DescriptionAntoine Yves Goguet. De l'Origine des Lois, des Arts, et des Sciences, et de leurs progrés chez les Anciens Peuples. Paris: Desaint & Saillant, 1758.
First edition. Three quarto volumes. xxviii, 401; viii, 438; viii, 368,  pages. With half-titles, nine folding copper engraved plates, and three folding tables. Woodcut initials and head- and tailpieces throughout. Titles printed in red and black.
Contemporary full speckled calf, expertly rebacked to style. Borders rolled in gilt, spines tooled in gilt, five raised bands, gilt red and green morocco lettering pieces, gilt board edges, marbled edges and endpapers. Engraved armorial bookplates of Robert Shasto on front pastedown and William Adair on rear pastedowns. A fine set.
A handsome copy of Goguet's "On the Origin of the Laws, Arts, and Sciences, and Their Progress Among Ancient Peoples." Goguet's work is an anthropological "mini-encyclopedia" of the social-cultural history of ancient civilizations as much as it is a history of technological development, with the machines and structures of the ancients depicted in the accomplished engraved plates, all of which are folding. Without question viewed through the lens of the French Enlightenment, in one plate the construction of the pyramids at Giza, for example, is being undertaken not by whip-driven slave labor but by toga-clad mathematicians and engineers. A respected lawyer in his time, Goguet is listed among the sources in the first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica; the present work was translated into English in 1775.
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