Friday, February 25, 2011

"Opere" del Galileo

In 1655, 13 years after the death of Galileo Galilei, the first edition of his complete works was issued, Opere di Galileo Galilei (Bologna: H.H. del Dozza, 1655). But there was one very big problem. Galileo's Dialogo, where he so persuasively defended the heliocentric view of the solar system, was still on the index of forbidden books. In order for the Opere to have wide distribution, it could not be included.

While the publisher did not want to push too hard, he did cleverly work the heliocentric view into the work. The frontispiece to the book depicts Galileo in animated conversation with the muses. He gestures to the sky, where you can just make out the planets orbiting the sun. It was a gesture to an unavoidable omission.

Our "Opere" is completed by our first edition of the Dialogo di Galileo Galilei (Fiorenza: Per Gio: Batista Landini, 1632). Come see them both by asking for Rare QB3 G14 1655 and Val 520 G133d.

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