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Lucattinis, Domenico de. Liber de elementis

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10178

Scope and Contents

Autograph manuscript on paper in Latin and Italian, small quarto, ff. [4 index], 14-237 (foliation skips from 89 to 100 without loss of text), including a few blanks; written in brown ink in a single hand, illustrated with 24 ink drawings, 8 inserted on slips. Illustrated compilation of notes on natural philosophy, cosmology, geography, and magnetism, composed by an Italian student (possibly Tuscany) apparently from lectures attended in 1670. The first part begins with the four elements, their qualities, mixture, weight and motion, then discusses the earth (including its size) and the oceans, and ends with an analysis of the different world systems proposed by Pythagoras, Ptolemy, the Egyptians, Tycho Brahe, and Copernicus. Aristotle, Galen, Ptolemy, Democritus, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and Giovanni Riccioli are referenced. Also mentioned are Juan Sebastian Elcano's circumnavigation of the earth; the Spanish contemplating a canal across the the Isthmus of Panama; and Galileo's recantation in his later years of his theory of the earth moving around the sun.

The second part is a 'brevis tractatus' on meteors, comets, thunder and lightning, light and colour, rainbows, winds, earthquakes, and precipitation, with references to Aristotle, Pliny and Seneca. Following is a 'brevis introductio' to geography, covering the parts of the globe, the zodiac, the zones and regions of the earth, longitude and latitude, winds, Europe, and, specifically, Italy. A section devoted to magnetism is incomplete, explaining that the instructor, 'P. Adam Adamando matematics magister' is absent. The manuscript ends with practical notes on addition, multiplication, division, monetary conversions, and accounting, giving examples involving grain, land and silk.

Illustrations include diagrams of various world systems, one covering the elements and their qualities, another showing winds, and others relating to magnetic bodies, including a compass.


  • Creation: 1670


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1 volume(s) (1 volume)

Language of Materials



Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Contemporary limp vellum, edges sprinkled red; partly detached from text block, vellum partly split at lower joint, chips at foot of spine and a few stains.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Bernard Quaritch Ltd., 9 May 2017

Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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