Alessandro Piccolomini (Siena: 1508 - 1579). L'Instrumento de la filosofia. Also, La prima parte della filosofia naturale. Roma: Vincenzo Valgrisi, 1551.

Piccolomini published L'Instrumento de la filosofia and La prima parte della filosofia naturalle in one volume. Both works form part of Piccolomini's humanist educational program. In the preface to the Instrumento, Piccolomini declares his faith that people would learn to reason correctly if they were taught the rules of logic in their own native language; and in the dedication to pope Giulio III in La prima parte the author is aware of being the first vernacular writer to deal systematically with natural philosophy. Later, in 1557, he published his mayor contribution to science in the vernacular: Della grandezza della terra e dell' acqua, a treatise on the measurement of water and earth on the globe.

Piccolomini published a dramatic play, L'Alessandro (1545), sonnets and many philosophical essays. His Copiosissima parafrase nel primo libro della Retorica d'Aristotele, a commented paraphrase of Aristotle's Rhetoric, and his Commento sulla Poetica (1575) increased his fame and moved Torquato Tasso to visit Siena and consult Piccolomini about Aristotle and his poetic theory.

The volume on display is the first edition of L'Instrumento and La prima parte della filosofia naturalle (the second part was published in 1565), published by Vicenzo Vilgrisi in Rome, where he was active for three years (1549-51). Vilgrisi's major works were published in Venice between 1539 and 1572.

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