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CAVALIERI, Bonaventura / DAVISI, Urbano, ed.. Sfera Astronomica del Padre Bonaventura Cavalieri Lettore Primario delle Matematiche nello Studio di Bologna Con l'uso della Figura, e prattiche di Essa... Rome, Molo, 1690.

12mo., (24) pp., (1) f. engraved portrait, 231 [recte 331] pp., (6) ff.Bound in contemporary vellum over boards, stain on front cover. Some worming in blank margin of half-title; some toning and minor staining, otherwise a fresh copy in its original binding.


Rare first edition, second issue (?) of this work on planetary astronomy and selected physics problems by the great Bolognese mathematician Bonaventura Cavalieri, as edited by his disciple Urbano Davisi. The work first appeared in 1682 under a slightly different title, though as the collation of the body of the texts are identical, it may be fairer to call the present edition a second issue. Further, some of the exegetical material published in both editions appeared in Davisi's edition of Galileo's Trattato della sfera of 1656.

Historians from Favaro on have debated the relative contributions of Davisi and Cavalieri to the work. According to Meschini in DBI, the work is principally by Cavalieri, and Davisi should probably be considered an involved editor. The work is in two parts: the first treats theoretical, the second practical astronomy. A life of Cavlieri, the first of its kind and the principal document for the mathematician's biography, was definitely added by Davisi. The work is an Italian translation of a Latin treatise by Cavalieri, Sphaera seu doctrinae spericae tractatus...authore F. Bonaventura Cavalerio (1642 Bologna Lat. Ms. 1858), with additions and modifications by Davisi. (Comparison of the translation with the Latin manuscript indicates the relative contributions of Cavalieri and Davisi.) The title is of interest for showing how the single greatest mathematician during the second half of Galileo's lifetime responded to the Copernican dilemma: the evidence is mixed. In one passage (ch xxviii, p. 112) he offers a Tyconian refutation of the Copernican hypothesis; elsewhere (p. 12) he seems more sympathetic to heliocentrism and avoids the question of the mobility of the earth.

OCLC records CIT, Boston Public, Dibner, Linda Hall, Texas, Michigan and Cornell.
The 1682 is held only by Cornell.

* Cinti 162 (not recording portrait); Riccardi I.330 122.

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