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Bernardo Cesi
CESI, Bernardo (Federico).

CESI, Bernardo (Federico).
(1581 - 1630)

(Born: Mantua, Italy, 1581; Died: Modena, Italy, 4 September 1630) Italian Jesuit & naturalist.

Cesi was professor of philosophy, theology and morals first at the University of Parma, then later at Modena. He died during an outbreak of the plague. He may have been related to an illustrious and powerful Italian family of the time. They had several members rise to the highest ranks of the Catholic church during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Biographical references: ABI: II 136, 161-163; II S 21, 78-80. Biographie Universelle: 7, 584. Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists: 271 [1 portrait listed]. Dizionario Biografico Italiani: 24, 256-8. Imperatori, Dizionario di Italiani all'Estero, 1956. J÷cher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. Litta, P., Famiglie celebri d'Italia. Milano, 1819: 2, 130-60 [on the Cesi family]. Nouvelle Biographie GÚnÚrale (Hoefer): 9, col. 503. Poggendorff: 1, col. 413. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 315.

Mineralogia, 1636

1. Latin, 1636 [Issue A].
[In red:] Mineralogia, | [in black:] sive | [in red:] Natvralis PhilosophiŠ | [in black:] Thesavri, | [in red:] In Qvibvs MetallicŠ Concretionis | [in black:] medicator˙mque fossilium miracula, terrarum pretium, colorum | & pigmentorum apparatus, concretorum succorum virtus, | lapidum atque gemmarum dignitas continentur. | Hos publici iuris fecit R.P. [in red:] Bernardvs CŠsivs [in black:] Mutinensis, | Ŕ Societate [in red:] Iesv. | Proderit HŠc Pretiosa Svpellex Non | PhilosophiŠ mod˛, ac MedicinŠ, ver¨m etiam sacrŠ & humanioris | literaturŠ studiosis. | [in black, vingette] | [in red:] Lvgdvni, | [in black:] Sumptib. Iacobi [in red:] & [in black:] Petri Prost | [in red, rule] | [in black:] M. DC. XXXVI. | [in red:] Cvm Privilegio Regis.

2░: [a]4 e4 A-Z6 Aa-Zz6 Aaa-Mmm6; 356l.; [16], 1-626, [69], [1] blank p. Title in red and black, printed in double column with woodcut initials and ornaments. Page size: 345 x 225 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Half title page, "R.P. Bernardvs CŠsivs De Mineralibvs," verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs], Dedication to Francis I.; [2 pgs], "Approbationes."; [6 pgs], "Index Librorum, Capitum, Sectionum, Paragraphorum."; [1]-136, "Liber Primvs De MineralogiŠ, et Mineralivm Natvra, et Principiis in Commvni."; 137-287, "Liber Secvndvs De Terris Insignibvs."; 288-512, "Liber Tertivs De Svccis Concretis."; 513-608, "Liber Qvartvs De Lapidibvs, et Gemmis."; 609-626, "Liber Qvintvs De Metallis."; [69 pgs], "Index Rervm, et Verborum Notabilium."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. Compendium of all the author ever discovered or read about the subject of mineralogy. It was published posthumously from notes he left by his Order at Lyon six years after his death. Printed in a double column format in a relatively small type-size, the work is a vast storehouse of all things mineralogical, including new ideas, restatements of earlier authors, observations and superstitious belief. The uncritical selection of material lead Webster in his Metallographia (London, 1671, p. 29) to criticize the author as too digressive and as mixing tares with the wheat. Partington thinks the use of the term "Mineralogia" in the title is the first modern usage of the word.

The work opens by listing the evils and benefits of mineralogy. Mining is considered dangerous because of the lurking underground spirits. Mining also destroys fields and forests. So asks Cesi, why destroy mother Earth? The evil consequences from riches, iron weapons and especially gold are described, with much poetical quotation in the case of gold and silver. However, the author notes that the study of mineralogy helps one to understand the bible. It provides medicines and money, ornaments for religious purposes, tools used in agriculture, industry, painting, music and alchemy. Cesi then answers the question he posed earlier and declares mineralogy to be a true philosophy, worthy of careful study.

The numerous citations to earlier authors provide evidence of Cesi's wide reading. Commonly, many authors are referenced on single points. For example, in describing the generation of minerals he closely follows Aristotle but also cites Theophrastus, Avicenna, Albertus Magnus, Agricola, Gregorius Reisch, Pliny, Boodt, Francis Rueus, Marbode, the Bible, and numerous church fathers. The author is uncritical of the views he presents, and accepts the authority of the ancient and medieval authors as his own. He believes that the Sun, Moon and stars influence the subterranean world of minerals and metals, and that gems have miraculous curative powers. He includes a chapter on the magnet, and although widely read, omits to mention Gilbert's De Magnete published in 1600. As one progresses throughout the volume, citations to references become less frequent, perhaps indicating the author was still preparing the manuscript when death unexpectedly occurred.

Cesi divides his work into five sections: the first, treats mineralogy proper, the second the economic and commercial aspects, for example colors and pigments, the third, lapidifying juices of the earth that congeal into minerals, the fourth gems and the fifth metals. At the conclusion is a long and thankfully comprehensive index. Much insight about ancient philosophy and its affect in the 17th century can be gained from studying Cesi's Mineralogia but one must sift through a large amount of superfluous information to reach those gems.

Bibliographical references: Adams, Birth and Development, 1938: 164-5. Beekman, Systematische Mineralogie, 1906: 27. Cobres, DeliciŠ CobresianŠ, 1782: 2, 676. Dana's 7th (Bibliography): 69. Hoover Collection: no. 214. LKG: III 47. NUC: 101, 644 [NC 0267112]. Partington, History of Chemistry, 1961-70: 2, 94. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 219. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 1220. Thorndike, History of Magic, 1923-58: 7, 254-57. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 457. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 1, no. 1190.

2. Latin, 1636 [Issue B].
[In red:] Mineralogia, | [in black:] sive | [in red:] Natvralis PhilosophiŠ | [in black:] Thesavri, | [in red:] In Qvibvs MetallicŠ Concretionis | [in black:] medicator˙mque fossilium miracula, terrarum pretium, colorum | & pigmentorum apparatus, concretorum succorum virtus, | lapidum atque gemmarum dignitas continentur. | Hos publici iuris fecit R.P. [in red:] Bernardvs CŠsivs [in black:] Mutinensis, | Ŕ Societate [in red:] Iesv. | Proderit HŠc Pretiosa Svpellex Non | PhilosophiŠ mod˛, ac MedicinŠ, ver¨m etiam sacrŠ & humanioris | literaturŠ studiosis. | [in black, vingette] | [in red:] Lvgdvni, | [in black:] Sumptib. Iacobi [in red:] & [in black:] Petri Prost | [in red, rule] | [in black:] M. DC. XXXVI. | [in red:] Cvm Privilegio Regis.

2░: [a]4 e4 A-Z6 Aa-Zz6 Aaa-Mmm6; 356l.; [16], 1-626, [69], [1] blank p. Title in red and black, printed in double column with woodcut initials and ornaments. Page size: 355 x 225 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Half title page, "R.P. Bernardvs CŠsivs De Mineralibvs," verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs], Dedication to Carolo De Nevf-ville.; [1 pg], "Approbationes."; [1 pg], Blank.; [6 pgs], "Index Librorum, Capitum, Sectionum, Paragraphorum."; [1]-136, "Liber Primvs De MineralogiŠ, et Mineralivm Natvra, et Principiis in Commvni."; 137-287, "Liber Secvndvs De Terris Insignibvs."; 288-512, "Liber Tertivs De Svccis Concretis."; 513-608, "Liber Qvartvs De Lapidibvs, et Gemmis."; 609-626, "Liber Qvintvs De Metallis."; [69 pgs], "Index Rervm, et Verborum Notabilium."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. A restatement of the previous issue with the Dedication now directed to Charles de Neufville, Marquis De Nevfville, and the Approbationes reduced to one page. Otherwise, the text appears to be identical to issue A.

Bibliographical references: Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 1221. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 1, no. 1191.

3. Latin, 1637 [Issue C].
[In red:] Mineralogia, | [in black:] sive | [in red:] Natvralis PhilosophiŠ | [in black:] Thesavri, | [in red:] In Qvibvs MetallicŠ Concretionis | [in black:] medicator˙mque fossilium miracula, terrarum pretium, colorum | & pigmentorum apparatus, concretorum succorum virtus, | lapidum atque gemmarum dignitas continentur. | Hos publici iuris fecit R.P. [in red:] Bernardvs CŠsivs [in black:] Mutinensis, | Ŕ Societate [in red:] Iesv. | Proderit HŠc Pretiosa Svpellex Non | PhilosophiŠ mod˛, ac MedicinŠ, ver¨m etiam sacrŠ & humanioris | literaturŠ studiosis. | [in black, vingette] | [in red:] Lvgdvni, | [in black:] Sumptib. Iacobi [in red:] & [in black:] Petri Prost | [in red, rule] | [in black:] M. DC. XXXVII. | [in red:] Cvm Privilegio Regis.

2░: [a]4 e4 A-Z6 Aa-Zz6 Aaa-Mmm6; 356l.; [16], 1-626, [69], [1] blank p. Title in red and black, printed in double column with woodcut initials and ornaments. Page size: 350 x 222 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Half title page, "R.P. Bernardvs CŠsivs De Mineralibvs," verso blank.; [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [5 pgs], Dedication to Carolo De Nevf-ville.; [1 pg], "Facultas ... | ... | Approbationes."; [6 pgs], "Index Librorum, Capitum, Sectionum, Paragraphorum."; [1]-136, "Liber Primvs De MineralogiŠ, et Mineralivm Natvra, et Principiis in Commvni."; 137-287, "Liber Secvndvs De Terris Insignibvs."; 288-512, "Liber Tertivs De Svccis Concretis."; 513-608, "Liber Qvartvs De Lapidibvs, et Gemmis."; 609-626, "Liber Qvintvs De Metallis."; [69 pgs], "Index Rervm, et Verborum Notabilium."; [1 pg], Blank.

Very scarce. Rariest issue. Essentially the same text as used in issue B [described above] with a new date on the title page and the expansion of the dedication to 5 pages. Additional information is also included on the "Approbationes" page immediately following the dedication.

Bibliographical references: Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 113. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 219. Sinkankas, Gemology Bibliography, 1993: no. 1222.

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