London, South Kensington
16 February 2001
KEPLER, Johannes. Epitome astronomiae Copernicanae, usitata forma quaestionum & responsionum conscripta, inque VII. Libros digesta, quorum tres hi priores sunt de Doctrina Sphaerica, Frankfurt: J. G. Schönwetter, 1635. 3 volumes in one, 8°, folding table, woodcut diagrams (title with hole affecting 3 letters and stain in one corner and at outer edge, lacks Bbb7 - Ccc1 and Ffff7 - 8, table browned and a little frayed at lower edge, occasional light mainly marginal browning, spotting and staining), contemporary vellum titled in manuscript on the spine (small stain on lower cover, inner hinges breaking), bookplate (2). Carli & Favaro 150; Caspar 87; Cinti 97; Lalande p. 205.
Kepler designed the work as an inexpensive and readily understandable textbook of the new astronomy, hence the octavo size, and the question and answer format. As Caspar points out, its modest title "gives no inkling that Kepler had erected an entirely new structure on the foundation of the Copernican theory, that he had rescued the Copernican conception, at that time disputed and little believed, and helped it to break through by introducing his planet laws and by treating the phenomena of the motions physically."
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