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The Baroulkos and the Mechanics of Heron

£130.00Price

Published by Leo S. Olschki Editore (Florence)​​​​​​​

 

The new critical edition of Heron’s Mechanics, presented here with a full discussion of all its manuscript sources, is the consequence of the unexpected discovery of four Persian manuscripts, which opened an unexplored field for research and offered new perspectives, both philological and scientific, in interpreting this text. Contrary to what has been thought, their analysis has revealed the possibility that some Italian scientists of the Renaissance could have known, totally or partially, this important work by Heron.

 

The three books of Heron’s Mechanics contain the first systematic theory of simple and compound machines in the history of science, and many other remarkable matters about theoretical and practical mechanics, including three interesting unknown theories by Archimedes. This treatise began to circulate among Western researchers through an Arabic manuscript discovered by Camille Carra de Vaux, who published it together with a French translation in 1893. A German critical edition by Ludwig Leo Nix (1900) and an English one by Aage Gerhardt Drachmann (1963) were then published after this edition. The new critical edition, with a full presentation of all the manuscript sources for the work, is the consequence of the unexpected discovery of four Persian manuscripts, all concerning the second book of this important treatise on mechanics, which opened an unexplored field of research and offered new perspectives, both philological and scientific, in interpreting the text. At the same time, analysis of the work has revealed passages very similar to corresponding passages in works by Leonardo da Vinci and Galileo Galilei, advancing the possibility that Italian scientists of the Renaissance may have been familiar with all or at least part of Heron’s Mechanics.

  • Giuseppina Ferriello, Maurizio Gatto, Romano Gatto

    The Baroulkos and the Mechanics of Heron

     

    March 2018 (first published 2016, Italy)
    Published by Leo S. Olschki
    Distributed by Ad Ilissum 
    ISBN: 978 88 222 6427 5

    Paperback, 170 x 240 mm

    434 pages, 182 illustrations

  • About the author

    Giuseppina Ferriello graduated with a degree in Architecture (1980) and in Persian language and literature (1993). She also holds a PhD in Iranian studies and is the author of more than thirty publications, mainly on medieval Persian science.

     

    Maurizio Gatto has a PhD in Classical Philology. At the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin, he was appointed to study several aspects of the commentaries on mechanical questions by the Pseudo-Aristotle. He is the author of various works on the history of the poliorcetics.

     

    Romano Gatto is a historian of Mathematics. Until 2010 he was Professor of the History of Mathematics and Complementary Mathematics with the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Basilicata. He has taken part in various international research projects, above all on the History of Mechanics.

  • About Leo S. Olschki Editore

    Leo S. Olschki Editore (Florence) is one of Italy's oldest and most respected publishers of critical works in the humanities.