Applying the laws of physics and mechanics to the animal body
De motu animalium. Opus posthumum.
Rome: Ex Typographia Angeli Bernabò, 1680.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Near Fine. Item #001738
De motu animalium. Opus posthumum. 2 volumes. Romae, Ex Typographia Angeli Bernabò, 1680-81. 4to (22.2x15.4cm). Vol. I, 1680: (xii), 376, (12) pp., 14 folding plates; Vol. II, 1681: (iv), 520 pp., 4 folding plates. Woodcut device on titles. The 4 plates in vol. 2 reinforced at outer edge, some foxing and light browning, later vellum with gilt spines. Text block of vol. 1 about 5 mm larger than vol. 2. ----
Horblit 13; Garrison-Morton 762; Dibner 190; Norman 270; Parkinson, Breakthroughs, 1680; Lefanu, Notable medical books, pp. 90-91; Roberts & Trent, Bibliotheca mechanica, pp. 42-43; Fulton, History of physiology, pp. 220-222. - First edition. The foundation work on animal motion. Published in the year of his death, Borelli's treatise presented the application of mechanics to the motion of the limbs of animals based largely on Galileo's mechanics. He began with the center of motion, the muscle, and then applied its forces to the linkage of bones with the same exactness as forces applied to levers. This analysis evolved into a system describing an animal's entire mobility covering the motions of walking, running, jumping, weight-lifting, bird flight, fish motion and insect creeping. He held that nerve stimulation was related to the contraction and swelling of a muscle and that some chemical process was associated with it. He also believed that heartbeat was a simple muscular contraction and that the circulatory system was hydraulic in principle (Dibner, Heralds of Science).
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