TRACTATUS DUO: QUORUM PRIOR EST DE PLANTIS, ET DE GENERATIONE ANIMALIUM; POSTERIOR DE HOMINE. Honorati Fabri.

TRACTATUS DUO: QUORUM PRIOR EST DE PLANTIS, ET DE GENERATIONE ANIMALIUM; POSTERIOR DE HOMINE.

Pp. [xii]+440+142+[16](index, last blank), title page vignette, 2 folding optical diagrams at end, decorative head and tailpieces, one large and several small decorative initials, text printed double column, index; small cr. 4to; rebound in modern kangaroo, the spine with five raised bands and gilt lettered red leather title label, the boards decorated in blind; later endpapers, bookplate on upper pastedown, the first two leaves faintly creased, a few light marginal water stains, several small wormholes (margins only, not affecting text), scattered light foxing and occasional soiling; Franciscum Muguet, Paris, 1666. First edition. *The French theologian, philosopher, and scientist Honore Fabri was born in Dauphine (c. 1607) and died in Rome in 1688. He taught philosophy and mathematics for nearly a decade at the Jesuit college at Lyons, before taking up the post of theologian of the court of the papal penitentiary in the Vatican basilica at Rome, a position he held for thirty years. Fabri wrote numerous books on a wide range of subjects, including philosophy, mathematics, physics, astronomy, and zoology. He formulated a theory of tidal phenomena based on the action of the moon, and gave the first reasonable explanation of why the sky is blue, basing his argument on dispersion of light. (Isaac Newton said that he first learned of Grimaldi's teaching of the diffraction of light from the writings of Fabri). He was also the first to give a reason for Galileo's experiment showing that bodies fall equal distances in equal time. His perceived support for Galileo's heretical theory of the movement of the earth around the sun earned him 50 days in prison under Pope Alexander VIII. In astronomy, Fabri discovered the Andromeda nebula, and engaged in a controversial dispute with Christiaan Huygens about the rings of Saturn. The second work in the present volume, De Homine ['Man'], contains some of his work on optics (see pp. 287-321, and the 2 folding diagrams at end), and the circulation of the blood (Explicatur & statuitur sanguinis circuitio, see pp. 204 onwards) - which Fabri claimed to have discovered independently of William Harvey. Fabri attempted to unify all physics along the lines of geometry, and was one of the first to apply the newly invented calculus to the physical world. He was the acknowledged leader of an influential circle of mathematicians (his quadrature of the cycloid inspired the young Gottfried Leibniz), and corresponded with many eminent thinkers of the period, including Leibnitz, Mersenne, and Descartes. As a theologian, he was considered the expert on the errors of Jansenism. The printer of this volume, Francois Muguet, printed several books in Paris during the 1660s and 1670s. Another edition was published a year later, at Nuremberg, printed by Wolfgang & Johann Andreas Endter. Item #096760

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