EUCLID. Elementa geometria [translated by Adelard of Bath, edited by Campanus of Novara]. Venice: Erhard Ratdolt, 25 May 1482.
Median folio, 312 x 209 mm. (12 1/4 x 8 1/4 in.), eighteenth-century dark brown speckled calf, covers blind-panelled, board edges blind-tooled, rebacked, turn-ins renewed, board edges abraded, tightly bound, edge of woodcut title border lost in gutter, slight mostly marginal worming through first and last two quires, touching 11 letters and 6 diagrams, short marginal repaired tear to fol. l5, washed, occasional faint residual traces of dampstaining.
Collation: a10, b-r8. 138 leaves, including final blank. Variant settings conform to GW main entry. Types 3:91G (text), 7:92G (preface and text), 7B:100R (headlines), 6:56G (diagram lettering). 45 lines and headline. Heading on a2r printed in red. Three-quarter white-on-black woodcut foliage and branch border on a2r (Redgrave border 3), possibly by Bernhard Maler, 15 11-line white-on-black woodcut initials (at the beginning of each book), numerous 5-line initials, nearly 600 woodcut and type-rule diagrams in the outer margins.
FIRST EDITION of "the oldest mathematical textbook still in common use today" (PMM). The thirteenth-century Campanus of Novara (later known as Johannes Campanus) based his recension of Euclid on the translation from the Arabic made by Adelard of Bath in the previous century; it became the standard late medieval version. Ratdolt's edition was one of the earliest printed books with geometrical figures. His method of printing diagrams to illustrate a mathematical text served as a model for subsequent scientific publishing.
HC 6693*; BMC V, 285 (IB. 20513, 20515); GW 9428; Essling 282; Grolier/Horblit 27; Klebs 383; PMM 25; Sander 2605; Charles Thomas-Stanford, Early editions of Euclid's Elements (London 1926) 1a; Gilbert R. Redgrave, Erhard Ratdolt and his work at Venice (London 1894) 26; Stillwell Science 163; Goff E-113.
Provenance: Eighteenth-century price note on front free endpaper; Stanford University Libraries.