Genoa: Typis Antonij Georgij Franchelli, 1674.
Ciassi, Gian Maria (1654-1686)
Meditationes de natura plantarum et tractatus physicomathematicus de aequilibrio praesertim fluidorum ac de levitate ignis.
Venice: B. Miloco, 1677
Two works bound as one: 12mo: 12 x 7 cm. I. 285,  p. II. , 106 of 108 (lacking final blank pages). With 11 engraved plates. Collations: I. A-M12. II. A6, A-D12, E6 (- blank leaf B12)
FIRST EDITIONS OF BOTH WORKS. Bound in contemporary vellum. Text of both works in excellent, crisp condition, aside from a light dampstain in the gutter of 2 signatures in the first work. Pale dampstain to one plate. Binding lightly soiled. Provenance: Small (?19th c.) stamp (“12* Natur”) to upper margin of first title and stamp of the Franciscan monastery library of Miltenberg (dissolved 1983) on flyleaf: “Bibliothek Franziskanerklosters Miltenberg”
I. First work: Extremely rare (as noted by Ferguson). A second, expanded edition appeared in 1678. "It is necessary to have both editions" (Ferguson, citing Lenglet Dufresnoy). Five copies located in North America: Chemical Heritage, NLM, Penn, Wisconsin, Yale. (There are six copies of the second ed.: Delaware, NLM, Claremont Colleges, Chemical Heritage, Wisconsin, Penn.) II. Second work: Also extremely rare. Five copies in North America: NY Botanical, Linda Hall, Michigan, Berkeley, Nat. Agriculture Library.
I. In this rare work, the Genovese alchemist Johannes Battista Marengus presents his theory of the generation of metals within the earth, a process reliant on solar and lunar influences. Production of the “philosopher’s stone” by means of specific tinctures and menstruums is discussed as length. Marengus claims to have witnessed a demonstration of the transmutation of mercury into gold, by means of the “stone”, before the Emperor Ferdinand III. Marengus’ name is concealed within a slogan on the title page “Ianus Gobrat Sapiens Manet”.
II. ANTIPATING LEIBNIZ: AN EARLY WORK ON BOTANICAL HYDROSTATICS by the Italian botanist and physicist Gian Maria Ciassi, whose work in physics was based upon the use of mathematical tools, e.g. geometric proofs. This book includes Ciassi’ important work on motive forces, which anticipated that of Leibniz.
“It is important to underline that the publication of Ciassi’s work took place in 1677, so nine years before the publication, in 'Acta Eruditorum Lipsiae' (1686), of Leibniz’ celebrated work about motive forces ('vis motrix').” (G. T. Bagni, Mathematical formal models. The role of an historical example)
“The ‘Tractatus physicomathematicus’ opens with some considerations of hydrostatics applied to botany, in which the author takes up the question, already treated in the first part of the book (‘Meditationes de natura plantarum’), of the rising of the liquid from the roots to the other parts of the plant. The author’s hypothesis, according to which this phenomenon is related to the pressure exerted by the atmosphere on the liquids themselves, leads to a discussion of the principle at work in communicating vessels.
“Ciassi sets out to prove his hypothesis by explain how the overlying parts of a fluid act on the underlying ones; for this purpose, he presents a detailed study of the mechanics of levers, linking some geometric considerations to the problem of fluid balance: Ciassi compares the static situation of a lever with unequal arms to that which characterizes the balance of a fluid in communicating vessels.”(Bagni, Il trevigiano Gian Maria Ciassi (1654-1679) e la questione delle “forze vive”.).
References: I. Duveen 389; Ferguson II, 76; II. Riccardi I/1, 353 (misstating the date); Poggendorff I, 444 (incorrect title); Pritzel (2nd ed.); 1714