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GALILEI, Galileo (1564-1642). Dialogo. Dove ne i congressi di quattro giornate si discorre sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano. Florence: Giovanni Batista Landini, 1632.
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GALILEI, Galileo (1564-1642). Dialogo. Dove ne i congressi di quattro giornate si discorre sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano. Florence: Giovanni Batista Landini, 1632.

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GALILEI, Galileo (1564-1642). Dialogo. Dove ne i congressi di quattro giornate si discorre sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano. Florence: Giovanni Batista Landini, 1632.

4° (214 x 154mm). Additional etched title by Stefano della Bella, showing Aristotle, Ptolemy and Copernicus disputing, with the errata leaf and the final blank, italic type, woodcut diagrams, initials, head- and tailpieces, with the printed correction slip pasted in margin of F6v. (Final blank torn with some loss but repaired, some mainly light spotting, some browning.) Contemporary vellum, manuscript label on spine (lightly soiled), chemise and morroco-backed slipcase. Provenance: ‘ex libris Petri Pieri’ (inscription on front endpaper) — Franklin Institute Library, Philadelphia, P.A. (library label) — Gustavus Wynne Cook (1867-1940, American banker, businessman and amateur astronomer; bookplate on chemise).

FIRST EDITION OF GALILEO'S CELEBRATED DEFENSE OF THE COPERNICAN VIEW OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM. Galileo's formal use of the dialogue allowed him to explore his Copernican theories fully within the rubric of the 'equal and impartial discussion' required by Pope Urban VIII. The work 'was designed both as an appeal to the great public and as an escape from silence... it is a masterly polemic for the new science. It displays all the great discoveries in the heavens which the ancients had ignored; it inveighs against the sterility, wilfulness, and ignorance of those who defend their systems; it revels in the simplicity of Copernican thought and, above all, it teaches that the movement of the earth makes sense in philosophy, that is, in physics... The Dialogo, more than any other work, made the heliocentric system a commonplace' (PMM). Pope Urban VIII was not so swayed, and immediately convened a special commission to examine the book and make recommendations. In casting the Pope as the simple-minded Aristotelian Simplicius, Galileo brought upon himself arrest, trial by the Inquisition and life imprisonment. The sentence was commuted to permanent house arrest, while the printing of any of his works was forbidden. The Dialogo remained on the index until 1832. Gustavus Wynne Cook had his own observatory and owned a giant telescope that he wanted to use for a survey of the universe. Carli and Favaro, 128; Cinti 89; Dibner Heralds, 8; Grolier/Horblit 18c; Norman 858; PMM 128; Riccardi I, 511; Wellcome 2647a.
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Please note that it appears that the frontispiece may have been supplied from another copy before its ownership by the Franklin Institute in the mid-20th century.

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