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De Solido intra Solidum naturaliter contento - Steno, Nicolaus - 1669. 
sub Signo Stellae, 1669. 4Â° (225x169 mm).  (one blank and one with title printed on recto in red and black with engraved vignette), 78 pp.,  (errata and one blank leaf). One folding plate with engraved diagram and explanatory letterpress. Woodcut head- and tailpieces, decorative initials. Contemporary vellum. A tall copy with a stain at the corner of title. First edition of this ?great work [..] which outlines the principles of modern geology? (DSB), by the Danish anatomist Niels Stensen, at the time court physician at Florence and dedicated to the Duke of Tuscany. In this work, a landmark of the geology and based on data collected in the Arno Valley, Steno sought to describe the anatomy of the earth and to explain the entire system of nature stratum super stratum. Steno?s contributions to plate tectonic theory and to stratigraphy is based on his theory that layers or strata of the earth, which are not horizontal, must have been tilted or folded by a force, such as an earthquake, after they formed. His principle of superposition also applied to other geologic events on the surface, such as lava flows and ash layers from volcanic eruptions. ?Steno is traditionally credited with establishing one of the major principles of stratigraphy: the principle of superposition. This is simply the idea that for the layers of sediments found in the earth?s crust the lower one were deposited first and are older that the ones that lie above them. This is a simple idea (or may appear to us to be so), and we cannot be sure that Steno was the first to hold or propound it. But the Prodromus it the oldest text known to state the principle [?] The principle of superposition is of the upmost importance in geology, for it provides a means of linking what one sees in the field with a discoverable time sequence. Hence, in principle, we have the necessary theoretical tool for writing the history of the globe? (D.R. Oldroyd, Thinking about Earth, p. 66).
[Bookseller: Libreria Antiquaria Pregliasco]
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