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View full screen - View 1 of Lot 174. Galilei | A defense of the Copernican system of heliocentrism.

Galilei | A defense of the Copernican system of heliocentrism

Lot Closed

December 16, 09:55 PM GMT


80,000 - 100,000 USD

Lot Details


Galilei, Galileo

Dialogo. Dove ne i congressi di quattro giornate si discorre sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano. Florence: Giovanni Batista Landini, 1632

4to (220 x 156mm). Etched frontispiece by Stefano della Bella printed on thicker paper as issued, italic type, shoulder notes in roman type, printer's woodcut device on title-page, 31 woodcut illustrations and diagrams in text, woodcut initials, type ornament head- and tail-pieces and factotum initials, errata leaf Ff6 supplied from another copy, manuscript addition of letter H to diagram on M8v (p.192) as usual, without the printed correction slip in margin of F6v (p. 92) but with evidence of paste; frontispiece remargined at top and bottom, letterpress title with portion of upper margin renewed, some occasional browning and light staining. Contemporary polished calf, ruled in gilt; recased with skillful restoration to spine and board edges.

First edition of Galileo's statement of and defense of the Copernican system of heliocentrism. “The Dialogo was designed both as an appeal to the great public and as an escape from silence. In the form of an open discussion between three friends — intellectually speaking, a radical, a conservative, and an agnostic — it is a masterly polemic for the new science. It displays all the great discoveries of the heavens which the ancients had ignored; it inveighs against the sterility, willfulness, and ignorance of those who defend their systems; it revels in the simplicity of Copernican thought and, above all, it teaches that the movement of the earth makes sense in philosophy, that is, physics. Astronomy and the science of motion, rightly understood, says Galileo, are hand in glove. There is no need to fear that the earth’s rotation will cause it to fly to pieces” (Printing and the Mind of Man). An incredibly important and foundational text, the Dialogo was perhaps the most influential work in making heliocentrism common and accepted knowledge; its assertions paved the way for Isaac Newton and a new generation of scientific discovery.


Carli and Favaro, 128; Cinti 89; Dibner Heralds of Science 8; Grolier/Horblit 18c; Norman 858; PMM 128; Riccardi I:511; Wellcome 2647a


Marc Anton Borghese, 1814-1886 (“M.A. Principis Burghesii” bookplate) — Joseph Martini (bookplate, collation note)