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Opera, quae quidem extant, omnia . . . nuncque primum & Graece Latine in lucem edita . . . adiecta quoque sunt Eutocii Ascalonitae in eosdem Archimedis libros commentaria item Graece & Latine, nunquam antea excusa. Basle, Joannes Hervagius,

ARCHIMEDES,  (1544.)


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With numerous woodcut diagrams throughout.4 parts in one volume. Folio (308 x 210mm.). [4]ff. 139pp.; [4]ff. 163pp.; [2]ff. 65 [3] (last blank) ff.; 68 [3]ff. (lacking final leaf with printer's device). 17th century English reversed calf (expertly rebacked, new end-papers).

EDITIO PRINCEPS OF THE COMPLETE KNOWN WORKS OF THE GREATEST MATHEMATICIAN, PHYSICIST AND ENGINEER OF ANTIQUITY.The first appearance of the Greek text is followed by the Latin translation by Jacopo da Cremona who used for this purpose a manuscript corrected by Regiomontanus, while the final two parts contain the first appearance of the Greek and Latin versions of the commentary of Eutochius to Archimedes' work. Latin editions of Archimedes' work had previously appeared in 1503 and 1543, but were by no means complete.Among Archimedes' many contributions were a method for calculating the centres of gravity, an approximation of the value of [pi], and system of expressing very large numbers. He was also able to demonstrate theorems which proved to be of use in solving mechanical problems by geometrical analysis. Archimedes also invented the compound pulley, ship-launching mechanism, the screw for raising water (now of course known under his name), burning mirrors, an orrery. This volume also includes for the first time the description of the heliocentric system of Aristarchus, who had conceived this centuries before Copernicus. The publication of this volume was a milestone in the history of science, by making Archimedes' theories widely available to the leading scientists of Europe and can be regarded as a foundation stone in the developments made by Galileo, Kepler and Newton.Provenance. This copy was in English hands at an early date, since the front-fly leaf has an acquisition note in English written in a late 16th century hand, but now deleted and difficult to read. Signature on title: Morton, and note: "Solida inventio". Possibly James Douglas (1702-68), 14th Earl of Morton, natural philosopher and fellow of the Royal Society. "Morton was involved in many scientific activities. He was a patron of the instrument maker James Short (whom he hired to tutor his children) and owned several of Short's telescopes. With Maclaurin and the earl of Hopetoun he was successful in establishing an observatory at the University of Edinburgh, and gave £100 toward the fund in 1740" (see: article by Anita Guerrini in Oxford DNB).The copy lacks the last leaf of final part with the printer's device only. Round wormhole in lower margin running through the second half of the volume, but overall a very good unwashed copy.PMM 72. Grolier/Horblit 5. Dibner, Heralds of Science. 137. Adams A1531. Hoffman I, 228

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