First Edition of Maurolico's Translation
    of Archimedes

    Archimedes. Monumenta Omnia Mathematica, Quae Extant, Quorumque Catalogum inuersa Pagina demonstrat... Palermo: Cyllenius Hesperius [pseudonym for Giovanni Silvestro Salva] for Antonio Giardina, 1685. First Maurolcio edition. Folio. (2), +2, A-2L4, 2M-2R2. (8), 296 pages. Profusely illustrated with text cuts. Contemporary vellum boards, title in old ink at head of spine. Occasional foxing and browning to the leaves. Few small holes to top corner, outer margin of last leaf, not affecting the text. Small holes in the spine, pages cockled, and vellum boards warped. Otherwise in very good condition. From the Krown & Spellman Collection.
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    A paraphrase of Archimedes' works made between 1534 and 1550 by the Sicilian Francesco Maurlico (1494-1575) some of which was printed at Messina by Paolo Bonacota, 1670-72. This was never published but the sheets were acquired by Lorenzo di Tommaso and then confiscated by the Spanish authorities in 1678.  Juan Siverstre Salva acquired 425 copies of the original edition.

    "First edition of Maurolico's translation of Archimedes, one of the two most important versions of the sixteenth century (the other being Commandino's). Francesco Maurolico (1494-1575) "ranked with Commandino as a first-rate student of Archimdes, and indeed these two. were the outstanding interpreters of Archimedes in the first three-quarters of the century. However, Maurolico's interest, unlike Commandino's, was not in establishing a philologically sound version or translation of the Archimedean texts that survived but in presenting mathematically coherent texts that achieved Archimdedes' objectives. This will become particularly clear when we examine. those texts in which Maurolico skillfully grafted medieval material onto the traditional Archimedean texts"- [Clagett, Archimdes in the Middle Ages, Vol.III: Pt. III: page 749].

     "Archimedes (287-212 B.C.E.) - Archimedes is known as one of the three greatest mathematicians of all time, along with Newton and Gauss. He was known by many as "the wise one." Others referred to him as "the master." However, he was most well known as "the great geometer."... Archimedes probably got his interest of mathematics from his father, Phidias, who was an astronomer. He was so interested in solving problems, that it more or less became his hobby. It was said that he was consumed with solving problems, that he often times forgot to eat. His real hunger was to learn as much as he could about mathematics. This led him to be a student in Euclid's school, to further his mathematical knowledge. Archimedes' fame came from his relationship with Hiero, the king of Syracuse. He spent most of his time trying to solve problems for the king... Archimedes once made the statement, "Give me a long enough lever and a place to stand, and I will move the earth." After this statement, King Hiero asked him to prove it. This challenge was in regards to a huge ship in the harbor that couldn't be launched by all the men of Syracuse. Archimedes launched the ship with the help of a large lever, proving his statement... Some of his other inventions were the watering screw, and the miniature planetarium. However, his theoretical work was his main calling... When buried, Archimedes had a tombstone with the figure of a sphere inscribed in a cylinder. They had the 2:3 ratio of volume between them, which he was famous for." - [Wichita University, Mathematics biography].

    Francesco Maurolico (1494-1575) was a Greek mathematician and astronomer of Sicily. Throughout his lifetime, he made contributions to the fields of geometry, optics, conics, mechanics, music, and astronomy. He edited the works of classical authors including Archimedes, Apollonius, Autolycus, Theodosius and Serenus. He also composed his own unique treatises on mathematics and mathematical science.  

    BL (Italy 17th c.) I: 45. Bruni/Evans: 283. Graesee 1:180. DSB I:229 and IX:191. Hoffman I:229. Riccardi I:43-44.

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    Auction Dates
    August, 2015
    5th Wednesday
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