Written contact between the Carniolan polymath Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641, Ljubljana-1693, Krško) with the Royal Society in London, the oldest English academy of science, has been documented for some time thanks to the publication of the correspondence between the years 1685-1688 and a letter sent to Valvasor in 1688 by the renowned astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742), whose greatest discovery is named after him: Halley's Comet. The contribution addresses the question of how the polymath's contact with the Royal Society came to be broken off, what he therefore never learned and the consequences of the fact that he never received Halley's letter. In fact, Valvasor never learned the official date of the acceptance of his membership of the Royal Society, i.e. December 14, 1687 (December 24 according to the Gregorian calendar) and erroneously believed that he had already become a member in mid-1686. The date of acceptance was known from publication in contemporary scientific periodicals, while Halley's letter (published in its Latin original in the Historical Review in 1993, in Slovene for the first time in this contribution) revealed a new significant fact: Halley sent Valvasor verses of praise (his own or by other members of the Royal Society) that were intended for publication in Valvasor's monumental encyclopaedic work on Carniola Die Ehre deß Herzogthums Grain (Ljubljana-Nürnberg 1689). Without them, the range of the published praise in the introduction to this work is substantially impoverished. Had the verses from London reached Valvasor, and had they been published in his most significant book, all literature on the Carniolan polymath and his work would have emphasised this fact as one of great importance. Had the verses been signed by Edmond Halley himself, it is not to be imagined easily, with what reverence Slovene historiography and local studies would have used the name of the renowned astronomer. The reasons for breaking off of written contact between Valvasor and the Royal Society were mostly of technical and objective nature. Valvasor wrote letters to London at least up to November 1688 without receiving any reply. It has been confirmed that Edmond Halley replied to his letter of November 1687, but this important letter from January 1688 failed to reach Valvasor. The question arises whether Valvasor could have been absolutely certain of his membership of the Royal Society. Without a date and a signature, which he did not see, he might occasionally have been plagued by doubts. However, he appears not to have doubted his acceptance by the Royal Society. To his membership refer the copper engraving portrait, which most probably dates back to 1687, and his last two books which, were published in Nürnberg in 1688 and 1689. Furthermore, in 1691 as a member of the Royal Society, he was in correspondence with a comember St. George Ashe who was staying in Vienna at the time. It is not of small importance that Ashe was given Valvasor's address by Halley himself.

Valvasor in Edmond Halley. O vprašanju polihistorjevega članstva v angleški Kraljevi družbi (Royal Society) in posledicah prekinjenih stikov z njo

BIDOVEC, Maria;
2015

Abstract

Written contact between the Carniolan polymath Janez Vajkard Valvasor (1641, Ljubljana-1693, Krško) with the Royal Society in London, the oldest English academy of science, has been documented for some time thanks to the publication of the correspondence between the years 1685-1688 and a letter sent to Valvasor in 1688 by the renowned astronomer Edmond Halley (1656-1742), whose greatest discovery is named after him: Halley's Comet. The contribution addresses the question of how the polymath's contact with the Royal Society came to be broken off, what he therefore never learned and the consequences of the fact that he never received Halley's letter. In fact, Valvasor never learned the official date of the acceptance of his membership of the Royal Society, i.e. December 14, 1687 (December 24 according to the Gregorian calendar) and erroneously believed that he had already become a member in mid-1686. The date of acceptance was known from publication in contemporary scientific periodicals, while Halley's letter (published in its Latin original in the Historical Review in 1993, in Slovene for the first time in this contribution) revealed a new significant fact: Halley sent Valvasor verses of praise (his own or by other members of the Royal Society) that were intended for publication in Valvasor's monumental encyclopaedic work on Carniola Die Ehre deß Herzogthums Grain (Ljubljana-Nürnberg 1689). Without them, the range of the published praise in the introduction to this work is substantially impoverished. Had the verses from London reached Valvasor, and had they been published in his most significant book, all literature on the Carniolan polymath and his work would have emphasised this fact as one of great importance. Had the verses been signed by Edmond Halley himself, it is not to be imagined easily, with what reverence Slovene historiography and local studies would have used the name of the renowned astronomer. The reasons for breaking off of written contact between Valvasor and the Royal Society were mostly of technical and objective nature. Valvasor wrote letters to London at least up to November 1688 without receiving any reply. It has been confirmed that Edmond Halley replied to his letter of November 1687, but this important letter from January 1688 failed to reach Valvasor. The question arises whether Valvasor could have been absolutely certain of his membership of the Royal Society. Without a date and a signature, which he did not see, he might occasionally have been plagued by doubts. However, he appears not to have doubted his acceptance by the Royal Society. To his membership refer the copper engraving portrait, which most probably dates back to 1687, and his last two books which, were published in Nürnberg in 1688 and 1689. Furthermore, in 1691 as a member of the Royal Society, he was in correspondence with a comember St. George Ashe who was staying in Vienna at the time. It is not of small importance that Ashe was given Valvasor's address by Halley himself.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11390/1103721
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