Caprarola: Author, 1683. 1st Edition. Vellum. 8vo (13.0 x 9.5 cm) . Contemporary stiff vellum; Soiled; manuscript title, “Tractatus de orolog,” in black,; institutional tag, “Mns/ 17th C” at base of spine; Labeling on front cover “Ms 78. Collation: 326 pp. Includes 12 diagrams + 2 folding tables. The diagrams relate to problems raised in text. Gloucestershire Country Library label/stamp is present on front pastedown. The Latin text is written in a fine hand. This manuscript is likely the notes taken by Maria Pettus(sic) who attended a course on sun dials offered by Giles Francois de Gottignes at Carprarola in 1683. This point is indicated by writing at bottom of p. 261 that reads: “Haec audiebat et scribebat … Maria Pettus a Caprarola explicare et [?] … Egidio de Gotignies anno 1683. The manuscript is organized in four “Caput” or chapters which have discussion of topic followed by “Problema” or problems and in later chapters there are “Quaesitum” or end, objective which is then followed by a series of problems. The writer has taken some artistic licence in how text is organized on several pages, such as a horn of plenty design (p.186) and “V’ shap (p.193). Each page of text has a catchword at bottom. Very good. Item #0000687
Gilles- Francois [Egidio Francescus; Aegidius F.] de Gottignies” [Gottigniez; Cottignies] was Belgian. He was born in Bruxelles in 1630 and died in Rome in 1689. He was mathematician, who went to Rome to complete his studies and from 1662 to 1689 taught mathematics at the Collegium Romanum. He was a student of Gregorius de Saint-Vincent and André Tacquet and with Arnauld he raised doubts about negative numbers.
He was also actively engaged in the scientific community of Rome with keen interested in astronomy. This was during the post Galilean era where considerable progress in astronomy was possible with the new instruments being made for more precise astronomical observations. In a famous letter of 1665 of Gottignies questions certain observations by John Dominique Cassini, astronomer of Louis XIV, done following the eclipses planet Jupiter. Besides the astronomy of Gottignies publishes works on the natural sciences and especially the scientific logic that seems to be his predilection domain. It draws equally a big number of instruments of scientific measures."
The Villa Farnese, also known as Palazzo Farnese or Villa Caprarola, is a mansion in the town of Caprarola in the province of Viterbo appr. 50 kilometres north-west of Rome. The Villa Farnese is situated directly above the town of Caprarola and dominates its surroundings. Lit.: L. de Wreede, Gilles- François de Gottignies (1630-1689), jezuïet en geleerde, thèse inédite, Leyde, 1999. Mario Catamo; Fiorella Proietti. L'evoluzione della misura oraria e le Meridiane die Civita Castellana.