SCEVOLINI, Domenico Discorso nel quale con le auttorita’(sic) cosi de’ Gentili, come de’ Catolici si dimostra l’Astrologia Giudiciaria esser verissima e utilissima.

Venice, Giordano Ziletti, 1565


FIRST EDITION. 4to. ff. 30 (numbered 3-29, last blank), Roman and Italic letter, t-p slightly foxed to upper and outer margins, printer’s device, three woodcut initials, first large, a couple of headpieces. Very light age yellowing, one gathering a bit foxed, paper ex-libris of ‘Domenico Cesconi’, bookdealer in Verona in 1838 on outer upper corner of front pastedown, ms bibliographical reference. A good copy, generally clean in C19th marbled paper over boards, ms shelf marks at head of spine.

First and only edition of this rare work on “astrologia giudiciaria” or judicial astrology, discussing the question of the influence of the stars on the fate of man and earthly events. The work is introduced by a preface of the unkown ‘Giulio Fl.’ explaining that a friend of Ziletti, after a discussion in the publisher’s bookshop, gave him this ‘Discourse’, which Scevolini had written before his death. It is also the only published work of the author. In this work “by the authority alike of Gentiles and Catholics it is shown that judicial astrology is most true and most useful, condemning those who abuse it and impose necessity on human actions… Scevolini contends that good astrologers do not subject mind and will to the stars… [though they do the body] [He] is not interested in declaring true the astrology of any particular writer or pratictioner but in defending the art and science of astrology at large. Scotus, Henry of Ghent, Alexander of Hales, Durand, Albertus Magnus and many other schoolmen in their volumes of theology confirm the dominion of the stars and heavens over us. But Scevolini is content to rest his case on the judgment of St. Thomas Aquinas alone. He remarks that Francesco da Ferrara had interpreted the ‘Contra gentiles’ of Aquinas against Pico della Mirandola.” (Thorndike VI pp. 124-125).

Scevolini Domenico, mathematician of XVI century was one of the last and most thoughtful proponents of judicial astrology in Italy before the suppression of the art by the index and the inquisition.

Censimento CNC 41109. BM STC It. p. 617. Riccardi I S 432. Houzeau & Lancaster I 4893. Thorndike VI pp. 124-26. Cantamessa II 4069. Rosenthal 3525.
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