Venice: Appresso Francesco Baba, 1633. Item #05324
First Edition of Antonio Rocco's Important and Rare Critique of Galileo's Dialogo,
Published within a year of the Dialogo.
ROCCO, Antonio. Esercitationi filosofiche di D. Antonio Rocco filosofo peripatetico. Le quali versano in considerare le Positioni, & Obiettioni, che si contengono nel Dialogo del Signor Galileo Galilei Linceo contro la Dottrina d'Aristotile. Alla santita di N.S. Papa Urbano VIII. Venice: Appresso Francesco Baba, 1633.
Quarto (7 5/8 x 5 1/2 inches; 195 x 140 mm.). 16, 226 pp. Printer's device on title and two large woodcut diagrams (one heliocentric) in text (pp. 201 & 208).Lower blank margins of pp. 92-110 (M3-O3) expertly restored just touching the catchword on p. 101 (N3) and a few words on pp. 105/6 (O).
Small old ink notation at foot of last page.
Later? vellum over boards, spine decoratively ruled and lettered in gilt. An excellent copy of this very rare treatise.
First edition of this important and rare critique of Galileo's Dialogo, published within a year of the Dialogo, and the work to which, as a consequence, much of the Galileo s Discorsi e dimostrazioni mathematiche, intoro a due nuove scienze (1638) was written as a reply. Rocco s Esercitationi prompted Galileo to explain how he detected and corrected the falsehood in Aristotle s law of free fall (Shea) and formulated his own law of falling bodies. Wallace, examining the reasons why the Aristotelians are accorded better treatment in the Two new sciences, as compared to that in the Dialogo, remarks that a factor that is noteworthy was the publication of a book in late 1633 and dedicated to Pope Urban VIII that defended Aristotle s teaching against the attacks made by Galileo in the Dialogo. The author of the work entitled Esercitationi Filosofiche, was Antonio Rocco, and it is to Galileo s credit that he read and annotated Rocco s critique and even wrote out a series of replies to him, some of which later appeared in the Two new sciences. Rocco s text is arranged in eight sections. The first treats of general philosophical questions. The second is devoted to circular motion and velocity. The third is devoted to the composition of the heavens, the nature of matter, its form and substance, and the reality of substantial transmutation. The fourth is on the corruptibility of the heavens, comets, sunspots, novas, Galileo s telescopic observations, etc. The fifth is on the moon and its relation to the earth. The sixth is on movement, and whether the earth moves or not. The seventh argues the immobility of the earth. The eighth is on various related topics, such as tides, etc. This work is especially interesting in the light of Pietro Redondi s recent thesis that the condemnation of Galileo was motivated by his undermining of the tenets of peripatetic philosophy, and thus the philosophical edifice on which the Eucharistic mystery of transubstantiation was based. This was considered so threatening that the Jesuit scholars put on a show trial , with heliocentricity being Galileo s alleged offence, in order to cover up the more serious Eucharistic crisis.
Fulgenzio Micanzio (1570-1654) suggested that Galileo consider Rocco s book while writing his new treatise on motion. About the end of February Galileo sent to Micanzio seventy-five marginal notes on Rocco's book, to which he later added some longer comments on separate sheets. These are of importance as containing material incorporated into the First Day of Two New Sciences later the same year (Drake). Stillman Drake and Wallace discuss at length, and Drake quotes from, these replies to Rocco, known as the postils to Rocco. This work is especially interesting in the light of Pietro Redondi's recent thesis that the condemnation of Galileo was motivated by his undermining of the tenets of peripatetic philosophy, and thus the philosophical edifice on which the Eucharistic mystery of transubstantiation was based. This was considered so threatening that the Jesuit scholars put on a show trial, with heliocentricity being Galileo's alleged offence, in order to cover up the more serious Eucharistic crisis. Redondi describes Rocco as: "the most Peripatetic and least secular of these Aristotelian adversaries of Galileo - a libertine, a declared unbeliever despite his cloth, author of the most famous pornographic novel in seventeenth century Italy".
OCLC locates just six copies in libraries and institutions worldwide: Smithsonian Institution (DC, US); Harvard University (MA, US); Columbia University (NY, US); University of Toronto (ON, Canada); Bibliotheque Nationale de France; Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Roma (Italy).
Antonio Rocco (1586 - 1653) was an Italian priest and philosophy teacher (he graduated under Cesare Cremonini), and a writer. In 1633 he published his critique of Galileo's Dialogo - Esercitationi filosofiche. Ever since 1888 when he was identified as its anonymous author, he is best known for his satirical homosexual text, L'Alcibiade, fanciullo a scola, written in 1630 and published in 1652.
Carli and Favaro 138; Riccardi I 386; See Stillman Drake, Galileo at work pp. 359-67; Pietro Redondi, Galileo: Heretic; William Shea, Galileo s intellectual revolution, pp. 142-183; William Wallace, Galileo and his sources: the heritage of the Collegio Romano in Galileo's science pp. 312-4.