4 December 2009
THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
GREAVES, John (1602-1652). Pyramidographia: or a Description of the Pyramids in Aegypt. London: George Badger, 1646.
8o (163 x 107 mm). Frontispiece portrait, two folding engraved plates, engraved illustrations in text (first plate with repaired tear, a few tiny splits along folds). 19th-century half calf (covers detached, boards worn).
FIRST EDITION of Greaves study of the pyramids in Alexandria, the results of his six months there in 1638-39. "Greaves... provided the first full scholarly treatment of the Giza complex, meticulously surveying both the works of previous authors, ancient and modern, Eastern and Western, and the monuments in situe. Using up-to-date antiquarian methods he had imported from Rome, Greaves identified the pyramids' builders, established the chronology and history of their construction and use, and described their physical attributes" (Zur Shalev, "Measurer of all things: John Greaves (1602-1652, the Great Pyramid , and early modern metrology" in Journal of the History of Ideas 63 (2002), 555-575, p.557). Wing G1804; Hilmy i, 276.
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