“Interventions” reflects on the impact of the spyglass and the telescope in two political satires. The section “The political intervention I: The transatlantic prism” deals with the sophisticated view of the spyglass in the vignette “Los holandeses en Chile (The Dutchmen in Chile),” included in the satire La hora de todos (The hour of all, 1650) by Francisco de Quevedo (1580–1645)—a writer who may have met Galileo in Rome in 1616, and who portrays himself as a lynx in his treatise to Philip IV El lince de Italia u zahorí español (The lynx of Italy or the Spanish diviner, 1628). The second section, “The political intervention II: The transalpine prism,” studies an emblem, empresa 7 from Diego de Saavedra Fajardo’s Empresas políticas (Political advice, 1640). With the motto auget et minuit (waxes and wanes) and a telescope as the pictura, or image, the Spanish moralist offers a fascinating meditation on the limits and abuses of absolutist power.
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