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SIMSON, Robert (1687–1768)

Sectionem conicarum libri V

Edinburgh: Apud T. & W. Ruddimannos, 1735
4to: π4 A–2B42C2, 106 leaves, pp. viii 204. Wood or metal cut device on title, headpiece and initial on p. i.
36 engraved plates (throwouts, bound throughout the text).
Condition: 218 x 168mm. Some occasional light foxing.
Binding: Contemporary panelled calf. Rubbed.
Provenance: ‘Balgonie 1737’, signature on verso of title; engraved book plate with the arms of the Earls of Leven, Balgonie Castle, Fife.
First edition. A second, enlarged edition was published in 1750.
Bibliography: ESTC T70287.

Simson was an influential teacher but devoted his life to the restoration of the lost works of the Greek geometers. This work on conic sections, his first book, used only geometrical methods. His edition of Euclid (1756) is the basis of every subsequent edition. His Elements of conic sections was published in 1775 and again in 1792. Appointed to the chair of mathematics at Glasgow University in 1711, Simson’s students included Colin Maclaurin, Mathew Stewart and William Trail.