Tractatus de Horologiis sciatericis

Caprarola (Italy) 1683 8vo (13.0 x 9.5 cm). Contemporary stiff vellum; Soiled; manuscript title, "Tractat/de/Orologis," in black on spine; institutional tag, "Mns/ 17th C" at base of spine; In writing on front cover: "Ms 78/ 741/?." Collation: [2 sketch on verso], 325, [261-blank] pp. + 2 folding tables. There are 12 diagrams numbered I-VIII(3) + 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 Cotignes 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' shape (p.193). Each page of text has a catchword at bottom. Very Good Contemporary stiff vellum (Item ID: 0000649)


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, who taught mathematics at the Collegium Romanum. He was a student of Gregorius de Saint-Vincent and André Tacquet and together with Arnauld he had 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, regarding the eclipses planet Jupiter. Gottignies also published works on natural sciences and especially the scientific logic that seems to be his predilection domain. The Villa Farnese, also known as Palazzo Farnese or Villa Caprarola, is a mansion situated above the town of Caprarola in the province of Viterbo.

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