17 June 2008
NEWTON, Isaac. The Chronology of Ancient Kingdoms Amended. To Which is Prefix'd, a Short Chronicle from the First Memory of Things in Europe, to the Conquest of Persia by Alexander the Great. London: J. Tonson, J. Osborn and T. Longman, 1728.
4o (281 x 215 mm). Engraved head-piece and initial by P. Foudrinier, 3 folding engraved plates (some spotting). (One or two spots and a few pale stains.) Contemporary red morocco gilt, spine in seven compartments (rebacked preserving much of contemporary spine); quarter morocco folding box. Provenance: Elmer A. Harrington, Williams College (early 20th-century inscription and small library label).
"THE GREEK ANTIQUITIES ARE FULL OF POETICAL FICTIONS, BECAUSE THE GREEKS WROTE NOTHING IN PROSE, BEFORE THE CONQUEST OF ASIA BY CYRUS THE PERSIAN" (Newton, page one)
FIRST EDITION, LARGE-PAPER COPY, probably for presentation. "Newton attempts to determine the dates of ancient events from astronomical considerations and indicates the manner in which astronomy might be used to verify views on the chronological points derived in the main from Ptolemy, which were held in his time... The Chronicle was originally written at the request of the Princess of Wales, on condition that it should not be published" (Babson 214). Wallis 309.
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