De motu animalium

By: BORELLI, Giovanni Alfonso (1608-1679)

Price: $1,000.00

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Naples:: Felicis Mosca. 1734. hardcover. 1. Two parts in one volume. 4to. (215 x 169 mm. [14], 186, [4], 187-494, [2] pp. Title page in red and black with engraved printer's device, second title page similar in black only, 19 folding plates, 3 tables (one full- page), 11 woodcut initials, 7 tailpieces, all edges stained yellow with red speckling; some light foxing, light insect damage to hinge of front flyleaf. Contemporary quarter diced brown calf over marbled boards, black and tan gilt-lettered spine labels; corners showing and quite bumped, shelf wear, scuffed covers. Bookplate of Leonis S. Olschki. Fine. . Early edition. This fascinating series of propositions is an effort to explain human mechanical action in terms of physics, mechanics and comparison to other animals such as horses, birds and fish and is considered Borelli's greatest work. Interestingly, this Neapolitan edition was printed in the birth city of the author. He was a student of Galileo and a teacher of Malpighi, applying his knowledge of mathematics, chemistry and physics to the explanation of physiological phenomena, such as respiration, digestion and the secretion of urine, but especially, as described in De motu animalium, to the motion of animals and the coordinated action of flexor and extensor muscle groups. His work was published posthumously from observations which were assembled over a relatively long period of time. "He was the first to analyse distinctly the operation of the muscular system, and to attempt to assign with mathematical precision the exact mechanical energy exerted by each muscle. Before his time it had never been realized that the bones were levers, and that the muscular tissue was the moving power; the resultant action depending on the angle at which the force was exerted, and on the distance of the point of insertion from the centre of articulation." (Bridges, no. 816, p. 26.) "Borelli is really the first of the iatro-mathematical school, which was based on Harvey's discovery and had for its aim the explanation of vital phenomena by mechanical forces." [Osler, 2087, p. 194]. In proposition CCXXIII (Part 1, p. 184) and on Table 14, Borelli describes an early design for a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. The biomechanical inference of this is made clear by comparison to how fish move in water. The apparatus includes an air reservoir, a viewing port, a mechanical syringe (pump) and webbed fins for the feet. Another figure on this table shows a design for a submarine. "Borelli originated the neurogenic theory of the heart's action and first suggested that the circulation resembled a simple hydraulic system. He was the first to insist that the heartbeat was a simple muscular contraction. One of the founders of biomechanics, Borelli was a representative of the Iatro-Mathematical School, which treated all physiological happenings as rigid consequences of the laws of physics and mechanics." [Garrison and Morton, 762]. Among Borelli's experiments are what are probably the first measurement of masticatory force. References: Garrison and Morton, 762, 3669.3; Wellcome, vol. II, p. 204. See also: Osler, 2087. Dust jacket present.

Title: De motu animalium

Author Name: BORELLI, Giovanni Alfonso (1608-1679)

Categories: Medicine,

Publisher: Naples:, Felicis Mosca: 1734

ISBN Number: x39xxxxxx8162

Binding: hardcover

Book Condition: 1

lbs: 3.00 lbs

Seller ID: M9686