GALILEI, Galileo (1564-1642) and Marin MERSENNE (1588-1648). Les questions theologiques, physiques, morales, et mathematique. 1634. -Les mechaniques de Galilée. -Les préludes de l'harmonie universelle, ou questions curieuse. Paris: Henry Guenon, 1634.
3 works in two volumes, 8° (161 x 96 mm). Woodcut diagrams in second work, woodcut astronomical diagrams in third work. (Some pale browning.) Contemporary French mottled calf, spine gilt, brown morocco lettering-pieces; cloth folding case. Provenance: Thoreau (signature on titles).
FIRST EDITION OF GALILEO'S MECHANICS, translated by Mersenne, here bound with two of Mersenne's own works, all published by Guenon. Galileo's Mechanics was not published in Italian until Luca Danesi's Ravenna edition of 1649. The Questions théologiques, physiques, morales et mathématiques is sometimes found on its own with a title dated 1634 as here, or with a title dated 1635 serving as general title for the collection. In the Questions Mersenne discusses various points including the feasibility of squaring the circle, accurately measuring longitude, the range of canons, the acceleration of falling bodies, transparency in solids, a new science of sound called psophology, what renders breath visible, etc. The third work, Les préludes de l'harmonie universelle, considers the various qualities of the ideal musician, including his horoscope and temperament, and various aspect of Greek theory, including the effects of music on the passions. Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle (1636-37) is one of the fundamental works in the history of music theory. RARE (Brunet): only three copies have sold at auction in the past 40 years. Brunet III, 1662; Carli and Favaro 141 (Méchaniques); Gregory and Bartlett i, 180; Riccardi I, 518.