PTOLEMAEUS, Claudius (ca.100-ca.170). Almagestum seu magnae constructionis mathematicae opus. Translated from Greek into Latin by Georgius Trapezuntius, edited by Luca Gaurico. Venice: Luc'antonio Giunta, 1528. 2° (324 x 222mm). Title printed in red and black, woodcut diagrams throughout. (Title mounted on blank verso, marginal spotting, dampstain in the bottom margin of the last leaves.) Later, probably 20th-century vellum, sprinkled edges, spine titled in manuscript (lacking the rear free endpaper, some soiling). Provenance: Polycarpus de Burgos (Carmelite Friar at Santa Maria in Traspontina, Rome, inscription on title verso dated 1754; further title inscription and drawing in another hand, and marginalia) -- Alfredo Moretti (bookplate).
THE FIRST PUBLISHED LATIN TRANSLATION made from the original Greek text of Ptolemy's most important astronomical and mathematical work. 'Until the innovative work of Tycho Brahe and Kepler in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, that is, for nearly fifteen hundred, years, the Almagest was the basis of all sophisticated astronomy, a longevity exceeded only by Euclid's Elements' (Swerdlow). Instruments mentioned or described include the equatorial armillary, the plinth, the meridional armillary, the triquestrum and the armillary astrolabon. The Almagest had been translated into Arabic and was known to the later Middle Ages in a Latin translation from the Arabic by Gerard of Cremona; that version was first published in Venice in 1515. Adams P-2214; Norman 1760; See Stillwell 97; Swerdlow, in Rome Reborn, Washington 1993, p. 144; Wellcome 5281.