Almagestum seu Magnae Constructionis Mathematicae opus plane divinum Latina donatum lingua ab Georgio Trapezuntio…per Luca Gauricum…recognitum…. Claudius PTOLEMAEUS.
Almagestum seu Magnae Constructionis Mathematicae opus plane divinum Latina donatum lingua ab Georgio Trapezuntio…per Luca Gauricum…recognitum…
Almagestum seu Magnae Constructionis Mathematicae opus plane divinum Latina donatum lingua ab Georgio Trapezuntio…per Luca Gauricum…recognitum…

The First Translation of the Almagest from the Original Greek;

The Riccati Family Copy

Almagestum seu Magnae Constructionis Mathematicae opus plane divinum Latina donatum lingua ab Georgio Trapezuntio…per Luca Gauricum…recognitum…

Printer’s device in red on title & numerous woodcut diagrams in the text. Title printed in red & black. 6 p.l., 143 numbered leaves. Folio, most attractive early 18th-cent. mottled half-sheep & mottled boards (head of spine a bit worn, title a little browned), spine gilt, red & green morocco lettering pieces on spine. Venice: L. Giunta, 1528.

First edition of the first translation of the Almagest from the original Greek. Previously Ptolemy’s great astronomical text was available only in the 12th-century translation of Gherardo da Cremona from an Arabic translation (1st ed.: 1515). The present translation was made directly from the Greek in 1451 by George of Trebizond, using a manuscript in the Vatican; this translation was edited for publication by Luca Gaurico. The original Greek text was not published until 1538. The Almagest was the foundation of ancient astronomy and a work as influential as the Elements of Euclid.

“Ptolemy’s chief work in astronomy, and the book on which his later reputation mainly rests, is the Almagest…It is a manual covering the whole of mathematical astronomy as the ancients conceived it…the Almagest is a masterpiece of clarity and method, superior to any ancient scientific textbook and with few peers from any period.”–D.S.B., XI, pp. 187 & 196.

“Among the instruments mentioned or described in the Almagest are the equatorial armillary for determining the equinoxes at Alexandria; the plinth and the meridional armillary for determining the midday and meridian altitude of the sun; the triquetrum for measuring meridian transits of the moon or fixed stars; and the armillary astrolabon.”–Stillwell 97.

A very fine and crisp copy with the early 18th-century bookplate of “Co. Riccati.” This was the noble Riccati family which held land near Venice. The family produced two prominent scientists: Jacopo Francesco (1676-1754) and his second son Vincenzo (1707-75). They both made important contributions to mathematics (see D.S.B., XI, pp. 399-402).

❧ Sparrow, Milestones of Science, 167.

Price: $50,000.00

Item ID: 5482

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