Exotericarum Exercitationum Liber Quintus Decus de Subtilitate ad Hieronymum Cardanum. Julius Caesar SCALIGER.
Exotericarum Exercitationum Liber Quintus Decus de Subtilitate ad Hieronymum Cardanum
Exotericarum Exercitationum Liber Quintus Decus de Subtilitate ad Hieronymum Cardanum
“Unless I discover an antagonist, I can do nothing successfully.”
— J.C. Scaliger
Paris, Michel Vascovan, 1557.

Exotericarum Exercitationum Liber Quintus Decus de Subtilitate ad Hieronymum Cardanum.

Large 4to., (4), 476, (31) ff., including illustrations in text, lacking final blank. Bound in late 17th or early 18th century stiff vellum, title gilt-stamped on spine. Ownership inscription and shelf-mark on title scored, scattered early annotations & underlining; faint waterstain in upper section of gutter throughout; occasional light foxing on scattered leaves. Withal a large and fresh unsophisticated copy. Excellent.

First edition of one of the great intellectual debates of the 16th century, the Elder Scaliger’s wide-ranging critique of Cardano’s de Subtilitate. The work provides a capital example of the amorphous and disputatious nature of Renaissance intellectual life just before the scientific revolution would constrict knowledge to the preserve of an increasing number of specialists and in which the rhetorical element of humanist dialectic would be officially de-emphasized. The work ranges over all of natural philosophy (eg, everything), denying, against Cardano: that comets have astrological significance; that the world is undergoing decay; that the swan sings at death; that gems have occult powers etc.  “The Exotericarum exercitationum won a celebrity that survived its author’s death. Lipsius, Bacon and Leibniz were among its later admirers; and Kepler, who read it as a young man, accepted its Averroist doctrine of attributing the movement of each star to a particular intelligence.”  -- Rose, DSB.

 

 *Adams S-579;  Paul L. Rose, DSB xii.134-36.

Price: $1,850.00

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