Roger Gaskell Rare Books

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APOLLONIUS OF PERGA

Conicorum lib. V. VI. VII. paraphraste Abalphato Asphahanensi, nunc primum editi. Additus in calce Archimedis assumptorum liber, ex codicibus arabicis M.SS serenissimi magni ducis Etruriae Abrahamus Ecchellensis maronita in alma urbe linguar. orient. professor Latinos reddidit. Io: Alfonsus Borellus in Pisana Academia matheseos professor curam in geomericis versioni contulit, & notas uberirores in universum opus adiecit. Ad serenissimum Cosmum III. Etruriae principem

Florence: ex typographia Iosephi Cocchini ad insigne stellae MDCLXI. Superiorum permissu, 1661
Folio in 4s: *6 2*–4*4A–3F4 (blank 3A4, first signature signed with a Maltese cross, corrected on *3 to an asterisk), 226 leaves, pp. [36] 415 [1]. Title printed in red and black, woodcut and typographic initials and decorations, woodcut diagrams in the text. Lacking M1.4, page 89/90 AND 95/96, apparently never bound in.
ADDED ENGRAVED PLATES: 30 folio plates (platemarks c. 245 x 150mm) to Apollonius, Books I–IV, the first headed ‘Liber I. conicorum Apollonii Pergaei.’, numbered 1–30 (bound as throwouts, 1–15 between the prelims and the start of the text, 16–30 at the en
Condition: 312 x 212mm. Stains in lower margins of first few leaves, some light dustoiling and spotting.
Binding: Contemporary English calf, rebacked and corners repaired.
Provenance: Twentieth century ticket of Heffer’s, booksellers in Cambridge with pencilled price ‘Scarce £6-6-0’ and cost code.
First edition of books V–VII.
Bibliography: Riccardi I, 1, 158 no. 3.1.
£2,500

An interesting copy of the first edition of books V–VII of Apollonius, bound with a set of engraved plates for books I–IV from Claude Richard’s edition printed at Antwerp in 1655.
In Sarton’s words, ‘one of the greatest scientific books of antiquity’, the Conics was a major source for the mathematics of Descartes and Newton. Only the first four books were known in the Renaissance and were first published at Venice in 1537, though it was Commandino’s edition (Bologna, 1566) that became the standard recension. This edition of books V–VII was translated by Borelli and Abraham Ecchellensis during the summer of 1658 from an Arabic manuscript in the Medicean Library in Florence. The first edition of the Assumptorum liber, attributed to Archimedes, also translated from Arabic, is printed as an appendix.