Persio tradotto in verso schiolto: Stelluti, Francesco Persio tradotto in verso schiolto: Stelluti, Francesco

Persio tradotto in verso schiolto

Stelluti, Francesco

Published by Mascardi, Rome, 1630
From Jeremy Norman's historyofscience (Novato, CA, U.S.A.)

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First Book to Contain Images of Organisms Viewed through the Microscope Stelluti, Francesco (1577-1652). Persius (34-62 A.D.). Persio tradotto in verso schiolto e dichiarato da Francesco Stelluti Accad. Linceo da Fabriano . . . 4to. [24, including engraved title by Matthaeus Greuter], 218, [20]pp. Text engravings, including full-page image of the parts of a bee observed with the aid of a microscope (p. 52). Rome: Giacomo Mascardi, 1630. 210 x 150 mm. Limp vellum c. 1630, title in ink on spine. Minor dampstains throughout, light toning and occasional foxing, but very good. First Edition of the First Book to Contain Images of Organisms as Viewed through the Microscope. The book's striking full-page image of a magnified bee (p. 52), showing minute details of the antennae, legs, sting, head and tongue, "still has the capacity to arouse the wonder of modern experts" (Freedburg, p. 189). On page 127 is a smaller illustration of a magnified grain weevil, including a detail of the tip of the insect's snout and mandibles. These remarkable scientific images are found, oddly enough, in Francesco Stelluti's translation of the works of the Latin poet Persius, dedicated to the powerful Cardinal Francesco Barberini in an attempt to gain the Cardinal's patronage for the Accedemia dei Lincei. The "Academy of Lynxes," one of Europe's first scientific societies, had been founded by Stelluti, Federico Cesi and Johannes Eck in 1603; Stelluti's edition of Persius was intended for the most part as a means for advertising the Accademia's activities. "Whenever he possibly could, Stelluti took a word or phrase in Persius-almost any word or phrase-and used it as an excuse to refer to one or another aspect of the natural historical researches of the Linceans. The most insignificant reference in the elegies sparked long and short excursuses on the Linceans' work" (Freedburg, p. 187). An obscure reference in Persius's first satire to what may have been the ancient town of Eretum gave Stelluti his pretext for including the bee images, since the former Eretum was now Monterotondo, seat of the Barberini country estate, and the Barberini family had adopted the bee as its emblem. Stelluti's weevil image was likewise prompted by a mention of that insect in another of Persius's poems. Stelluti's bee image is similar, but not identical to, an earlier image showing magnified views of a bee, published as a broadsheet in 1625 under the title Apiarium; this broadsheet is extremely rare, with only two or three copies recorded. The Apiarium was intended to form part of a projected encyclopedia by Cesi, but this project was never realized. In 1624 Cesi had been sent a microscope by Galileo, another Lincean, and it was most likely this instrument that Cesi and Stelluti used to prepare their pioneering images of insects under magnification. Ford, Images of Science: A History of Scientific Illustration, pp. 172-173, 179-180. Freedburg, The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, His Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History (2003). Bookseller Inventory # 42732

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Persio tradotto in verso schiolto

Publisher: Mascardi, Rome

Publication Date: 1630

Edition: 1st Edition

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