GALILEI, Galileo (1564-1642). Dialogo ... sopre i due massimi sistemi del mondo Tolemaico, e Copernicano. Florence: Giovanni Battista Landini, 1632.

First edition of Galilei's famous defense of Copernican heliocentrism; the direct cause of his trial and imprisonment. In 1624, eight years after being forbidden to promulgate heliocentrism by the previous pope, Galileo was granted permission to write on the subject by the new Pope Urban VIII, his friend and patron for more than a decade—on the condition that Aristotelian and Copernican theories were put forward equally and impartially. To this end, Galileo wrote his work as a dialogue between Salviati, a Copernican, and Simplicio ("Dummy"), an upholder of the geocentric Ptolemaic and Aristotelian orthodoxy. Far from impartial, the work "is a masterly polemic for the new science. It displays all the great discoveries in the heavens which the ancients had ignored" (PMM). For this, Galileo lost the support of Urban VIII and was called to Rome for trial by the Inquisition. His sentence of life imprisonment was immediately commuted to permanent house arrest and the Dialogo was placed on the Index, where it remained until 1832. Carli and Favaro, p. 28; Cinti 89; Dibner, Heralds 8; Grolier/Horblit 18c; Norman 858; PMM 128.

Quarto (205 x 147mm). With the errata leaf. Engraved frontispiece by Stefano della Bella (bound close), woodcut Landini device on title, 31 woodcut text diagrams and illustrations, woodcut ornamental initials, type-ornament head- and tailpieces and factotum initials (small hole to outer edge of frontispiece and first three leaves, fore-margin of first few gatherings lightly frayed, intermittent toning, pale corner dampstain to last gathering and about three others, small marginal hole to X7). Modern morocco, spine gilt-lettered, all edges gilt (light scuffing, tips just showing). Provenance: Roderick Terry, clergyman and collector of Newport, Rhode Island, 1849-1933 (bookplate, his sale, Anderson Galleries, 2-3 May 1934, lot 93) – Hiram J. Halle, inventor and businessman, 1867-1944 (named estate consignment, Parke-Bernet, 16-17 May 1961, lot 135).
Brought to you by

Related Articles

More from
Printed and Manuscript Americana & Science
Place your bid Condition report

A Christie's specialist may contact you to discuss this lot or to notify you if the condition changes prior to the sale.

I confirm that I have read this Important Notice regarding Condition Reports and agree to its terms. View Condition Report