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Physics & Optics

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Building Blocks Of Biomechanics

BORELLI, Giovanni Alfonso. De Vi Percussionis, et Motionibus Naturalibus a Gravitate Pendentibus... Leiden, Vander Aa, 1686.

4to., (8) ff., 262, (22) pp. & 6 folded plates; (2) ff., 360, (34) pp. & 14 folded plates. Bound in contemporary mottled calf; some wear at extremities; generally excellent.


First combined edition and their first appearance north of the Alps of Borelli's two major works of mechanics' which provide the essential building blocks for his famous De Motu Animalium, the author's pioneering work in biomechanics. Largely due to the fame of the latter published in 1681, these two earlier and in important ways preparatory volumes received wider attention among European scientists of the period. Certainly the Motionibus Naturalibus, published in Regio Calabria in 1670, did not receive wide distribution and was probably a rare book then. Included here is also the Latin translation of Borelli's letter to Stefano degli Angeli, originally issued separately in Messina, in 1668 entitled Risposta... suo libro della forza della percossa. The Dutch publisher, Vander Aa, has chosen to illustrate Motionibus Naturalibus on 14 plates rather than within the text.

* Riccardi I.160.

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