Description

    Second Amsterdam Edition of Newton's Principia, The Greatest Printed Work in the History of Science

    Sir Isaac Newton. Philosophiæ naturalis principia mathematica. Auctore Isaaco Newtono, Equite Aurato. Editio Ultima. Cui accedit Analysis per Quantitatum Series, Fluxiones ac Differentias cum enumeratione Linearum tertii ordinis. Amstælodami: Sumptibus Societatis, 1723.

    Second Amsterdam edition (the first Amsterdam edition was published in 1714, which reprinted the rare second edition [Cambridge: 1713]). Quarto. Title page printed in red and black. [xxviii], 484, [7, Index Rerum], [1, blank], [xii], 107, [1, blank] pages. Engraved device on title, folding engraved plate facing page 465, and numerous woodcut diagrams and illustrations in the text.

    Contemporary mottled calf over boards with old reback preserving the original spine, and with board edges and corners renewed. Boards with a double blind rule border, spine in compartments with five raised bands and a red morocco lettering label. Joints cracked but still sound, boards scuffed and a bit worn. Some browning and occasional minor spotting to text. Previous owner's ink names and notes to preliminary pages and title. Slight dampstains to bottom fore-edge corner and gutter margin of preliminary pages, generally well away from the text. Overall, an excellent, very attractive copy.

    "The Principia is generally described as the greatest work in the history of science. Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler had certainly shown the way; but where they described the phenomena they observed, Newton explained the underlying universal laws. The Principia provided the great synthesis of the cosmos....[and] produced a general revolution in human thought, equaled perhaps only by that following Darwin's Origin of Species" (-Printing and the Mind of Man). This is the second Amsterdam reprint of the revised and expanded second edition, which was edited by Roger Cotes and brought out with the assistance of Richard Bentley, Master of Trinity College, with a new preface by Cotes: "In his important preface, Cotes attacks the Cartesian philosophy, then still in vogue in the universities, and refutes an assertion that Newton's theory of attraction is a causa occulta." The second edition also contains a revised conclusion, "a second preface by Newton and considerable additions, the chapters on the lunar theory and the theory of comets being much enlarged" (Babson). This Amsterdam reprint corrects a few errors made in the printing of the second edition and precedes the third edition by twelve years.

    Babson 12 (describing 1713 second edition). Printing and the Mind of Man 161 (describing 1687 first edition). Sotheran, Second Supplement I, 5672. Wallis 11.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
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