzotti in Writing about Lives in Science: (Auto)biography, Gender, and Genre, 2014, p. 119). Here Frisi’s eulogy to Galileo, first published in 1775 (two editions, Milan: Federico Agnelli and Livorno: nella Stamperia dell’Enciclopedia), is coupled with a similar tribute to Galileo’s disciple Bonaventura Cavalieri (1598-1647), whose developments in geometry were the precursors to integral calculus.
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Octavo (189 x 119 mm). Contemporary vellum, spine with simple blind stamped floral motifs, green morocco label, two-line blind rule on sides, floral motifs at corners, large arabesque lozenge in centre of each cover, red edges, Italian patterned endpapers. Armorial bookplate of William Ward (1750-1823), 3rd Viscount Dudley and Ward, politician. A few wormholes to binding (just touching the head of a handful of leaves), light browning to a few gatherings, otherwise a very good copy.