17 June 2008
NEWTON, Sir Isaac. Arithmetica Universalis; sive de Compositione et Resolutione Arithmetica Liber. Ciu accessit Helleiana Aequationum Radices Arithmetice Inveniendi Methodus. Edited by William Whiston. Cambridge: Typis Academicus; London: Benjamin Tooke, 1707.
8o (207 x 125 mm). Woodcut diagrams throughout. (A1-A2 lightly browned and very slightly soiled at the edges.) Modern calf gilt antique, uncut. Provenance: H. Warren (contemporary signature title-page).
FIRST EDITION, one of 1000 copies published of Newton's lectures on algebraic notation, arithmetic, the relationship between geometry and algebra, and the solutions of polynominal equations delivered while Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University (1669-1702). Edited by Newton's successor in the Chair, Professor William Whiston, from Newton's manuscript notes. Newton objected to Whiston's publication, principally to the running titles "Algebrae" (versos) and "Elementa" (rectos), refused to have his name appear in association with the book, and threatened to buy up the entire edition in order to destroy it. When he published his own edition in 1722 he altered the running titles, omitted Halley's section on finding the roots of equations, and made greater use of italic type.
The Lucasian Chair of Mathematics is one of the oldest and arguably the most famous academic chair of mathematics in the world. Isaac Newton was the second incumbent, holding the post from 1669-1702, Professor Stephen Hawking is the current Lucasian Professor, having held the position since 1980. Babson 199; Wallis 277. A FINE AND BRIGHT COPY.
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