Matematiche Discipline per uso della illustrissima Accademia Delia di Padova: dove in sei trattati brevemente si ristringono Aritmetica, Geometria, Trigonometria pratiche, Fortificazione, Sfera e Geografia
Bonvicino, Valeriano.

In Padova: Per gli Eredi di Paolo Frambotto, 1665. First edition of this comprehensive introduction to the principale branches of mathematics, designed for the use of students at the Accademia Delia in Padua. With three folding plates and three folding tables, plus numerous illustrations and tables in the text. Minor wear, some browning and staining in the first few gatherings, ownership signature and notation on title-page partially blotted out at an early date. A very good copy. Nineteenth-century half vellum over marbled boards, title in ink on spine. Quarto. [12], 201, [2, errata], (Item ID: 16001)


The Accademia Delia was founded in 1609, in order to provide a mathematical grounding to young noblemen who were training for a military career. Its founder, Pietro Duodo, was a friend of Galileo and when the position of lecturer in mathematics was advertised in 1610, Galileo drew up the curriculum, which was to include basic arithmetic, geometry and stereometry, mechanics (including the use of machines and instruments), artillery, the use of the compass and measuring instruments, perspective, military architecture and fortification and the defence and attack of fortresses. By the time Bonvicino (d. 1667) came to write the present course a half century later, the curriculum had changed in some ways, but remained broadly similar. Here we see six treatises on arithmetic, practical geometry, trigonometry, fortification, the use of artillery spheres, and geography. In the last of these, we find the principal cities and rivers of most European countries and of the known parts of the new world. All that is known, we are told, of California is that it is an island. Little is known of Bonvicino (d. 1667), aside from that he taught not only military mathematics at the Delia, but philosophy at the University of Padua. His other publications include Lax peripatetica (Padua: 1667). The present work saw another edition in 1666.

Cf. M. Valleriani, Galileo Engineer (Dordrecht: Springer, 2010), pp. 75 ff. Riccardi I, 156 for the 1666 edition, mentioning the present one. OCLC records North American copies at Michigan, Linda Hall, and BYU only.

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