Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’ Accademia del Cimento sotto la protezione del serenissimo principe Leopoldo Toscana


Published by Guiseppe Cocchini, Firenze, 1666
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’ ...

Publisher: Guiseppe Cocchini, Firenze

Publication Date: 1666

Edition: First Edition.


Folio (340 x 240mm). [xvi] (half-title, title, dedication leaves), I-CCLXIXpp., [xvi] (table, index and adverts.) Title printed in red and black with engraved title vignette depicting kiln beneath motto "Provando e riprovando" (Trial and error). Copper-engraved armorial headpiece (De Medici) on first page of dedication. Numerous copper-engraved initials and chapter head- and tail-pieces, all historiated with putti, emblematic animals, fantastical beasts, masks and foliage. 74 full-page copper-engraved plates of figures (mostly instruments for the experiments). Later vellum; (light occasional foxing, first few leaves of dedication browned; lightly rubbed). First Edition of the Saggi di naturali esperienze (Essays on Natural Experiments) published in 1666, with the aim of providing a modern tool of consultation. The Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Accademia del Cimento presents a synthesis of the experimental work carried out by the Accademia del Cimento (Academy of Experiments) for over a ten-year period. Founded by Prince Leopoldo de’ Medici and the Grand-duke Ferdinando II in 1657, the Academy resolved to test a series of principles of natural philosophy which up until then had been commonly accepted solely on the authority of Aristotle. The Academy proposed to follow Galileo’s example, and use only rigorous experimentation as their guide. This lavishly illustrated volume was introduced and edited by the Secretary of the Academy, Lorenzo Magalotti. The Academy met sporadically, and concluded its work in 1667 with this publication of the principal fruits of their experimental labor including, "to determine the changes in the air due to heat and cold," on the "natural pressure of air," on "artificial freezing," on magnets, on the electrical properties of amber, on the propagation of sound and light, and on a host of other natural phenomena. The experimental demonstrations relevant to pneumatics take up more than forty pages of the Saggi di naturali esperienze, while it should be noted that only some of these experiments are absolutely original, while the others replicate experiments either thought up, or performed, by other natural philosophers, like the experiment of smoke in the vacuum. The book encountered notable success. In 1684 the first English translation by Richard Waller was published, and in 1731, the Dutch scientist Petrus van Musschenbroek published an edition in Latin. Especially important among the editions published subsequently was the one edited by V. Antinori, on the occasion of the third congress of Italian scientists, held in Florence in 1841. The Saggi recounted only a small portion of the research conducted by the Cimento, by comparison with the hundreds of experiments recorded in the Academy’s manuscript Diaries. For fear of provoking reactions from the Church authorities, the volume omitted the analysis of the true configuration of Saturn- a sensitive topic, given its major Copernican implications. In excellent condition, plates remain bright the whole with wide margins. Bookseller Inventory # D4526

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