Galileo, Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche, Leiden, 1638, contemporary vellum, Cardinal Massimo's copy
Discorsi e dimostrazioni matematiche, intorno a due nuove scienze attenenti alla mecanica & i movimenti locali… con una appendice del centro di gravità d’alcuni solidi. Leiden: Elzevir, 1638
4to (208 x 155mm.), woodcut printer's device on title-page, woodcut initials, head-and-tailpieces, woodcut illustrations, contemporary vellum, woodcut arms of a Massimo-Colonna cardinal stamped at end, small hole in A3 with loss of a few words, a few small stains
FIRST EDITION OF GALILEO’S FINAL YET MOST IMPORTANT MATHEMATICAL WORK. Widely considered the first modern textbook of physics, the "two new sciences" were "the engineering science of strength of materials and the mathematical science of kinematics. The first, as Galileo presents it, is founded on the law of the lever; breaking strength is treated as a branch of statics. The second has its basis in the assumption of uniformity and simplicity in nature, complemented by certain dynamic assumptions" (DSB V, p.245).
As with his other major works, this is in the form of a dialogue between the characters Salviati, Sagredo and Simplicio, who had also appeared in his troublesome Dialogue concerning the two chief world systems of 1632. This dialogue takes place over four days, each day addressing an area of physics. The fourth day discusses the motion of projectiles, forming a basis for early military engineering; Galileo made use of Tartaglia's work on trajectories and in this work he demonstrated their parabolic trajectories.
After Galileo's troubles with the papal authorities in Italy because of his earlier Dialogo, he arranged for this work to be published in a state where the ban on publishing his works was of little import.
Cinti 102; PMM 130; USTC 1011790; Willems 468
Cardinal Carlo (Camillo II) Massimo (1620-1677, created cardinal in 1670), the artistic patron and collector and ecclesiastical statesman, woodcut arms at end
R. Mazzocchi, Facere bibliothecam in domo, la biblioteca del cardinale Carlo Camillo II Massimo (Verona, 2008), lists a copy in the Massimo library, no. 1016, which is now in the Fondo Massimo of the Biblioteca Angelica in Rome; it is possible that the Cottesloe copy was sold as a duplicate at some point.
Condition is described in the main body of the cataloguing, where appropriate.
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