Antonio Magliabechi wrote Letter L-293 to Leeuwenhoek about a packet of books that had arrived

July 8, 1696

This is another lost letter from Magliabechi to Leeuwenhoek. It was published as “Nieuws” in De Boekzaal van Europe for September and October 1696, pp. 363-65. – Dutch translation of the original Latin and Italian.

Modena: The editors of vol. 12 of Alle de Brieven / Collected Letters (Letter 173 of 28 August 1696, p. 49, n. 8) speculate that Leeuwenhoek is referring to pages from the Giornale de' Letterati, which was printed in Modena.

In these excerpts from two of his letters, Magliabechi reports on several recent books that he thought might be of interest to Leeuwenhoek written in Latin by Italians Guillaume Bonjour, Enrico Noris, Giovanni Vincenzo Gravina, and Bernardino Ramazzini.

This letter is the fifth of the eleven letters with book news published in ten Boekzaal articles from March 1693 to October 1699. It was excerpted in the same Boekzaal article as Letter L-290 of 5 June 1696. Leeuwenhoek refers to this letter from Magliabechi in two of his published letters, revealing parts of the letter that Pieter Rabus did not include in the Boekzaal.

Ten days later, in Letter L-303 of 7 September 1696 to Antonio Magliabechi, Leeuwenhoek wrote:

I received at the due and proper time your very welcome letter of the 8th of July, illustrious sir, through the intermediary of the Reverend Father Daniel van Papenbroek: since, however, at that time I was about to start on a journey to another region, this was the reason why I did not reply to it before the 28th of August.

The “pages printed at Modena” may be an excerpt from one of Bernardo Ramazzini’s publications mentioned in Magliabechi’s Letter L-209 of 27 May 1691, Letter L-219 of 24 June 1692, Letter L-275 of 23 October 1695, or Letter L-290 of 5 June 1696, all in this volume.

The “most excellent gentleman” in Livorno is Dutch consul Jacob Calckberner. See L.’s letter to him, Letter L-277 of 31 October 1695, in this volume.

Magliabechi’s previous letter to L. is Letter L-290 of 5 June 1696, in this volume. L. did not reply to it before receiving the present letter, to which he replied with Letter 173 L-301 of 28 August 1696 and Letter 175 L-303 of 7 September 1696, both in idem, vol. 12. Magliabechi’s next letter is Letter L-310 of 18 December 1696, in this volume.


In Letter L-301 of 28 August 1696, Leeuwenhoek wrote to Magliabechi,

A few days ago I received Your very kind and welcome Letter of the 8th of July and also the pages printed at Modena; through this generous communication you will always find me indebted and most grateful to Your Illustrious Name. From this later letter of Yours I learned, inter alia, that you had already notified me before in a letter that the said packet of books, sent by me to Leghorn to the Most Excellent Gentleman, had already been received by you.