De la pirotechnia
De la Pirotechnia is considered to be the first printed book on metallurgy to have been published in Europe. It was written in Italian and published in Venice in 1540. The author was Vannoccio Biringuccio, a citizen of Siena, Italy, who died before it was published.
Title page, De la pirotechnia, 1540, Science History Museum
|Original title||De la pirotechnia|
|Translator||Cyril Stanley Smith, Martha Teach Gnudi|
1942 (in English) The American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers
|LC Class||TN144 .B4513 1990|
|Followed by||1959 edition|
Both books were translated into English in the 20th century. The translation of Pirotechnia was by Cyril Stanley Smith, a senior chemist on the Manhattan Project, and Martha Teach Gnudi. Both books were illustrated with extensive, beautiful woodcuts. The translation of De la Pirotechnia has more extensive notes and footnotes.
The majority of the work is devoted to the more technical aspects of metalworking (such as the mining, assaying and smelting of ores), but Biringuccio also provides insights into the humanistic philosophy of the Italian Renaissance. Alchemy is also discussed.
- Vannoccio Biringuccio (1959) . De la pirotechnia. Dover books on earth sciences: Dover Classics of Science and Mathematics. Translated by Cyril Stanley Smith; Martha Teach Gnudi. Courier Dover Publications. p. 477. ISBN 9780486261348.
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