[MERSENNE (Marin)]

Lot 58
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[MERSENNE (Marin)]
Theological, physical, moral, and mathematical questions. Where everyone will find contentment, or exercise. Paris, Henry Guenon, 1634. In-8, red morocco, decorated in the Du Seuil style, spine decorated, gilt edges (modern pastiche binding). First edition. The first statement published in France of Galileo's observations on the movement of the Earth around the Sun and the flaws of the geocentric system in relation to the heliocentric system. It is also the first defence of the illustrious scientist, who had been condemned by the Holy Office the previous year. Marin Mersenne (1588-1648), a religious of the Minimes order, was the first commentator on Galileo in France and played a key role in the scientific movement of his time. Nicknamed by some as the "secretary general of learned Europe", he was at the centre of a circle that brought together the most eminent scientists of the time: Descartes, Fermat, Peiresc, Pascal, Huyghens, Gassendi, etc. His Questions deal with a variety of subjects: longitude, squaring the circle, conic sections, metals, light, optics, etc. The exposition of Galileo's discoveries occupies pp. 201-228, accompanied by the French translation of the censure pronounced by the cardinals against him and his works. "[...] it is in his defence of Galileo that he [Mersenne] became best known" (John Lewis, Galileo in France, French Reactions to the Theories and Trial of Galileo, 2006, p. 12). Small worm gallery at the upper corner of the introductory leaves, upper margin of the title redone.
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