GALILEI, Galileo. Dialogo... sopre i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano. Florence: Gian Battista Landini, 1632.
4° (221 x 158 mm). Etched frontispiece by Stefano della Bella, italic type, shoulder notes in roman type, printer's woodcut device on title-page, 31 woodcut illustrations and diagrams in text, woodcut initials, type ornament head- and tail-pieces and factotum initials, errata leaf Ff6, manuscript addition of letter H to diagram on M8v (p.192), with the printed correction slip pasted in margin of F6v (p. 92). (Some occasional browning, lacks final blank.) CONTEMPORARY RED MOROCCO, some lower edges untrimmed, gilt-paneled sides with fleurons at the corners, spine in six compartments with five raised bands, gilt and gauffred edges, marbled pastedowns (upper and lower spine compartments with some slight worming, some minor rubbing). Provenance: Raicewich (inkstamp on front flyleaf); sold Sotheby's London, 17 July 1967, lot 148.
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, willfulness, 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.
VERY SCARCE IN MOROCCO: according to American Book Prices Current, no copy has appeared at auction in contemporary morocco since this copy in 1967. Carli and Favaro, 128; Cinti 89; Dibner Heralds of Science 8; Grolier/Horblit 18c; Norman 858; PMM 128; Riccardi I:511; Wellcome 2647a.