Skip to main navigation menu Skip to main content Skip to site footer


Vol. 20 No. 2 (2023)

Assaying Il Saggiatore, with a delicate and precise bibliographical balance

15 June 2023


Il Saggiatore is bibliographically more complex than it might seem at first sight: copies can vary wildly in their parts and materials. The first edition has been repeatedly misdescribed in the book trade, with a fictitious “first issue” claiming chronological and monetary priority. The authors examine both a wide sample of copies and all the available supplementary documentation to establish the most useful way to describe and understand individual copies, and the entire edition, of this book.


  1. Biagioli, Mario. Galileo Courtier. The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.
  2. Biagioli, Mario, Peter Galison. Scientific Authorship: Credit and Intellectual Property in Science. London-New York: Routledge, 2003.
  3. Camerota, Michele. Galileo Galilei e la cultura scientifica nell’età della Controriforma. Rome: Salerno Editrice, 2004.
  4. Davis and Orioli, Catalogue 155, London: Davis and Orioli, 1956.
  5. Drake, Stillman. Galileo at Work. His Scientific Biography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978.
  6. Ferrajola, Gaetano. “Delle rarità o singolarità non avvertite nelle edizioni di libri specialmente di Crusca”. Il Bibliofilo 1, 3. (1880), 38.
  7. Freedberg, David. The Eye of the Lynx. Galileo, His Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003.
  8. Galilei, Galileo. Il Saggiatore. Edited by Besomi, Ottavio and Mario Helbing. Roma-Padova: Antenore, 2005.
  9. Galluzzi, Paolo. The Lynx and the Telescope. The Parallel Worlds of Cesi and Galileo. Trans Peter Mason. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2017. Or. ed. “Libertà di filosofare in Naturalibus”. I mondi paralleli di Cesi e Galileo. Roma: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 2014.
  10. Gabrielli, Giuseppe, ed. Il carteggio lincei. Roma: Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, 1996.
  11. Heilbron, John. Galileo. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.
  12. Redondi, Pietro. Galileo: Heretic. Trans. Raymond Rosenthal. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1987. Or. ed. Galileo Eretico. Torino: Einaudi, 1983.
  13. Tanselle, G. Thomas. “Edition, Impression, Issue, and State”. In Descriptive Bibliography. Charlottesville: Bibliographical Society of the University of Virginia, 2020.
  14. Wilding, Nick. “Forging the Moon”. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 160, 1 (2016), 37-72.
  15. Zeitlin, Jake I. “Some Points of Bibliographical Interest Concerning Certain Works of Galileo Galilei”. In Atti del Symposium internazionale di storia, metodologia, logica e filosofia della scienza. Galileo nella storia e nella filosofia della scienza. Vinci: Gruppo italiano di storia delle scienze, 1967, 191-197.