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De Rerum Varietate Libri XVII.

  • Author:
    Cardano, Girolamo
  • Publisher:
    Barthelemy Honorat, Lyon, 1580
  • Catalog ID:
  • Our ref:

Post alias omnes editiones, nunc recogniti, castigati, infinitesque mendis repurgati. First published in 1557, this is Cardano's second great encyclopaedia of natural science, the first being De Subtilitate (1550). 8vo. [16], 883, [48]pp. Woocut printer's device on title page. Folding plate bound between p568 and p569. Folding table bound between p582 and p583. Various woodcut illustrations to text including a full-page palmistry illustration to p722. Final blank of preliminary leaves present. Some page mis-numbering (120 as 220, 187 as 185, 292 as 262, 293 as 263, 326 as 226, 327 as 227, 329 as 326, 333 as 339, 353 as 347, 363 as 364, 369 as 377, 446 as 445, 536 as 563, 537 as 505, 555 as 633, 556 as 656, 563 as 532 and 762 as 862). Also some mis-binding (p819/820, 823/4, 821/822, 827/828, 825/826, 829/830 then 849/850, 853/854, 855/856, 851/852, 857/858, 859/860, 863/8640. Several old ink markings to text with some (editorial?) deletions, each of these mostly of one or two sentences but including diagonal strikethrough for whole of pages 85 & 87 (text remains legible). Like the earlier de Subtilitate, this is a huge display of polymathic learning. "The two works, written in elliptical and often obscure Latin, contain a little of everything: from cosmology to the construction of machines; from the usefulness of natural sciences to the evil influences of demons; from the laws of mechanics to cryptology." (Dictionary of Scientific Biography). The cryptology element is a description of what is now known as the Cardan Grille, which consisted of a sheet of stiff material constructed with excisions for masking a written text and, though a little rudimentary, was used by some countries for diplomatic correspondence in the 16th and 17th centuries.
  • Our price: £1,350.00

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