Rare original 18th century Italian manuscript on astronomy.

Rare original 18th century Italian manuscript on astronomy.

Italy [1790] 8vo (22.0 x 15.8 cm). Contemporary marble boards; paper loss along hinges, ends of spine and edges of boards. Collation: 364 pages of neatly hand written text on half of each page + numerous drawings in pencil and pen in clear half of page and several tables. There are occasional addition of text in the clear area of a page. This is an extensive series of lectures in astronomy with 36 lessons labeled and supplementary information on physics and astronomy at end. Date based on watermak on the leaves of laid paper. There is a pencil note on front paste down that Professor Rossi confirms that the writing is that of Oriani. The manuscript contains lecture notes by Oriani for students or colleagues. Very Good Contemporary marble boards (Item ID: 0000450)


Barnaba Oriani (1752-1832) was an Italian astronomer who studied astronomy under Joseph Louis Lagrange. He was ordained a priest in 1776 and joined the staff at the Brera Observatory of the Jesuit college in Milan as an assistant astronomer. Napoleon appointed him director of this Milan Observatory in 1802. Napoleon also appointed him to participate in measuring the arc of meridian between zeniths of Rimini and Rome. Oriani was honored by being named a corresponding member of the French Academy of Science, Fellow of the Royal Society and member of the Berlin Academy. He was associated with Theatine monk Piazzzi in astronomical studies for over 37 years; used his calculations to prove that Uranus is a planet rather than a comet. He published his tables of Uranus in 1795, some of which appear to be in the present manuscript. Poggendorff provides extensive list of Oriani's dissertation and writings in astronomy. (Poggend. II, 332f.;World Who's Who in Sci. p. 1288; Wolf II, 273f.)

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