Bologna: per gli heredi del Dozza, -, 1656.
Quarto: 22.3 x 16.4 cm. 19 parts in two volumes. With an added folding plate (Galileo’s compass) in volume one.
FIRST COLLECTED EDITION.
Two volumes bound in matching contemporary vellum, lightly soiled. Internally, a fine, broad-margined set with the usual variable light paper toning associated with this edition and scattered light foxing. Minor faults as follows: a paper repair to the blank margin of one leaf and two short marginal tears, far from text in Vol. I, and another in Vol. II (in "Il Saggiatore"); light stains to margins of four lvs. (F2, Q2, T2 and V2) in the "Mechanica"; a few instances of light foxing; a few ink spots to one leaf; occ. minor blemishes.
Complete with the requisite number of parts, half-titles and the one added plate. With an engraved frontispiece by Stefano della Bella and an engraved portrait of Galileo by Francesco Villamena. The text is illustrated with astronomical and mathematical woodcuts; those in the “Sidereus Nuncius” showing the moons of Jupiter discovered by Galileo and his iconic images of the moon as viewed through his telescope. The woodcuts in the “Istoria e Dimostrazioni intorno alle Macchie solari” illustrate Galileo’s observations of sunspots on the sun’s surface.
A near-comprehensive collection of Galileo’s works, a number of which are re-printed here for the first time. Only the “Dialogo”, which was still on the “Index of Prohibited Books” at the time of publication, is not included. In addition to Galileo’s own works in astronomy, mathematics, physics and mechanics, this collection includes important works by his scientific peers and opponents. Among the landmark works included are the following:
I. The Mathematical and Geometrical Compass (1606)
This was Galileo’s first publication, describing his invention of the mathematical and geometrical compass. Among its applications were the conversions of currencies and the calculation of compounded interest.
“Throughout the Renaissance, many attempts were made to develop a universal instrument that could be used to perform arithmetical calculation and geometric operations easily. This need was felt especially in the military field, where the technology of firearms called for increasingly precise mathematical knowledge. To satisfy these requisites, the first proportional compasses were developed in the second half of the sixteenth century, among them some singular instruments known as the "radio latino" and the "proteo militare". The geometric and military compass of Galileo belonged to this class of instruments. Invented in Padua in 1597, the instrument is also linked to Galileo's activity in the Accademia Delia, founded in Padua to provide mathematical instruction for young noblemen training for a military career. With the seven proportional lines traced on the legs of the compass and the four scales marked on the quadrant, it was possible to perform with the greatest of ease all sorts of arithmetical and geometric calculations, ranging from calculating interest to extracting square and cube roots, from drawing polygons to calculating areas and volumes, from measuring gauges to surveying a territory. Between 1598 and 1604, Galileo instructed several European sovereigns on the use of his compass, among them Prince John Frederick of Alsace, Archduke Ferdinand of Austria, the Landgrave Philippe of Hesse and the Duke of Mantua.
“The success of the instrument encouraged Galileo to divulge his invention still further. In 1606 he published 60 copies of Le operazioni del compasso geometrico e militare, each of which he sold privately along with one of the instruments. The production of compasses, from which Galileo earned a substantial profit, was entrusted to an instrument-maker whom the scientist housed for some years in his own home. The publication of the treatise immediately aroused great interest, so intense as to provoke bitter arguments in the academic world over the authorship of the invention. Already in 1607 Baldassarre Capra, one of Galileo's pupils, tried to claim credit for the invention of the instrument among erudite circles by publishing a treatise in Latin on its operations. Other adversaries of Galileo claimed that the instrument had been invented first by the Dutch mathematician Michel Coignet. Many variations in the instrument were made and, with the addition of new proportional lines, its fields of application were later extended. Proportional lines were added for architectural drawing and proportional lines for perspective drawing. Numerous variations were developed throughout the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, while during the course of the nineteenth, the proportional compass was gradually replaced by the dissemination of highly refined slide rules which survived in the technical studios of engineers, architects and geometers up until the very recent advent of the computer.”
II. The Discourse on Floating Bodies (1612)
This is Galileo’s first work in physics. In this discourse, he unified the previously separate disciplines of statics and dynamics resulted in a new science of mechanics. Galileo used the principle of virtual velocities (from Archimedes) to demonstrate the more important theorems of hydrostatics, deducing from it the equilibrium of fluid in a siphon, and proved against the Aristotelians that the floating of solid bodies in a liquid depends not upon their form, but upon their specific gravities relative to such liquid.
The publication of this work resulted in a debate between Galileo and his academic opponents, Lodovico Delle Colombe and Vincenzo Di Gratia, whose works (and Galileo’s replies) are also printed here.
"Using the concept of moment and the principle of virtual velocities, Galileo extended the scope of the Archimedean work beyond purely hydrostatic considerations...The Book on Bodies in water drew attacks from four Aristotelian professors at Florence and Pisa...Galileo prepared answers to his critics, which he turned over to Castelli for publication in order to avoid personal involvement. Detailed replies to two of them...written principally by Galileo himself appeared anonymously in 1615, with a prefatory note by Castelli implying that he was the author ad that Galileo would have been more severe."(DSB)
III. “On the Science of Mechanics and its Uses” (ca. 1608)
Galileo’s early treatise on mechanics, a precursor to the research that he would present in his “Discorsi”. This popular treatise, widely circulated in manuscript form, is effectively a “bridge between statics and dynamics,” and according to Drake, “far superior to other available works on the subject” (Galileo on Motion and Mechanics, p. 137). “Galileo presents… the analysis of simple machines… in an unusual way. He is justly celebrated in this tract for his use and explication of the principle of virtual velocities” (Clagett in Drake, viii). Incorporating elements from Aristotle, Archimedes, Pappus, Philoponus, Jordanus and others, “Della Scienza Mecanica” offers “a coherent and illuminating exposition of the foundations of mechanics.” Drake explains that while little of the content of “Della Scienza Mecanica” found its way into the “Discorsi” (with the exception of a discussion of the lever, Galileo omitted the time-honored topic of simple machines, choosing to emphasize his newer findings on dynamics), the “Scienza” shows “unmistakable novelty,” and represents an important stepping stone in Galileo’s intellectual development; early investigations into conservation of energy and the principle of inertia can be traced here. “Della Scienza Mecanica” is based on a series of lectures on aspects of statics and of simple machines delivered by Galileo for his pupils at Padua in the 1590s.
I. Galileo's First Discoveries with the Telescope: “Sidereus Nuncius” 1610
"Galileo's 'Starry Messenger' contains some of the most important discoveries in scientific literature. Learning in the summer of 1609 that a device for making distant objects seem close and magnified had been brought to Venice from Holland, Galileo soon constructed a spy-glass of his own which he demonstrated to the notables of the Venetian Republic, thus earning a large increase in his salary as professor of mathematics at Padua. Within a few months he had a good telescope, magnifying to 30 diameters, and was in full flood of astronomical observation.
"Through his telescope Galileo saw the moon as a spherical, solid, mountainous body very like the earth- quite different from the crystalline sphere of conventional philosophy. He saw numberless stars hidden from the naked eye in the constellations and the Milky Way. Above all, he discovered four new 'planets', the satellites of Jupiter that he called (in honor of his patrons at Florence) the Medicean stars. Thus Galileo initiated modern observational astronomy and announced himself as a Copernican.” (Printing and the Mind of Man)
II. The Rotation of the Sun: “Letters on Sunspots” (1613)
In the “Letters on Sunspots”, “Galileo laid the foundation for the scientific study of sunspots and argued convincingly that they were phenomena on the Sun or in its atmosphere.”(van Helden) Galileo also spoke out decisively for the Copernican system for the first time in print. That the sun is the center of the universe—the heliocentric system first espoused by Copernicus—was the most controversial scientific idea of the early modern era and had far-reaching consequences in many domains of human pursuit from theology to physics. Galileo’s observations of the sun and of other planets and the conclusions he drew from them in this and other works were largely responsible for changing the way modern man came to see himself in the cosmos.
The work consists of 3 Italian-language letters sent by Galileo to Marc Welser in reply to Christoph Scheiner’s theory that sunspots were not in the sun but rather swarmed around it. By contrast, Galileo asserted that they were surface phenomena that were in continuous change. He further noted that the spots owed their movement to the rotation of the sun on its axis. The work consists of 3 Italian-language letters sent by Galileo to Marc Welser in reply to Christoph Scheiner’s theory that sunspots were not in the sun but rather swarmed around it. By contrast, Galileo asserted that they were surface phenomena that were in continuous change. He further noted that the spots owed their movement to the rotation of the sun on its axis.
“Galileo’s own graphic recording of the sunspots had been accomplished by the projection of telescopic images on to a sheet of paper ‘four or five palmi’ from the end of the instrument. –a method devised by his pupil Benedetto dei Castelli. A circle was drawn on the paper and the telescopic image was fitted to the circle. This procedure ensured that the plane of the paper would not be inclined in such a way as to give a falsely elliptical image. The resulting images of the spots could be drawn ‘without a hair’s breadth of error in a very elegant manner.’ The really important step was the way in which Galileo analyzed the results he obtained. He noted three visual properties of the spots as they traverse the sun: they become thinner at the periphery of the sun; they appear to travel greater distances near the center of the sun; they seem to move further apart from each other as they near the center, and vice versa. If we look at the cluster of spots marked M on the drawn illustrations of his observations from 23 to 28 June 1612, we can see the three aspects clearly. Galileo set out to explain these ‘in virtù di perspettiva’, as he put it.
“What was happening, he argued, was that the spots were progressing on the surface of the sun in such a way that they became foreshortened to his sight as they moved towards the edge of the sphere. The spots near the edges are seen ‘in scorcio’ (in foreshortening) while those near the center are seen ‘in faccia’ (flat on)…. A diagram makes his perspectival point clear. Since the sun is very distant, the rays may be considered as effectively parallel, and the projection will therefore be orthographic in nature. As a unit of given width (M in the diagram) moves through points P, L, D and B on the circumference of the sun, so the angle it subtends to the eye will become greater and its apparent width less, according to the ratios of the intersections on the plane through M. If, as his opponents claimed, the spots were in orbits clear of the sun, passing through points T, H, Q, G and E, the ratios of diminution would be different and the spots would not diminish to virtually nothing at point A. these arguments combine Galileo’s famed commonsense with the geometry of projection on to curved surfaces. The knowledge of Guidobaldo’s ‘Perspectivae Libri Sex’ could well have predisposed Galileo to this particular mode of analysis.”(Kemp, pp. 94-6)
In this same work, as a kind of appendix, Galileo included diagrams of his calculations predicting the movements of the satellites of Jupiter for March and April, 1613 which were timed to be of use just as the book came off the press. The accuracy of these easily verifiable calculations no doubt lent substantial credence to the argument of the work as a whole. He also found a place in this work for his first published mention of the concept of conservation of angular momentum and an associated inertial concept.
This work is also of interest for another Galilean contribution to the Saturn question. In his third sunspot letter (pages 148 and 149) Galileo announces that Saturn’s “lateral bodies” (which he had previously announced in the “Sidereus Nuncius” of 1610) have disappeared. Ten years after this publication, in the “Saggiatore” of 1623, Galileo will publish an image of Saturn in yet another shape.
III. The Controversy over the Comet of 1618
The appearance of the comet of 1618 sparked off a debate among astronomers as to the behavior of these special bodies in the heavens, i.e., the shape of their orbits and their distance from the earth. The work that touched off the debate (by provoking Galileo’s reply) was written by the Jesuit astronomer Orazio Grassi, who followed Tycho’s views on comets. Galileo’s reply gives his views not only on the special problem of the comet of 1618, but also on the entire field of astronomy, especially the ‘Medicean stars’ (Jupiter’s moons), the use of the telescope, observation of fixed stars not visible to the unaided eye, and the failure of the telescope to magnify the size of the fixed stars, which Galileo ascribes to their immense distance from the earth. The appearance of the comets gave Galileo an opportunity to describe and explain them using the astronomical theories he had been developing for some decades. The challenge to orthodoxy presented here developed into a controversy which culminated in the publication of the “Saggiatore”, Galileo’s most revolutionary book, in 1622.
At least six texts can be directly linked to the comets of 1618: in 1619 the Jesuit Orazio Grassi gave a lecture at the Collegio Romano advocating the Tychonian system, and whether intended or not, this was construed as an attack on Galileo’s Copernicanism. With extensive coaching by his mentor, the Galileo disciple Mario Guiducci quickly published the Discorso delle Comete, a refutation of Grassi. Grassi immediately guessed that Galileo was the engine driving the polemic, and by the end of 1619 he published under the fairly transparent pseudonym Lothario Sarsi a reply to Galileo called Libra astronomica ac philosophica. Guiducci in turn made a provisional reply in a public letter to his teacher at the Collegio Romano, Tarquinio Galluzzi (1620). Another of Galileo’s followers, G.B. Stelluti, also responded to Sarsi’s Libra, publishing his Scandaglio in 1622. By now the challenge to Galileo’s authority and prestige was too much to ignore and he set upon writing Il Saggiatore, though that work would not see the light for nearly four years.
IV. Galileo’s Scientific Manifesto: “Il Saggiatore”(1623):
“Il Saggiatore” is often called Galileo’s ‘scientific manifesto,’ and is certainly one of the most celebrated polemics in the history of physical science. It is the first of Galileo’s works to appear under his name after the Inquisiton’s warning not to propound or defend the Copernican theory. The illustrations in “Il Saggiatore” include some of the earliest published of the rings of Saturn, Mars in inferior and superior conjunction, and the phases of Venus. The work also contains Galileo’s famous statement:
“Philosophy is written in this grand book the universe, which stands continually open to our gaze. But the book cannot be understood unless one first learns to comprehend the language and to read the alphabet in which it is composed. It is written in the language of mathematics, and its characters are triangles, circles and other geometric figures, without which it is humanly impossible to understand a single word of it; without these, one wanders about in a dark labyrinth.”
V. “Mathematical Discourses on the Two New Sciences” (1638)
Galileo’s final work, on tensile strength and motion, marks the first systematic attempt to give a mathematical treatment of kinematics –the science of motion. The work is considered by many to be “his greatest scientific achievement... Mathematicians and physicists of the later seventeenth century, Isaac Newton among them, rightly supposed that Galileo had begun a new era in the science of mechanics. It was upon his foundation that Huygens, Newton and others were able to erect the frame of the science of dynamics, and to extend its range (with the concept of universal gravitation) to the heavenly bodies.” (PMM, 130)
The work is a landmark “not only because it contains the elements of the mathematical treatment of motion, but also because most of the problems that came rather quickly to be seen as problems amenable to physical experiment and mathematical analysis were gathered together in this book with suggestive discussions of their possible solution.” (Stillman Drake)
Riccardi, P. Biblioteca matematica italiana dalla origine della stampa ai primi anni del secolo XIX,; volume 1, column 518, no. 17; Biblioteca galileiana raccolta dal principe Giampaolo Rocco di Torrepadula,; 132; Gamba, B. Serie dei testi di lingua,; no. 482; Osler; 921
v. I. 1. Dedica. Lettera di Maffeo Barberini swquita dalla Advlatio pernicios. Epigrafe. Le operationi del compasso geometrico e militare di Galileo Gallilei. 1656. 12 p. l., 48 p. 2. Annotationi di Mattia Bernaggeri [!] sopra 'l Trattato dell' instrumento delle proportioni del Sig. Galileo Gallilei. 1655. 48. p. 3. Vsvs et fabrica circini cvivsdam proportionis, per quem omnia ... problemate facili negotio resoluuntur, opera et studio Balthasaris Caprae ... explicata. 1655. 4 p.l., 80 p. 4. Difesa di Galileo Galilei ... contro alle calunie & imposture di Baldessar Capra- 1655. p. -160. 5. Discorso ... intorno alle cose, che stanno sù l'acqua, ò che in quella si muouono. Di Galileo Galilei ... 2a edtione. 1655. 68 p. 6. Discorso apologetico di Lodocivo delle Colombe, d'intorno al Discorso del S. Galileo Galilei, circa le cose, che stanno sù l'acqua ... 1655. 58 p. 7. Considerationi di M. Vincentio di Gratia sopra il discorse del Sig. Galileo Galilei intorno alle cose che stanno sù l'acqua ... 1655. p. -127. 8. Risposta alle oppositioni del Sig. Lodovico delle Colombe e del Sig. Vincenzo di Gratia, contro al Trattato del Sig. Galileo Galilei, delle cose che stanno sù l'acqua ... [di Benedetto Castelli]. 1655. 264 p. 9. Della scienza mecanica ... opera del Signor Galileo Galilei ... La bilancetta del Signore Galileo Galilei ... 1655. 43 p.
v. II. 1. Syderevs nvncivs ... a Galileo Galilei ... 1655. 41 p. 2-3. Continvatione del nvntio sidereo ... Lettera di Galileo Galilei attenente all titubation lunare, da esso nuouamente auuertita, scritta a richiesta del Sig. Alfonso Antonini ... Risposta del Sig. Alfonso Antonini. 1655. p. -60. 4. Istoria e dimonstrationi intorno alle macchie solari ... in tre lettere scritte all'illustriss. Sig. Marco Velseri dal Signor Galileo Galilei ... [con tre lettere di Marco Velseri]. Si aggiungono nel fine le Lettere e disquisitioni del finto Apelle [Galileo Galilei]. 1655. 156 p. 5. De tribvs cometis anni M.DC. XVIII. disputatio astronomica ... [P. Horatio Grassi, S. J. auctore] 1655. 12 p. 6. Discorso delle comete di Mario Gvidvcci ... 1655. p. -48. 7. Il saggiatore. 1655. 4 p. l., 179,  p.; 8. Lettera al ... Tarqvinio Gallvzzi ... di Mario Gvidvcci. Nella quale si giustifica dell' imputationi dategli da Lottario Sarsi ... [Cap. L] ex libro inscripto Liteosphoros ... Fortvnii Liceti ... [con] Lettera del Galilei [a] Leopoldo di Toscana. De lvnarivm montivm altitvdine [con tre lettre di]: Gioseffo Biancano al. p. Christoforo Grembergero, Christophorus Griembergerus Galilaeo Galilaeo, Galileo Galilei a Benedett Castelli. 1655. p. -106; 9. Lettera del Galilei al padre Christoforo Grienberger ... in materia delle montuositádella lvna. 1655. p. -126; 10. Discorsi e dimonstrationi matematiche ... del Signor Galileo Galilei. 1655. 4 p. l., 244(i.e. 248)p.
Vol. I: Prelims: π4, †6, π4 (the engraved frontis. is conjugate with the printed t.p.); 1. A-F4 (with added compass plate); 2. A-F4; 3. †4, A-K4; 4. L-V4; 5. +2, A-G4, H6; 6. A-G4, H1; 7. H2-4, I-Q4; 8. +2, A-Z4, Aa-Kk4; 9. A-C4, D6, E4.
Vol. II: π2 (blank and half-title); 1-3. A-H4, G6; 4. A4, A-F4, G6, H-M4, N6, O-T4; 5. A4, B1-2; 6. B3-4, C-F4; 7. †4, A-S4, S4bis, T-V4, X6; 8. G-N4; 9. π4 (-π1 blank), O-P4, Q2; 10. †4, A-Q4, R6, S-Z4 (Z2 signed Z3), Aa-Ff4, Gg6.
Added engraved title-page in volume 1, signed "SDB" by Stefano della Bella, features figure of Galileo kneeling before the three muses Astronomy, Perspective, and Mathematics, who examine Galileo's telescope while he points to the moon shown in all its phases revolving around the sun; in the background are a cannon being fired, and a sailing ship, both references to Galileo's experiments on trajectories and navigation.
Device in volume 1 features a serpent coiled around a lily (heraldic symbol of Florence), with motto "Novus Exorior", a device created for Bernardo Giunta by Vincenzo Borghini; device in volume 2 is the Giunta lily (fleur-de lis); see Scorza, R. A. “Vincenzo Borghini and the Impresa.” Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, vol. 52, 1989, pp. 85–110, available at www.jstor.org/stable/751540.