Item #4878 Anticopernicus Catholicus, seu De Terrae Statione, et de Solis Motu, contra systema Copernicuanum, Catholicae Assertiones. Giorgio POLACCO.
Anticopernicus Catholicus, seu De Terrae Statione, et de Solis Motu, contra systema Copernicuanum, Catholicae Assertiones.
Anticopernicus Catholicus, seu De Terrae Statione, et de Solis Motu, contra systema Copernicuanum, Catholicae Assertiones.
“IO GALILEO GALILEI HÒ ABIURATO COME DI SOPRA DI MANO PROPRIA”
The First Publication of Galileo's Abjuration in its Original Language
Venice, Guerilio, 1644.

Anticopernicus Catholicus, seu De Terrae Statione, et de Solis Motu, contra systema Copernicuanum, Catholicae Assertiones.

4to [24.5 x 17 cm]. [4] ff. including title page with engraving of solar system, 107 pp. Including two detailed half-page engravings of the lunar surface and sunspots. Some light waterstaining in gutter of a few leaves and occasional light spotting. Bound in contemporary cartonnage with ink manuscript title to spine, a wonderfully fresh and genuine copy completely untrimmed.

First and only edition of the first public appearance of Galileo’s recantation of heliocentrism in its original form in a superlative copy: completely untrimmed and in its original publisher’s boards as issued. Published at perhaps the lowest point of Galileo’s reputation in Italy, Polacco challenges Galileo’s astronomy on both scriptural and physical grounds. To drive home his point, he here reproduces two letters of the cardinals denouncing heliocentrism alongside Galileo’s full abjuration of that doctrine. 

“In the seventeenth century, the Jesuits seem to have taken the lead in marshalling arguments against the earth’s motion in particular and the Copernican system in general. In 1644, Giorgio Polacco of Venice organized 195 assertiones against the earth’s motion in a book entitled The Catholic Anto-Copernican…” (Feingold, p. 128). Polacco offers here a rather delicately-balanced religious perspective on Galileo’s discoveries: Assertio XXIX, for example, affirms that novel stars do appear from time to time, and that the firmament is neither immutable nor perfect; the “stains on the sun” discovered by Galileo, he maintains, have been verified by Christoph Scheiner and are thus known definitively to exist.  At the same time, “Scripture always represents the earth as at rest, and the sun and moon as in motion; or, if these latter bodies are ever represented as at rest, Scripture represents this as the result of a great miracle....”. Thus Galileo’s writings “must be prohibited, because they teach certain principles about the position and motion of the terrestrial globe repugnant to Holy Scripture and to the Catholic interpretation of it, not as hypotheses but as established facts...”

Although the text of Galileo’s abjuration had been reproduced in a letter published in 1634 in a French translation, the present work represents its first full appearance in print in its original language, predating a Latin translation in 1651.

OCLC: Columbia, Cornell, Smithsonian, University of Chicago, Harvard, Oklahoma, Brigham Young and Michigan.

* Cinti 113; Finocchiaro, Defending Copernicus and Galileo: Critical Reasoning in the Two Affairs (2009); Lerner, “La Réception de la Condamnation de Galilée en France au XVIIe Siècle”, in Montesinos & Solis (eds.), Largo Campo di Filosofare (2001), pp 520-1; Feingold (ed.), Jesuit Science and the Republic of Letters (2003).

Price: $24,500.00

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