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An interpretation of the number 666. Wherein, not onely the manner, how this number ought to be interpreted, is clearely proved and demonstrated: but it is also shewed, yt [sic] this number is an exquisite and perfect character, truly, exactly, and essentially describing that state of goverment, to wch [sic] all other notes of Antichrist doe agree. With all knowne objections, solidly, and fully answeared, yt [sic] can be materially made against it. By Francis Potter B.D [Earls of Macclesfield copy]
Oxford: printed by Leonard Lichfield, , 1642. First Edition. Half-Calf. Near Fine. 4to: [16],214,[2]pp, with a copper-engraved title page showing numerical manifestations of ‘666’ and their supposed connections with the Catholic Church, signed: W. Marshall sculp, full-page metal cut, woodcut diagrams in the text, numerous woodcut initials and a head- and tailpiece. Leaf X4 is a cancel; final leaf is blank. Beautifully bound in 19th century half-calf, spine gilt in six compartments, red morocco lettering piece gilt; brown medium diaper cloth-covered boards; all edges speckled red; sea-green end papers. Complete in all respects and in excellent condition internally and externally, with clean pages, clear print and ample margins throughout. Engraved title is a rich, deep impression. Binding with strong joints, square text block, only minor scuffing and fading of the boards. A superb example. Provenance: book plate from the North Library of the Earls of Macclesfield and binder's ticket (Hatton of Manchester) on front paste down. Wing P3028. ESTC Citation No. R40657. Madan, II, 1032. First Edition one of the most curious and fascinating books published during the seventeenth century, Potter’s treatise on the Number of the Beast. Clergyman, instrument-maker and a founder of the Royal Society, Potter, according to the ODNB, "was interested in computing the number of the beast, connecting 25, the ‘appropinque’ square root of 666, with various institutions in the Roman Catholic church. His ideas were elaborated in a manuscript which was read in 1637 by Joseph Mede, and commended as a wonderful discovery, the ‘happiest that ever yet came into the world.'" Pepys considered it ‘mighty ingenious’. It continued to be influential and was reprinted in Worcester as late as 1808. Aubrey’s short ‘life’ of Potter paints a vivid picture of his character and highly inventive mind.
      [Bookseller: Fine Editions Ltd]
Last Found On: 2013-07-20           Check availability:      Biblio    

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