Tra Galileo e la Polonia: una stampa latina secentesca della Proposta della longitudine
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Galileo in Poland: a 17th-century Latin Translation of the Proposta della longitudine The relationship between Galileo and Poland is a particularly obscure chapter of the Florentine’s extraordinary intellectual biography. Currently, our knowledge of this important connection remains limited to the 19th-century studies of Artur Wołyński and that of Bronisław Biliński in 1969. In light of this important yet neglected field, this article examines a previously unknown Latin version of the Proposta della longitudine, printed in Cracow in 1642. Currently preserved in a single manuscript copy at the National Library in Florence, this brief tract represents an exemplar of Galileo’s work that circulated handwritten in early modern Italy. Printed in Cracow, the Proposta is the only translation of Galileo’s work in Poland during the seventeenth century, and represents a missing piece in the greater puzzle of the personal and professional relations Galileo established with Polish intellectual circles. This Latin translation is not only a bibliographical rarity; it is a cultural product that unlocks new perspectives from which to analyze the relationship between the non-Italian reception of the vicissitudes of Galileo’s personal and intellectual journey, and that of the scientist himself. As in other European regions, Polish attitudes towards Italian literary products were such as to give them prominence in light of the “function and power of innovation” (Davide Conrieri). The translation of the Proposta della longitudine, printed some thirty years after its original draft, thus provided an opportunity, at least in the conception of its sponsor and translator, to launch a debate of significant public interest.
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