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2020-11-15 09:26:30
CARDANO, Girolamo.
De subtilitate. Libri XXI. Ad illustriss. Principem Ferrandum Gonzagam, Mediolanensis provinciae Praefectum.
Nuremberg: Johann Petreius, 1550. First edition. RENAISSANCE ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF THE SCIENCES. First edition of Cardano's encyclopaedic survey of the sciences. This "was the most advanced presentation of physical knowledge up to its time. It contains many remarkable observations and ideas, including Cardano's distinction between the attractive powers of rubbed amber (electric) and the lodestone (magnetic), his pre- evolutionary belief in creation as progressive development, and the premise that natural law was unified and could be known through observation and experiment" (Norman catalogue). This work, "written in an elliptical and often obscure Latin, contains a little of everything: from cosmology to the construction of machines; from the usefulness of natural sciences to the evil influence of demons; from the laws of mechanics to cryptology. It is a mine of facts, both real and imaginary; of notes on the state of the sciences; of superstition, technology, alchemy, and various branches of the occult. The similarities between the scientific opinions expressed by Cardano ... and those of Leonardo da Vinci, at that time unpublished, have led some historians, particularly Pierre Duhem, to suppose that Cardano had used Leonardo's manuscript notes ... Be that as it may, Cardano must always be credited with having introduced new ideas that inspired new investigations" (DSB). Cardano defines metals as solids that can be melted and, once melted, will harden upon cooling. He distinguishes two sorts of air, "one being destructive of inanimate objects and supportive of animate ones, and … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: SOPHIA RARE BOOKS [Denmark]

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