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De Corporibus Marinis Lapidescentibus quae Defossa Reperiuntur. Addita Dissertatione Fabii Columnae De Glossopetris, Editio Altera Emendator

De Corporibus Marinis Lapidescentibus quae Defossa Reperiuntur. Addita Dissertatione Fabii Columnae De Glossopetris, Editio Altera Emendator

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De Corporibus Marinis Lapidescentibus quae Defossa Reperiuntur. Addita Dissertatione Fabii Columnae De Glossopetris, Editio Altera Emendator

by Scilla, Agostino

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  • Hardcover
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About This Item

Rome: Joannis Zempel, 1759. Revised edition.

1759 COMBINED WORKS OF RENAISSANCE PALEONTOLOGISTS SCILLA AND COLONNA ILLUSTRATED WITH 32 MAGNIFICANT PLATES.

19.5x26 cm hardcover, contemporary 3/4 leather with marbled boards, new leather spine with raised bands and gilt red leather title label; frontispiece showing allegorical struggle between truth and speculation with truth depicted by Mercury bearing an eye of reason on the chest, holding a fossil echinoid and pointing to many more specimens, title page printed in red and black with engraved vignette; 82 text pages, Index, 32 full-page copper plate engravings as follows: Frontis entitled "Vanae Speculationis Sensus Moderator"; I - X; XI, n.I, XI, n.II; XII; XIII; XIIII; XV; XVI; XVII; XVIII; XIX; XX; XXI; XXII; XXV; XXVI; XXVII; XXVIII; XXIII; XXIII, n.II; XXIIII; "Pag. LXXV." Covers worn, scattered light foxing mainly to margins, very good minus.

AGOSTINO SCILLA (1629 – 1700) was an Italian Baroque painter, paleontologist, geologist, numismatist, and a pioneer in the study of fossils and in scientific illustration. The son of a notary in Messina in Sicily, Scilla studied under Antonio Barbalunga in Messina and later Andrea Sacchi in Rome and became a painter. Scilla began to study fossils found in the hills of Sicily, sometimes accompanied by botanist Paolo Boccone. In 1670 Scilla presented his findings in De corporibus marinis, his only scientific publication (offered here), and in it he forcefully argued for the living origins of fossils. He also correctly identified the supposedly magical objects that were called glossopetrae, or "tongue stones", as shark teeth. Fabio Colonna in Dissertatio de glossopetris (1616) (also offered here) had burnt these fossils to show that they were made of lime, organic matter, rather than minerals. The book was rediscovered by William Wotton of the Royal Society in 1696 and an English summary became widely available. Scilla argued that fossils were not lusus naturae, whimsical simulacra of animals and plants created by God or divine Nature. He termed fossils as "jokes of time, not of nature."

FABIO COLONNA (1567-1640) was an Italian naturalist and botanist who graduated from the University of Naples in 1589. In the period between 1606 and 1616, Colonna studied fossils, finding evidence for their organic origins. The publication of his first works on botany, such as De purpura made him a celebrity among naturalists and one of the first members of the Accademia dei Lincei in Naples.

CITED BY STIASSNY in Opulent Oceans 2014: "By the mid-1600s, Scilla had become increasingly interested in natural history, particularly in the abundant fossils he found in the Sicilian hinterland. He was struck by the strong resemblance of the petrified objects he found lying on the ground or embedded in rocks many miles from the sea, to living marine animals le was familiar with. At this time, naturalists throughout Europe were engaged n heated debate about the origin and nature of such fossils. The dominant theory pressed most influentially by the German Jesuit Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680) was that fossils were not the remains of formerly living creatures, but were formed in situ in rocks under the influence of a mysterious 'lapidifying virtue' and therefore were not of organic origin. Scilla disagreed; as a keen observer, he noted the similarities between the fossils he was finding and the seashells. urchins, and corals living in nearby waters. He wouldn't accept Kircher's unobservable lapidifying force and, because the similarities he documented were so striking they were nothing other than the remains of living creatures that had turned to stone."

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Details

Bookseller
Biomed Rare Books US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
1394
Title
De Corporibus Marinis Lapidescentibus quae Defossa Reperiuntur. Addita Dissertatione Fabii Columnae De Glossopetris, Editio Altera Emendator
Author
Scilla, Agostino
Format/Binding
3/4 leather binding
Book Condition
Used
Quantity Available
1
Edition
Revised edition
Binding
Hardcover
Publisher
Joannis Zempel
Place of Publication
Rome
Date Published
1759
Weight
0.00 lbs
Keywords
evolution; fish; fossils; Italy; paleontology; plates

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Biomed Rare Books

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About Biomed Rare Books

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Glossary

Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Marbled boards
...
New
A new book is a book previously not circulated to a buyer. Although a new book is typically free of any faults or defects, "new"...
Gilt
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...
Title Page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the...
Spine
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
Raised Band(s)
Raised bands refer to the ridges that protrude slightly from the spine on leather bound books. The bands are created in the...
Plate
Full page illustration or photograph. Plates are printed separately from the text of the book, and bound in at production. I.e.,...

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