EUCLID (fl. ca. 300 B.C.). Elementa geometriae , in Greek. Edited by Simon Grynaeus. Commentary by Proclus. Basel: Johann Herwagen, September 1533.
Estimate: US$12,000 - US$18,000
Price realised: US$43,700
EUCLID (fl. ca. 300 B.C.). Elementa geometriae , in Greek. Edited by Simon Grynaeus. Commentary by Proclus. Basel: Johann Herwagen, September 1533. 2 o (298 x 202 mm). Greek type (text), roman (dedication). Woodcut and type-rule geometrical diagrams in the text, printer's device on title and verso of last leaf, 8-part woodcut border on r, woodcut headpiece ornaments, white-on-black woodcut and metalcut historiated initials in various sizes. (Occasional light marginal dampstaining, a few underscorings in red pencil, occasional marginalia in pencil and ink.) Contemporary blind-tooled pigskin over wooden boards, two brass fore-edge catches, edges stained blue and gauffered with repeated gilt star tools (lacking clasps). Provenance : PRESENTATION COPY, PRESUMABLY FROM THE EDITOR, TO WALTER HERMANN RYFF (d. before 1562), Strasbourg physician and author of numerous popular medical handbooks of surgery, anatomy and pharmacy (inscription dated 1537 on title); Jacobus C..., effaced inscription on title, dated Rostock 1652, Latin and Greek verse and one line of German inscribed on title in the same hand in red and brown ink; Jakob Heinrich Anderhub, bookplates. EDITIO PRINCEPS. The text was prepared by the Protestant theologian Simon Grynaeus, professor of Greek at the University of Basel, from two manuscripts, with occasional references to Zamberti's Greek-based Latin translation printed at Venice in 1505. To it he joined the commentary on Book I by the brilliant fifth-century neoplatonist mathematician and astronomer Proclus (410?-485). "Because of his interest in the principles underlying mathematical thought and their relation to ultimate mathematical principles, Proclus' commentary is a notable--and also the earliest--contribution to the history of mathematics. Its numerous references to the views of Euclid's predecessors and successors, many of them otherwise unknown to us, render it an invaluable source for the history of science" (DSB). Grynaeus's was the only complete edition of the Greek Euclid to be printed before the 18th century. Herwagen was the first printer to insert the Euclidean diagrams into the text, rather than confining them to the margins. FINE CONDITION. Adams E-890; Hoffman II, p. 165; Thomas-Stanford 7; Norman 730.
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