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Letters on Natural Philosophy: The Scientific Correspondence of a Sixteenth-Century Pharmacist, with Related Texts Coming Soon

In her Letters on Natural Philosophy, published originally in Krakow in 1584, Camilla Erculiani proposed her new theory of the natural causes of the universal flood in the biblical book of Genesis. Erculiani weaves together her understanding of Aristotelian, Platonic, Galenic, and astrological traditions and combines them with her own observations of the world as seen from her apothecary shop in sixteenth-century Padua. This publication brought Erculiani to the attention of the Inquisition, which accused her of heresy, silencing her for centuries. This edition presents the first full English translation of Erculiani’s book and other relevant texts, bringing to light the cultural context and scientific thought of this unique natural philosopher.

“This edition and translation of the Letters on Natural Philosophy of the sixteenth-century pharmacist Camilla Erculiani makes an important contribution to the history of science, Italian literary history, and the study of early modern women and gender. The critical introduction discusses Erculiani’s biography and the world of the apothecary, while the contextualization of the ideas Erculiani engages with and challenges demonstrates the editor’s deep grasp of the texts that follow. Those texts include not only Erculiani’s letters, but also letters of the Venetian thinker Sebastiano Erizzo, which help make the case for Erculiani’s real correspondence with other philosophers, and the Consilium of jurist Giacomo Menochio, which highlights the precariousness of the intellectual territory into which Erculiani wandered.”
- Meredith Ray, University of Delaware

ELEONORA CARINCI holds a PhD in Italian Studies from Cambridge University and recently concluded a postdoctoral fellowship at Ca’ Foscari, University of Venice on the role of Women in Italian Aristotelianism. Her main research interests concern Early-Modern Italian women writers and she published several articles on various authors and edited the Italian edition of Erculiani’s Letters. She is currently working on a book on Felice Rasponi.

HANNAH MARCUS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. She is the author of Forbidden Knowledge: Medicine, Science, and Censorship in Early Modern Italy (University of Chicago Press, 2020).

PAULA FINDLEN is Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History at Stanford University and Director of the Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology.  She is the author of many publications on science and culture in early modern Italy and the recipient of the Premio Galileo in 2016.

 

In her Letters on Natural Philosophy, published originally in Krakow in 1584, Camilla Erculiani proposed her new theory of the natural causes of the universal flood in the biblical book of Genesis. Erculiani weaves together her understanding of Aristotelian, Platonic, Galenic, and astrological traditions and combines them with her own observations of the world as seen from her apothecary shop in sixteenth-century Padua. This publication brought Erculiani to the attention of the Inquisition, which accused her of heresy, silencing her for centuries. This edition presents the first full English...

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book Details

  • Page Count:

    201 pages

  • Publication Year:

    2020

  • Publisher:

    Iter Press
  • Series:

    • The Other Voice in Early Modern Europe: The Toronto Series 77

Print

USD$ 41.95 ISBN 978-1-64959-002-2 Order Print Book
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