MIRAMI, Rafael.

Compendiosa introduttione alla prima parte della Specularia, cioè della scienza de gli specchi. Opera nova, nella quale brevemente, e con facil modo si discorreintorno agli specchi e si rende la cagione, di tutte i loro miraculosi effetti… [And:] Tavole della prima parte della specularia…

In Ferrara: Appresso gli heredi di Francesco Rossi, & Paolo Tortorino… 1582

2 parts in 1 volume, 4to, pp. (viii), 70, (2) blank, (4); 23, (1) blank. Separate title-page to the Tavole, woodcut device on both title-pages and last page, woodcut initials. Twentieth century half vellum. Small repair to lower corner of first three leaves, but a clean copy. Bookplate of David L. DiLaura.

SOLE EDITION of the only known publication by Mirami, who identifies himself as a Jewish physician and mathematician from Ferrara. However, the lack of documentation about his life suggests that the name may be a pseudonym. “Rafael Mirami’s Compendiosa is a late Renaissance consideration of the utility and properties of mirrors. It is the product of the transition from the catoptrical optics of antiquity and its attempt to produce images from distant objects, to the development of dioptrical optics in the early 17th century that led to the telescope… Mirami includes elaborate Tavole that give a schema of types of mirrors, their properties, their uses, and the types and place of images they produce” (DiLaura). The work is unusual and interesting for combining a scientific interest in mirrors and optics with poetry; verses from Dante, Petrarch, and Horace, intended to support his arguments, are interspersed in the text, which even ends with his own sonnet. DiLaura, Bibliotheca Opticoria, 37.


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