Rome: Antonii de Rubeis apud Pantheon in via Seminarii Romani, 1754.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Very Good. Item #003041
[BENVENUTI, Carlo]. I. De lumine dissertatio physica quam in seminario Romano ad disputandum proposuit d. Joseph Joachimus a Vereterra, et Agurto e marchionibus Castagnagae ejusdem seminarii convictor, atque academicus redivivus. Rome: Antonii de Rubeis apud Pantheon in via Seminarii Romani, 1754. , XCI  pp. Signatures: [pi]1 A-L4 M2. Woodcut device to title-page, 2 folding engraved plates, errata on final leaf. [Bound with:] II. [BENVENUTI, Carlo]. Synopsis physicae generalis quam in Seminario Romano ad disserendum proposuit d. Joseph Joachimus a Vereterra, et Agurto e Marchionibus Castagnagae ejusdem seminarii convictor, atque academicus redivivus. Rome: Antonii de Rubeis apud Pantheon in via Seminarii Romani, 1754. , LXXXI,  pp. Signatures: [pi]1 A-I4 K5. Woodcut device to title-page, 1 folding engraved plate, errata on final leaf. [Bound with:] III. CANALI, Gioachino. De meteoris a naturali electricismo pendentibus dissertatio physica. Rome: Antonii de Rubeis in via Seminarii Romani, 1755. , 12-32,  pp. Signatures: B-D4 (-A4). Half title only [lacking gathering a with the title and content list], one folding engraved plate. [Bound with:] IV. LEONORI, Luigi. De naturali electricismo ejusque ad auroram borealem applicatione dissertatio physica. , 11-30,  pp. Half title only [lacking gathering a with the title and content list], 1 folding engraved plate. [Bound with:] V. [BOSCOVICH, Roger Joseph]. De lentibus et telescopiis dioptricis dissertatio quam auspice s. Aloysio Gonzaga patrono suo beneficentissimo publice habuit in Seminario Romano marchio Aloysius Leonori Seminarii Romani convictor atque academicus redivivus. Rome: Antonii de Rubeis in via Seminarii Romani, 1755.  3-58  pp. Signatures: A-G4 H2. Errata leaf at end, one folding engraved plate. 5 works in one volume. 4to (253 x 185 mm). Bound in contemporary full vellum, ink lettering to spine (soiling and spotting of vellum, wear to spine ends and upper corners), red-sprinkled edges. Text quite crisp and clean with only very minor age-toning. Provenance: Giancarlo Beltrame Library. A fine copy. ----
An important Sammelband of theses, all in FIRST EDITION, by Roger Boscovich and Carlo Benvenuti. These type of publications where printed in just a few copies and were not intended for the normal book market. "Although they are often catalogued under students' names, their real authors were the teachers, so they inform us of the ideas of persons who often published nothing on the subject concerned, and whose manuscript lecture notes, when they have been preserved, often deal with it in a brief or vague fashion. The theses were also a favourite channel for new or even unorthodox ideas. Accordingly they can reveal tensions within the Society that were usually removed from the eyes of the world, as well as tensions with other orders, which usually appeared only in the course of theological debate. Discussions of Boscovich's theory are not found primarily in theses on mathematics, the discipline he taught, but in those on philosophy, a discipline on which, according to conventions rooted in medieval gnosiology and epistemology, he lacked formal authority to speak ... Only a few analyses of Boscovich's ideas were published separately (mostly by enthusiastic supporters), a majority being inserted in various sections of general works. The fact that a new theory was placed in the pigeonholes provided by an old pedagogical structure meant that some discussed it in sections on continuous entities, others in sections on the structure of matter, and still others in places concerning forces acting in nature or the existence of repulsive phenomena. In each case, some aspects of the theory were given more attention than others, and its inner structure was often represented inadequately." (J. B. Staudt, The Jesuits II: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, 1540-1773, Univ. of Toronto Press, 2006, p.409).
I. Carlo Benvenuti was a learned Jesuit, physician, and mathematician. He entered into the society of Jesuits at the age of sixteen, but did not take the four vows till eighteen years afterwards. He became professor of philosophy at Fermo, and next succeeded Boscovich in the mathematical chair of the Roman college. "His first scientific work was an ltalian translation of Clairaut's Geometry, Rome, 1751; and he afterwards published two works, which gained him much reputation: I. Synopsis Physicae generalis, 1754, a thesis maintained by one of his disciples, the marquis de Castagnaga, on Benvenuti's principles, which were those of sir Isaac Newton and 2. De Lumine dissertatio physica, another thesis maintained by the marquis, 1754. By both these he contributed to establish the Newtonian system in room of those fallacious principles which had so long obtained in that college; but it must not be concealed that a considerable part of this second work on light, belongs to father Boscovich, as Benvenuti was taken ill before he had completed it, and after it was sent to press. After the expulsion of the Jesuits, there appeared at Rome an attack upon them, entitled Riflessioni sur Gesuitismo, 1772, to which Benvenuti replied in a pamphlet, entitled Irrefiessioni sur Gesuitismo; but this answer gave so much offence, that he was obliged to leave Rome and retire into Poland, where he was kindly received by the king, and became a favourite at his court. he died at Warsaw, in September, 1789." (Chalmers, A new and general biographical dictionary, vol. 5, 1812, p.1-2).
II. A rare and important work, being the first exposition of Boscovich's theory of forces, presented by his pupil Carlo Benvenuti. "In Benvenuti's Synopsis a certain passage was guaranteed by Boscovich himself, the one in which he first formulates and solves the problem of the equilibrium of four points... The attacks of the religious superiors on Benvenuti's Synopsis, causing the removal of Benvenuti from the chair of metaphysics at the Roman College, was in reality a veiled attack on Boscovich's natural philosophy" (see I. Martinovic, Early reception of Boskovic's natural philosophy: the 'Benvenuti case', Synthesis Philosophica 8, 1993, 307-333).
III. and IV. These two theses basically are a representation of Beccaria's ideas on Benjamin Franklin's discoveries on natural electricity and the aurora borealis.
V. The fifth work, De lentibus et telescopiis dioptricis, is an important dissertation by Roger Boscovich on dioptric lenses and telescopes together with information on the properties of light, Newton's theories, and the mathematical formulae for optical instruments. Our copy is of the rare first issue with the title page not mentioning Boscovich's name but that of Luigi Leonori, a student of Boscovich (a later issue has the title-page reset, see Backer-Sommervogel I, col. 784-5). Boscovich decided to publish this thesis under his student’s name. On p. ix it is said that "matter is made up of indivisibles, that bodies do not tuch, and that both an attractive and a repulsive force exist" (J. B. Staudt, The Jesuits II: Cultures, Sciences, and the Arts, 2006, p.435). "In De lentibus Boscovich reveals himself to be a skilled experimenter, establishing guidelines for achieving the optimal refraction of lenses when viewing celestial bodies" (Roberts & Trent, p. 45). Boscovich recognized that the development of better achromatic refractive telescopes required better and more detailed information about the optical properties of glass. References to Newton are found throughout this work. Riccardi I, 178:45.
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