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ALEOTTI Giovan Battista – Difesa[…] per riparare alla sommersione del Polesine – 1601


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ALEOTTI Giovan Battista – Difesa di Gio. Battista Aleotti d’Argenta, Architetto, per riparare alla sommersione del Polesine di S. Giorgio, & alla rovina dello Stato di Ferrara, e per confutar, con ragione, il Discorso del S. Cesare Mengoli da Ravenna, scritto all’Illustriss. et Reverendiss. Sig. Cardinale Visconte, in materia della Navigatione del Pò di Primaro, et dell’essicatione delle paludi, che le sono à destra in Romagna. Al medesimo Illustris. & Reverendiss. Signore, il Sig. Cardinale Visconte, suo Signore, & Padrone colendissimo. (BOUND WITH:) / Della Navigatione del Po di Primaro, & Dell’Essicatione delle Paludi, che le sono à destra in Romagna. Discorso di Cesare Mengoli, All’Illustrissimo, & Reverendissimo Sig. il Sig. Cardinal Visconte – 1601. In Ferrara per Vittorio Baldini Stampator Camerale. (BOUND WITH:) / (Manuscript) Relazzione dell’Argenta all’ Sig. Card.le Ballotta, Leg.o per levarsi il Reno d’adosso al Territorio di Ferrara, et vedere d’accomodare in perpetuo gli altri Fiumi per liberare la med.a Città, et lo Stato suo dall’imminente pericolo che gli sovrasta di somergersi dall’immensa quantità dell’Acque che lo minacciono – (1631). Rustic marbled cardboard with double leather label applied to the spine to compose the title; folio, cm 30 x 20,7; pp. (4b) + (6) + 105 + (1b) + (1) + (1b) + [107-112] + (2b) + (24), (28) + (2b); slight traces of use to the binding, a little part of the covering paper of the front board has ben cut out, upper part of the label on the spine detached, some internal stains, wormpath from page 101 (CC) to the end of the second part, in some pages affecting one letter at most, the last two sheets have a paper reinforcement at the inner edge, text block a bit relaxed, due the brake of the binding strands in some points. Both title pages with – different – printer’s mark in woodcut (the first one showing a snake biting one hand, with big allegorical frame and motto “Periculum periculo”; the second – much smaller – shows flying Daedalus, escaping from the labyrinth), initials in woodcut, some little figures in the text and 5 full page maps, a half page one a the bigger folded one, all of them showing the Ferrara zone in regards of its fluvial structure. One the most important Aleotti’s work – here in its first edition – on Ferrara, written when the Este’s (and the Church just after) gave him the goal of saving the city from the possible submersion due to the high number of rivers in its territory. Aleotti (also known as “L’Argenta”), found the danger could have been faced positively only by diverting the course of some of the Po river tributaries (the Reno one, especially) and by undertaking several reclamations. The relation was compiled first in 1598, addressed to the Pope Clemens VIII; some criticism were made against it (from Cesare Mengoli, among the others) and this leaded Aleotti to print the relation, attaching the Mengoli text as the second part of the work. During the publishing of this work, Ferrara had to face an important historical event: the Devolution, when the government of the city passed from the Este’s to the Pope (due to the non-recognition of Cesare Este, after Alfonso II’s death, by the Church). Indeed, Aleotti started to work on the fluvial matter of Ferrara during the last years of the Este domain but all his major contributions date back after the Devolution. This is actually a unique specimen, as at the end of the volume is also bound an handwritten relation, from Aleotti, addressed to the Cardinal Giovanni Battista Pallotta (misspelled here in “Ballotta”). The relation, commissioned by the Cardinal on August the 11th of 1631, has never been published and still never seen. Aleotti keeps on defending his idea of cutting out the Reno river from the Po, giving benefits to Ferrara and Bologna. The calligraphy is orderly and clear, with a few corrections, so probably this is the definitive copy of the relation, addressed to the Cardinal during his first year in Ferrara. The manuscript, being never before seen, is of high historical interested, although it may be a secretarial transcription