6 December 2004
STELLUTI, Francesco (1577-1653), editor and translator. Persio tradotto in verso sciolto e dichiarato. Rome: G. Mascardi, 1630.
4o (208 x 147 mm). Engraved title-page, engraved portrait of Persius, full-page engraved plate depicting a bee as seen under a microscope, and 5 smaller engravings. (Engraved title slightly soiled with a few minor stains, some occasional brown stains.) Contemporary limp vellum. Provenance: early ownership signature on lower margin of title (cropped); two early ownership stamps.
FIRST EDITION of Stelluti's translation, and THE FIRST BOOK TO CONTAIN ILLUSTRATIONS OF NATURAL OBJECTS AS SEEN THROUGH THE MICROSCOPE. "The work includes the Latin text of the Satyraae VI of Aulus Persius Flaccus together with an Italian translation and notes by Stelluti" (Garrison-Morton).
Stelluti was a friend of Galileo, and a charter member of the renowned Accademia dei Lyncei, the first important scientific society founded in Europe. Galileo was a fellow-member of the academy, and it was his microscope that Stelluti used for his observations. Stelluti's microscopic illustrations of the honey bee appeared in an extremely rare broadside by Federigo Cesi in 1625 (two copies recorded), but the Persio contains the first such illustrations to appear in a book. Garrison-Morton 259; Nissen ZBI 3988; NLM/Krivatsy 8806; Wellcome I:4917.
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