Reasons for establishing a National Edition of Vallisneriâ€™s Works
It is now a widely accepted fact that Antonio Vallisneri played a crucial role in the scientific and cultural context of early modern Europe, especially in the field of medical and natural sciences. Given his importance in his contemporary Republic of Letters, it has become ever more evident over the past years that the completion of a critical edition of Vallisneri’s works will offer the scholarly community an essential tool to study how the Galilean roots of Italian experimentalism impacted natural philosophy – and, moreover, how these roots crossed national and confessional boundaries and expanded their influence on different disciplines.
With their incisive, terse, often ironic, prose, Vallisneri’s writings are precious both from a historiographical and linguistic point of view. His published works – as well as his field and laboratory reports, his manuscript lesson plans, and his European-wide and diverse correspondence – are eloquent testimonies to the exceptional breadth of this author’s research interests and his contribution to the development of medicine, natural philosophy, and even Italian language and culture throughout the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Thus, once completed, the National Edition will also comply with the institutional ideals of safeguarding and promoting Italian culture, a fundamental principle (Article 9) of Italy’s constitution.