Antonio Magliabechi wrote Letter L-322 with more news of recently published books in Italian and Latin by Italians; sent gift book to Leeuwenhoek

June 1, 1697

No manuscript is known.

In this extract from his letter, Magliabechi reports on several recent books that he thought might be of interest to Leeuwenhoek, written in Italian and Latin by Italians Nicolás Antonio, Joseph Sáenz de Aguirre, Dominico Guglielmini, Niccolò Comneno Papadopoli, Nicola Partenio Giannettasio, Tommaso Santagostini, and Ludovico Antonio Muratori, ending by noting the death of the numismatist Count Francesco Mezzabarba-Birago. In a part of this letter not in Boekzaal, Magliabechi writes that he is sending, as a gift to Leeuwenhoek, a copy of a recently published book.

The text as printed here is the book news that editor Pieter Rabus extracted from Magliabechi’s letter and translated into Dutch for De Boekzaal van Europe. This letter is the seventh of the eleven letters with book news published in ten Boekzaal articles from March 1693 to October 1699.

According to note 2 to Letter L-330, the book that Magliabechi sent is Saggi di naturali esperienze fatte nell’Academia del Cimento (Essays on natural experiments done at the Academia del Cimento) by Lorenzo Magalotti, on the second edition of which was published in Florence in 1691.

See also Leeuwenhoek’s Letter L-324 of June or July 1697 to Luca Giamberti, Collected Letters, vol. 12, and Giamberti’s reply, Letter L-325 of 19 July 1697, in this volume.


Leeuwenhoek refers to this letter and the following letter from Magliabechi of August 1697 in Letter L-330 of 2 November 1697 to Magliabechi

I inform you, illustrious sir, that I have duly received your two letters addressed to me and that I learned from one of them that you have been pleased to make me happy (quite underservedly) with a book of such importance that scarcely 25 such books are found in the world, and moreover very handsomely bound; and that you entrusted that book to the very noble Mr. Luca Giambertius, who, as you thought, had already reached Düsseldorf at that time.

“Italiaansch Boeknieuws”, De Boekzaal van Europe, July and August 1697, pp. 183-86. It is copied and pasted from Collected Letters, vol. 12, the "in this volume" in the footnotes.

Italian Book News, extracted from the letter of Mr Antonio Magliabechi[1], written from Florence on the first of the Summer Month[2] 1697, to Mr Antoni van Leeuwenhoek.


Bibliotheca Hispana vetus, sive Hispanorum, qui usquam unquamve scripto aliquid consignaverunt, notitia. Complectens scriptores omnes, qui ab Ottaviani Augusti imperio usque ad annum MD. floruerunt, Auctore D. Nicolao Antonio Hispalensi J. C. Ordinis, S. Jacobi Equite, Patria Ecclesiae Canonico, regiorum negotiorum in urbe & Romana Curia Procuratore Generali, demum Madriti Consiliario regio. Opus postumum. Nunc primum prodit jussu & expensis eminentissimi & reverendissimi Domini D. Josephi Saens Cardinalis de Aguirre.

That is:

The old Spanish library, or knowledge of the Spaniards who wrote something somewhere or at some time. Including all the writers who have flourished since the reign of Octavian Augustus until the year 1500, by D. Nikolaas Antonio[3], from Seville, of the order of J. C., knight of the Order of Santiago, canon of the Church in his homeland, general attorney for royal affairs in the city and the Roman Curia, and finally royal councilor in Madrid. The work is posthumous. Now for the first time it is published at the behest and expense of the most eminent and most reverend Cardinal Jozef Saens[4] of Aguirre. At Rome from the print shop of Antoni de Rubeis 1696, in folio. 2 pieces.


Della natura di Fiumi trattato Fisico Matematico del Dottore Domenico Guglielmini, primo Matematico dello studio di Bologna, e dell’ Accademia Regia delle scienze &c.

That is:

A physics-mathematical treatise on the nature of rivers, by Dr. Dominico Guglielmini[5], primary mathematician of the university in Bologna, and of the Royal Academy of Sciences. In Bologna by Antonio Pisarri 1697, in 4.


Praenotiones mystagogicae ex jure Canonico, sive responsa sex, in quibus una proponitur commune Ecclesiae utriusque Graecae & Latinae suffragium de iis, quae omnino praemittenda sunt Ordinibus sacris: atque obiter & Graecia adversus calumniatores defenditur, & praecipuae Photianorum ineptie refelluntur. Auctore Nicolao Commeno Papadopoli, Cretensi, Abbate S. Zenobii. S. Theolog. Philos. ac J.U.D. & in Academia Patavina Canonum sacrorum interprete.

That is,

Ecclesiastical foreknowledge from the spiritual law, or six declarations, representing the common consent of the Greek and Latin Churches on account of those things that must precede in the sacred ordinances. Between the two, Greece is defended against her slanderers, and the chief trifles of the Photians[6] are refuted, by Niccolò Comneno Papadopoli[7], from Crete, abbot of Saint Zenobius, doctor of sacred theology, philosophy, and of both the laws, also an interpreter of the sacred rules at the University of Padua. In Padua at the expense of the University 1697 in 4.


Nicolai Parthenii Gianettasii S. J. AEstates surrentinae.

That is,

Nicola Partenio Giannettasio[8], from the Society of Jesus, Sorrento Summers. In Naples by Jakob Raillard 1696 in 8.


L’Era volgare Dionisiana di Cristo, posta alla capella della Verita dal Dottore Tommaso Santagostini, Patrizzio Milanese. In cui si prova gli anni, mesi, e giorni, della Nascita, Battesimo, e Morto del Redentore, essere quelli stessi, che dal volgo Cristiano indistintamente si credono. Operetat curiosa, ed utile, per la diversita delle opinioni d’autori gravissimi, antichi, e modernis nell’ asserzione di questi tempi fra di loro contrarii. Con un breve saggio della novissima epatta Luni-solare perpetua. Consecrata all’ Eminmo. e Revmo. Principe il Sig. Cardinale Fabricio Spada, Sopraintendente generale di tutto lo stato Ecclesiastico.

That is,

The common Christian chronology, according to Dionysus, placed in the Temple of Truth of Dr. Tommaso Santagostini[9], from a family of Milanese city counsilors, in which it is proved that the years, months, and days of the Saviour’s birth, baptism, and death are such as they are universally accepted in Christianity. An inquisitive and useful work, because of the diversity of the sentiments of the most important writers, old and new, who differ from others in the affirmation of the chronology. With a brief essay on the new ever-lasting lunar and solar epact[10], dedicated to the most illustrious and most venerable prince, Cardinal Fabrizio Spada[11], general superintendent of all the Papal States. In Macerata by Michiel Archangel Silvestri 1697 in 4.


Ludovico Antonio Muratori[12] has some poems by Saint Paul printed in Milan from the manuscripts of the renowned Ambrosian Library[13], which now appear for the first time.


Last week, the Lord Count Mezza Barba Birago, who issued the commemorative medals of Adolf Occo[14] with many of his appendices, died in this city of Milan[15].


[1] Antonio Magliabechi (1633-1714) was librarian to Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici of Tuscany. For Magliabechi, see the Biog. Reg., Collected Letters, vol. 6, p. 391. His previous letter to L. is Letter L-319 of some time between February and May 1697, in this volume.

[2] Zomermaand, literally, summer month, is the old Dutch name for June.

[3] Nicolás Antonio (1617-1684) was a bibliographer from Seville. The two pieces published in 1696 are Bibliotheca Hispana vetus, a literary history of Spain from the time of Augustus to the end of the 15th century, and Bibliotheca Hispana nova, covering writers after 1500, previously published in 1672. They are still considered the standard work in the field.

[4] Joseph Sáenz de Aguirre (1630-1699), a Spanish Benedictine and cardinal who wrote about ecclesiastical history and theology, was a friend of Nicolás Antonio. See Letter L-332 of late 1697 early 1698, in this volume, for Magliabechi’s next mention of a book by Aguirre.

[5] Guglielmini was an Italian mathematician and physician whose municipal position as water manager of Bologna led to an interest in hydraulics, an appointment in 1694 as professor of hydrometry at the University of Bologna, and the publication in 1697 of his book on the nature of rivers. For Domenico Guglielmini, (1655-1710; also Guielmini, Guilielmini), see Letter L-219 of 24 June 1692, n. 10. Magliabechi mentions another book by Guglielmini in Letter L-272 of 12 October 1695. See also Letter L-310 of 18 December 1695, n. 9 and Letter L-381 of mid-1701, n. 11. All four letters from Magliabechi to L. are in this volume.

[6] The Photian Schism was a four-year (863–867) controversy about whether the pope in Rome had jurisdiction over the episcopal see in Constantinople.

[7] Niccolò Comneno Papadopoli (1655-1740) was a Greek who prospered in Italy as a lawyer and historian.

[8] Nicola Partenio Giannettasio (1648-1715) was an Italian Jesuit and professor of philosophy and mathematics also known for his Neo-Latin poetry.

[9] Tommaso Santagostini (-1700) was a playright from Milan.

[10] The epact is a method for reconciling the lunar and solar years to determine, for example, the date of Easter.

[11] In 1697, Fabrizio Spada (1643-1717) held the office of cardinal secretary of state under Pope Innocent XII.

[12] Ludovico Antonio Muratori (1643-1717) was in 1695 appointed to the college of “Dottori” (scribes) at the Ambrosian Library, where he began collecting and publishing unedited and previously unpublished ancient manuscripts. His first publication of ancient manuscripts, Anecdota Latina ex Ambrosianæ Bibliothecæ codicibus (Milan: Josephi Pandulsi Malatestae, 1697, 2 vols.), contained poems by Pauline of Nola (c. 354-431, born Pontius Meropius Anicius Paulinus), a Roman poet and early convert to Christianity who became bishop of Nola, where he wrote poems to honor his predecessor St. Felix. Magliabechi would report on other publications by Muratori in his next letter, Letter L-326 of August 1697, and in Letter L-350 of late 1698, both in this volume.

[13] The Ambrosian Library in Milan, a major repository of Counter-Reformation Catholic scholarship, opened in 1609 as one of the first public libraries. For other mentions of the library, see Letter L-275 of 23 October 1695, Letter L-326 of August 1697, and Letter L-350 of late 1698, all from Magliabechi to L. and all in this volume.

[14] Adolf Occo III (1526–1606) was a German physician and numismatist who lived in Augsburg. His 1579 Imperatorum Romanorum numismata a Pompejo Magno ad Heraclium (The medals of the Roman emperors from Pompey the Great to Heraclius) was extended and illustrated by Count Francesco Mezzabarba-Birago (1645-1697). At his death on 31 March 1697, Mezzabarba-Birago was the financial advisor to Antonio Carafa, bishop of Ugento.

[15] Magliabechi’s next letter to L. is Letter L-326 of August 1697, in this volume.