Dialogo. dove ne i congressi di quattro giornate si discorre sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo... [bound with other texts; see below].

Florence: Landini, 1632.

First edition; all of the errata found on the errata leaf have been meticulously corrected in the text by the owner, who in assembling the volume discarded the errata leaf and added the additional texts as detailed below. The frontispiece is an excellent early impression with rich black tones, printed on thick paper as were all the early issues.

This is a remarkable copy, bound as a ‘third’ volume of the Bologna edition of the Opere (1655-56) and uniform in binding with the two volumes of the Opere that accompany it. It contains the texts that could not be published at the time in the Opere: the Dialogo, or Dialogue concerning the two chief World Systems as it is known in English, Galileo’s Lettera to the Grand-duchess of Tuscany, which circulated in manuscript, the text of which was instrumental, along with the Dialogo, in bringing about Galileo’s trial by the Inquisition, and two further related texts that were prohibited in Italy, the most famous being Foscarini’s Lettera ... sopra l’opinione de’ Pittagorici, e del Copernico. Della mobilita de la terra, e stabilita del sole, e del nuovo Pittagorico sistema del mondo, published in Naples in 1615 and immediately condemned by Cardinal Bellarmine and put on the Index. It is present here in its Latin translation of 1641. The contents of the unique third volume closely anticipate that of the illicit printing of the supposed Florentine edition (Naples in fact, 1710) of the Dialogo, which was accompanied by printings of the same texts here present, and in the same order. There are two later related documents loosely inserted in the copy.

Carli and Favaro p 28; Cinti 89; Dibner 8; Horblit 18c; Norman 858; PMM 128

Provenance: contemporary signature ‘Giovanni Fantucci’ (or ‘Fantuzzi’; the two are interchangeable) on title; this is quite possibly Giovanni Fantuzzi (d. 1648), who taught Logic, Medicine and Philosophy at the University of Bologna from 1607. Fantuzzi published a book against the heliocentric theory: Universi Orbis Structura et partium eius motus et quietis Peripateticis principiis constabilita, contra pravam quorundam Astronomorum opinionem (Bononiae, typis Clementi Ferronij, 1637).

Although Galileo’s name occurs only once (in a marginal note, at p 54), Fantuzzi’s main polemical target seems really to have been the Dialogue on Two Chief World Systems. Accordingly, it is quite possible that the copy under discussion was owned by the Philosophy professor Giovanni Fantuzzi

[bound with the following :]

1. GALILEI, Galileo (1564–1642). Manuscript of his ‘Letter to Christina’ 1615, titled ‘Alla Serenissima Madama La Gran’ Duchessa Madre di Toscana Galileo Galilei Fior:no’ [Florence, ca 1630]

4to (214 x 156 mm), ff [44, the first and last two blank; the last two bound after the further excerpts detailed below], a clear cursive scribal hand, dark brown ink on paper; numerous manuscript corrections to text and additional marginalia unique to this text.

A hitherto unknown manuscript version of Galileo’s ‘superb manifesto of the freedom of thought’ (Koestler), presenting Galileo’s most controversial views about Copernicanism and defending the primacy of science from theological interference. This manuscript was probably made in Rome in the period around Galileo’s trial in 1633.

Galileo’s celebrated ‘Letter to Christina’ of Lorraine (1565–1637), Grand Duchess of Tuscany, was originally written in 1615. The work later circulated widely in manuscript, and it was via manuscript copies such as the above that some of Galileo’s most radical ideas about Copernicanism and the relationship between Scripture and science were disseminated. The Letter is a ‘superb manifesto of the freedom of thought ... Its purpose was to silence all theological objections to Copernicus. Its result was the precise opposite: it became the principal cause of the prohibition of Copernicus, and of Galileo’s downfall’ (Koestler). Galileo upholds the primacy of science and argues for its freedom from theological interference. He boldly asserts that scientific truth has priority over theology when it comes to accounting for the natural world. The work concludes with an unequivocal argument for the truth of the Copernican system. The ideas expressed were instrumental in the Inquisition’s prosecution of Galileo and condemnation of Copernicanism. It was finally published outside Italy by Matthias Bernegger, who made an accompanying Latin translation. This publication was condemned by the Holy Office and its distribution in Catholic countries forbidden.

‘In December 1613 theological objections to Copernicanism were raised, in Galileo’s absence, at a court dinner, where Galileo’s part was upheld by Benedetto Castelli. Learning of this, Galileo wrote a long letter to Castelli concerning the inadmissibility of theological interference in purely scientific questions. After the public denunciation [of Galileo] in 1614, Castelli showed this letter to an influential Dominican priest, who made a copy of it and sent it to the Roman Inquisition for investigation. Galileo then promptly sent an authoritative text of the letter to Rome and began its expansion into the Letter to Christina, composed in 1615 and eventually published in 1636. Galileo argued that neither the Bible nor nature could speak falsely and that the investigation of nature was the province of the scientist, while the reconciliation of scientific facts with the language of the Bible was that of the theologian’ (Stillman Drake in DSB). This summer, Galileo’s original letter to Castelli (dated 21 December, 1613) was discovered in the Royal Society in London.

‘The original letter — long thought lost — in which Galileo Galilei first set down his arguments against the church’s doctrine that the Sun orbits the Earth has recently been discovered in The Royal Society in London. Its unearthing and analysis expose critical new details about the saga that led to the astronomer’s condemnation for heresy in 1633.

‘The seven-page letter, written to a friend on 21 December 1613 and signed “G.G.”, provides the strongest evidence yet that, at the start of his battle with the religious authorities, Galileo actively engaged in damage control and tried to spread a toned-down version of his claims.

‘Many copies of the letter were made, and two differing versions exist — one that was sent to the Inquisition in Rome and another with less inflammatory language. But because the original letter was assumed to be lost, it wasn’t clear whether incensed clergymen had doctored the letter to strengthen their case for heresy — something Galileo complained about to friends — or whether Galileo wrote the strong version, then decided to soften his own words.

‘Galileo did the editing, it seems. The newly unearthed letter is dotted with scorings-out and amendments — and handwriting analysis suggests that Galileo wrote it. He shared a copy of this softened version with a friend, claiming it was his original, and urged him to send it to the Vatican.

‘Of the two versions known to survive, one is now held in the Vatican Secret Archives. This version was sent to the Inquisition in Rome on 7 February 1615, by a Dominican friar named Niccolò Lorini. Historians know that Castelli then returned Galileo’s 1613 letter to him, and that on 16 February 1615 Galileo wrote to his friend Piero Dini, a cleric in Rome, suggesting that the version Lorini had sent to the Inquisition might have been doctored. Galileo enclosed with that letter a less inflammatory version of the document, which he said was the correct one, and asked Dini to pass it on to Vatican theologians’ (Nature, ‘Discovery of Galileo’s long-lost letter shows he edited his heretical ideas to fool the Inquisition’, 21 September 2018).

Galileo’s provocative work circulated in manuscript copies, such as the present one, as it was too controversial and dangerous to publish. These copies were quasi-public editions, made to advance Galileo’s cause, and as part of his campaign to influence leading theologians to support the Copernican system.

This work brought to a head the confrontation between Copernicanism and the dogmas of the Church. In 1616 ‘Nicolaus Copernicus’s On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres is, for the first time, placed on the Index of forbidden books by the Catholic church, which forbids, in particular, the teaching of a sun-centered universe. Galileo Galilei is summoned before the Inquisition for teaching the sun-centered theory and for suggesting that it is not the Scriptures but misinterpretations of them which have led to the supposition that the Bible confirms the geocentric theory. Galileo is dismissed with a warning to stop supporting the Copernican viewpoint’ (Parkinson Breakthroughs).

Antonio Favaro, the editor of Galileo’s works for the National Edition (1890–1909), analysed thirty-four manuscripts of the Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina; Besomi’s work has increased the total count of extant seventeenth–century manuscripts to 65, far in excess of the number of copies of the printed text in existence. Favaro proposed putting the manuscripts into three groups:

V, for Volpicelliano A (now Archivio Linceo 1, ff.101r–119v, in the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei in Rome). This manuscript, which belonged to Prince Cesi, is the only one with autograph notes by Galileo. At the time, Favaro thought that no copies had been been made from it; Besomi has now identified two others, one of which is ours.

G, for Biblioteca Nazionale di Firenze, Mss. Galileiani 65 (formerly Div. 2a - Part IV, tome 1). This manuscript, by a ‘good Tuscan copyist’, seemed the most reliable to Favaro, and served as the basis for his edition. Roughly one third of the extant manuscripts are closely related to it.

S, for ‘Stampa’. This is the largest family. These manuscripts are closely related to the text printed in 1636 in Strasbourg in a bilingual Latin–Italian edition edited by Elio Diodati. Recent scholarship has shown that this printed text – (or rather texts, as the Latin and Italian versions differ slightly) – was probably based on manuscripts revised by Galileo himself for publication, rather than, as Favaro thought, on an unreliable early copy. Diodati included (in the published edition) a pseudonymous preface narrating the transmission of the manuscript over the Alps fifteen years previously. It seems that this was a fictional story, intended to protect Galileo from accusations of involvement in the publishing of the pro-Copernican work after his trial and abjuration.

The family S has its own peculiar history: the first printed edition of the work was censored in Italy, but it seems that a number of manuscript copies circulated in Italy closely related to the Strasbourg text. Little work has been done to reconstruct the identities and relationships between these pre- and post-print families, even though this group represents by far the most important edition of the text as it was actually read, in both Italy and the rest of the world.

We can provide a detailed study of the text of the present manuscript, its marginalia, and a watermark analysis relating to place and date (Papal States, first third of the sixteenth century).

Besomi, Ottavio, Lettera a Cristina di Lorena, Editrice Antenore, Roma-Padova, 2012; Favaro, Antonio. Le opere di Galileo Galilei: Edizione Nazionale, vol V, pp 307-348

2. Excerpts from the Lyons 1641 Galilei Systema Cosmicum, comprising further texts that could not be included in the Bologna Opera. It begins with the 1641 frontispiece, on the verso of which is pasted the engraved portrait of Galileo, a version of the one that first appeared in Il Saggiatore (1623) by Francesco Villamena (ca 1566-1624). In the Lyons edition it was engraved by Claude Audran. This is followed by signatures Xx2-Bbb1 (pp 347-377 [1, imprimatur], which consist of Johannes Kepler’s Copernican preface from the Nova astronomica ‘Perioche ex introductione in Martem’ (pp 348-352) and then Paolo Foscarini’s Epistola … circa Pythagoricorum, & Copernici opinionem de mobilitate terrae et stabilitate solis: et de novo systemate seu constitutione mundi … Iuxta editionem Neapoli typis excusam … 1615 (pp 353-377). All of these texts, including the Galileo Lettera manuscript, have been bound between the main text of the Dialogo and its thirty-page index.

[and with the following later documents loosely inserted:]

3. One quarto leaf with manuscript text on verso, ca 1706, concerning lunar rays and Newton’s reflecting telescope, specifically the lack of heat of focused lunar compared to solar rays, sunspot observations of Cassini, etc. Full transcript and translation available.

4. Loosely inserted: four-page bifolium (page dimensions 277 x 200 mm), with text on first two pages in a fine cursive hand, in brown ink, 1737, titled ‘Disumazione’ (Exhumation), concerning the exhumation of the bodies of Galileo and of his disciple Vincenzo Viviani. On the evening of March 12, 1737, the bodies of Galileo and Viviani were moved to a new sepulchre in the church of Santa Croce, in Florence. The operation was described in a Instrumento notarile (a notary’s official report) by the notary Giovanni Camillo Piombanti, and our document is closely related to that one (Archivio di Stato, Florence, Notarile modern, Protocolli 25439. Notaio Giovanni Cammillo di Pasquale di Piero Piombanti, cc. 142v-148v. See the critical edition in the forthcoming fourth volume of the updating to the National Edition of Galileo’s works: Le Opere di Galileo Galilei. Appendice. Volume IV. Documenti, a cura di Michele Camerota e Patrizia Ruffo, Florence 2019, pp 132-141).

This extraordinary document describes the reburial of Galileo and his pupil Viviani in Santa Croce. ‘Galileo died on January 8, 1642, in the unpleasant predicament of a man who had been condemned and then forced to abjure, as “vehemently suspected of heresy.” His will indicated that his remains should be placed beside those of his father Vincenzo and of his ancestors, in the Basilica of Santa Croce, where the family tomb can still be seen.

‘The death of such a remarkable person was not marked by solemn ceremonies or orations attesting either to his virtues as a man or to his sensational discoveries as a scientist and astronomer. On the day after his death, Galileo’s body was removed to the Basilica of Santa Croce without the slightest hint of pomp or ceremony, accompanied by his son Vincenzo, by the Curate of S. Matteo in Arcetri, by Vincenzo Viviani, by Evangelista Torricella, and by a few members of his family. The Grand Duke remained in Pisa, and no other important figures of Florentine life made an appearance’ (Paolo Galluzzi in op cit below).

Galluzzi explains that the furtive nature of his burial was due to the fear that eccesiastical authorities might prohibit the burial of a convicted heretic in the cathedral. In fact, he wasn’t buried in the family tomb but in a concealed chamber under the bell tower. Nonetheless, word trickled up and eventually involved Cardinal Barberini, the Grand Duke and the Pope, Urban VIII. The Grand Duke was informed that ‘it is not good to build mausoleums to the corpse of those who had repented before the Tribunal of the Holy Inquisition.

There matters stood for many years, but Viviani continued his mission to rehabilitate Galileo’s reputation. This involved not only an acceptance of his controversial texts as the works of a pious Christian scientist, but also the erection of a monumental tomb, commissioned by the Medicis, opposite that of Michelangelo. Viviani himself died before his project was realized, but finally, after the construction of the monument, designed by Giulio Foggini, both Galileo and Viviani’s corpses were moved in the ceremony described in our document. The last passage in our document describes the finding (in a casket placed under that containing Galileo’s remains) of the body of a young woman. Professor Galluzzi has convincingly suggested that the body might be of Galileo’s daughter Virginia (Sister Maria Celeste), who died in 1634. For a detailed discussion on the matter, see Paolo Galluzzi, I sepolcri di Galileo. Le spoglie ‘vive’ di un eroe della scienza, in L Berti (ed), Il Pantheon di Santa Croce a Firenze, Firenze, Cassa di Risparmio di Firenze, 1993, pp 145-182. See also Paolo Galluzzi, The sepulchers of Galileo. The “Living” remains of a hero of science, in Peter Machamer (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Galileo, Cambridge-New York, Cambridge University Press, 1998, pp 417-447.

A full transcript and translation of this document is available upon request.

Clearly this assembly was the work of a dedicated Galilean, and their successor or successors.

There are at least three stages of provenance: Giovanni Fantuzzi, original owner of the Dialogo, and possibly of the Lettera, which has some marginalia similar to the corrected errata in the Dialogo. Fantuzzi died in 1648, several years before the Opere was published; whoever acquired his Dialogo and Lettera decided to create a third volume of the Opere, binding the aforementioned two works with the relevant portions of the Lyons Systemata mundi, 1641. He must have decided to discard the superfluous Latin translation of the Dialogo, although keeping the fine frontispiece and the Galileo portrait. An eighteenth-century owner would have been responsible for adding the two manuscript documents that are loosely inserted. The volumes then passed to France, purportedly to the collection of the de Nugents of Chateau Mesnuls, until the bankruptcy of the estate by Richard de Nugent and the dispersal of its contents at the end of the nineteenth century. These volumes were inherited by a branch of the family who emigrated to the United States, and have been in the family until now.



4to (214 x 156 mm), pp [viii] 458 [30 (index), without errata leaf; see below], with engraved frontispiece and numerous woodcut diagrams in the text, the letter 'H' added in manuscript to the diagram on p 192 (as usual), and errata corrected in manuscript throughout (75 in all); frontispiece on thick paper in a fine, dark, early impression, , a very good copy in contemporary Italian vellum, bound and lettered uniformly with the two-volume Opere (Bologna, 1655-56), and lettered in ms on spine: 'Opere del Galileo Tom III', spines partially perished.

Item #5082

Price: $225,000.00