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    Sale 2013

    Important Scientific Books: The Richard Green Library

    17 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 14

    APOLLONIUS Pergaeus (ca 260-ca 200 B.C.) Conicorum libri quattuor. Glosses by Pappos of Alexandria (1st half 4th century A.D.) and commentary by Eutocius of Ascalon (b. ca 480) - SERENUS of Anzi (fl. 4th century). Libri duo. Unus de sectione cylindri, alter de sectione coni. All texts translated from Greek into Latin and edited by Federico Commandino (1509-1575). Bologna: Alessandro Benacci, 1566.

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    APOLLONIUS Pergaeus (ca 260-ca 200 B.C.) Conicorum libri quattuor. Glosses by Pappos of Alexandria (1st half 4th century A.D.) and commentary by Eutocius of Ascalon (b. ca 480) - SERENUS of Anzi (fl. 4th century). Libri duo. Unus de sectione cylindri, alter de sectione coni. All texts translated from Greek into Latin and edited by Federico Commandino (1509-1575). Bologna: Alessandro Benacci, 1566.

    2 parts in one volume, 2o (288 x 198 mm). Collation: +4, A-z a-e4 f2; \KP\k2, a-i4. 156 leaves. Woodcut diagrams in text. (Pale dampstain in lower margin of first few leaves.) 17th-century vellum over pasteboards, morocco lettering piece, spine gilt (covers bowed, a few wormholes on spine). Provenance: Janus Foundation, San Francisco (bookplate).

    The most influential early edition of these classic works on conic sections, representing the culmination of Greek geometry, in which Apollonius introduced the terms ellipse, hyperbola and parabola. Only the first four books of Apollonius's text survive in the original Greek. Much more passed into Arabic mathematics in translation. Adams A-1310; Brunet I:347; Dibner Heralds of Science 101; Grolier/Horblit 4; Norman 57.

    [Bound with:] APPOLONIUS Pergaeus. Conicorum lib. V. VI. VII. The Arabic paraphrase by Abalphatus Asphahanensus translated into Latin by Abraham Ecchellensis (d. 1664) - ARCHIMEDES (ca 287-212 B.C.) Liber assumptorum. The Arabic version of Thebit Ben-Kora translated into Latin by Abraham Ecchellensis. Both texts edited by Giovanni Alfonso Borelli (1608-1679). Florence: Giuseppe Cocchini, 1661.

    2o. Woodcut diagrams in text. XX4v with printer's slip pasted over text, errata leaf at end.

    FIRST EDITION of books V-VII of Apollonius's work on conic sections. They had been lost until the Medicis acquired an Arabic manuscript in the early 17th century. Book V is particularly important for containing the author's proof for the construction of the evolute curve. Archimedes' text in this Arabic version had shortly before been edited by Johannes Gravius (1659). Brunet I:347; Norman 58.


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