Sources 11

Science in Court Society

Giovan Battista Benedetti’s Diversarum speculationum mathematicarum et physicarum liber (Turin, 1585)
Introduction and digital reproduction of a standard reference work in Renaissance mechanics

Introduction and digital reproduction of a standard reference work in Renaissance mechanics

Information

ISBN

978-3-945561-16-4

Publication Date

Nov. 25, 2019

Print on Demand

pro-business.com

Price

133 €

Submitted by

Antonio Becchi and Elio Nenci

Copyedited by

Louis Berger, Lindsay Parkhowell, Charlie Zaharoff

Giovanni Battista Benedetti is counted as one of the most brilliant mathematical and philosophical minds of the late Italian Renaissance. However, the theoretical and historical relevance of his work is still obscure in many respects. This is due to several factors, principal among which is the relative rarity of his major work, Diversarum speculationum mathematicarum et physicarum liber (Book including various mathematical and physical speculations), 1585.

This work was a major contribution to Renaissance science, especially due to its insights on mechanics, the mathematical approach to natural investigation, and the connection of celestial and terrestrial dynamics in a post-Copernican perspective. The first edition was an elegant folio, which includes heterogeneous writings not only on mathematics and physics but also on technical and philosophical issues. Benedetti presented these as short treatises or letters addressed to gentlemen, courtiers, scholars, engineers, and practitioners of different arts. The Diversae speculationes appeared in a series of prestigious volumes aimed at celebrating the magnificence of the court and the capital. It aimed to make the quality of the court mathematician’s research and skills publicly appreciable. It also bore witness to the intensity of the cultural debates going on in Turin or connecting it with other centers, especially Venice.

This open access edition makes the Benedetti’s work accessible to a large scholarly readership. In the extensive introduction, his achievement is presented in its rich complexity. Benedetti is emblematic of his time and of the non-linearity of the historical process of Renaissance science with its multicentric institutions and scientific networks. The apparent fragmentary nature of his work hides a fundamental unity of the conception and the method, both of which rest on geometry. Benedetti regarded mechanics as a model, but he enlarged his perspective to include the most varied fields of investigation and concretely to demonstrate the fruitfulness of his approach to universal knowledge, astronomy, physics, meteorology, and even to ethics.

Edition Open Sources (EOS) pioneers a new paradigm in the publishing of historical sources. Academic editions of primary sources in the history of science are published in online, digital, and print formats that present facsimiles, transcriptions, and often translations of original works with an introduction to the author, the text, and the context in which it was written. The sources are historical books, manuscripts, documents, or other archival materials that are otherwise difficult to access. EOS is a cooperation between the University of Oklahoma Libraries, the Department for the History of Science der University of Oklahoma, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

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B

Baldi, Bernardino

Barbaro, Francesco

Barozzi, Francesco

Bellarmine, Robert

Bellay, Joachim Du

Berga, Antonio

Bevilacqua, Niccolò

Bianchini, Giovanni

Boethius

Boileau de Boullion, Gilles

Botero, Giovanni

Brahe, Tycho

Brunelleschi, Filippo

Bruno, Giordano

Bucci, Agostino

Buridan, Jean

Busca, Gabriele

D

Da Vinci, Leonardo

Dante Alighieri

De Miranda, Bartolomé

De Montaigne, Michel

De Ronsard, Pierre

De Rore, Cipriano

Del Monte, Guidobaldo

Della Francesca, Piero

Della Rovere, Girolamo

Della Torre

Democritus

Demoulin de Rochefort, Ludovic

Descartes, René

F

Femello, Giovanni Battista

Fenarolo, Girolamo

Ferrari, Francesco

Ferrari, Lodovico

Ferrario, Angelo

Filateo

Forlani, Paolo

Fracastoro, Girolamo

Francis I

Frisius, Gemma

G

Gagliardi, Achille

Galilei, Galileo

Gassendi, Pierre

Gastaldi, Giacomo

Gaurico, Luca

Gesner, Conrad

Ghisleri, Michele (Pius V)

Gilbert, William

Giraldi Cinzio, Giovanni Battista

Giuntini, Francesco

Giustiniani, Benedetto

Gregory XIII

Guzman, Gabriel

H

Harriot, Thomas

Henry II

Hill, Nicolas

Horologi, Francesco

J

Jean of Valetta

John Dun Scotus

John of Austria

L

Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm

Leowitz, Cyprian (Cyprianus Leovitius)

Lomazzo, Giovanni Paolo

Louis XVI

Lucretius

M

Machiavelli, Niccolò

Maestlin, Michael

Magini, Giovanni Antonio

Manuzio, Paolo (Paulus Manutius)

Marcellus Palingenus Stellatus (Pier Angelo Manzolli)

Margret of Valoys

Mayeto, Jacopo

Mazzoni, Jacopo

Medina, Petrus

Mellano, Pancrazio

Mendoza, Francisco

Mercator, Gerardus (Geert de Kremer)

Milliet Dechales, Claude-François

Moletti, Giuseppe

Montesquieu

Morosini, Domenico (Dominicus Moresinus)

Morosini, Giovanni Francesco

N

Nemorarius, Jordanus

Neubart, Conradus

Newton, Isaac

Nonius, Petrus

Norbert Elias

Novomagius, Johannes (Jan van Bronkhorst)

O

Onto of Pinerolo, Francesco

Oresme, Nicole

Orgiazzo, Giovanni Giacomo

Osiander, Andreas

Ottavio Farnese of Parma

Ottonaio, Francesco

Ovid

P

Paciotto, Francesco

Palladio, Andrea

Panciròli, Guido

Pappus of Alexandria

Parmenides

Patrizi, Francesco

Percy, Henry

Pereira, Benito

Petrus Arches

Petrus Hispanus

Petrus Ramus (Pierre de la Ramée)

Peuerbach, Georg

Philip II of Spain

Piccolomini, Alessandro

Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni

Pigafetta, Filippo

Pingone, Emanuele Filiberto

Pipino of Racconigi, Domenico

Pisani, Domenico

Pitati, Pietro

Pizzamano, Pietro (Petrus Pizzamanus)

Plato

Plotinus

Plutarch

Possevino, Antonio

Proclus

Provana de Leyní, Andrea

Prugnerus, Nicolaus

Ptolemy, Claudius

Pythagoras

R

Raimondo, Annibale

Raisestaim, Paulus Aemilius

Raisestaim, Theodosius

Rebiba, Scipione

Regiomontanus, Johannes

Reimarus Ursus, Nicolaus

Reinhold, Erasmus

Rendio, Teodoro

Rheticus, Georg Joachim

Rosenburg, Anselm

Rothmann, Christoph

S

Sacrobosco, Johannes de

Sallust

Saragoza, Pedro Juan

Sarpi, Paolo

Scaliger, Julius Caesar

Schöner, Johann (Johannes Schonerus)

Sfondrati, Pandolfo

Simi, Niccolò

Simplicius of Cilicia

Soldati, Giacomo

Spinoza, Baruch

Stadius, Johannes

Stifelius, Michael (Michael Stifel)

Stöffler, Johannes

T

Taisner, Jean

Tartaglia, Niccolò

Tasso, Torquato

Telesio, Bernardino

Thomas Aquinas

Tonso, Giovanni

Tonstallus, Cuthebertus

Torrentinus, Laurentius (Laurens Leenaertsz van der Beke)

Trivulzio, Franchino

Trotto, Bernardo

U

Ubaldo, Guido

V

Valleriola, Francesco

Vannozzi, Bonifacio

Venier, Domenico

Vespucci, Amerigo

Vettori, Pietro

Vialardi, Francesco Maria

Victorinus, Gaius Marius

Vimercato, Francesco

Vitelli, Ferrante

Vitozzi, Ascanio

Vitozzi, Vitozzo

W

William IV of Hesse-Kassel

Z

Zoroaster

Zuccari, Federico