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Francisci Maurolyci Messanensis Emendatio, et Restitutio Conicorum Apollonii Pergaei. Nunc primùm typis excusae, ubi primi quatuor eiusdem Apollonij libri mendis, quibus foedè scatebant, expurgantur, novisque interdum demonstrationibus illustrantur - Woodcut arms on title & numerous woodcut diagrams in the text. 4 p.l., 5-192 pp. Folio, cont. vellum over boards (binding a little soiled, first eight leaves with some light & mostly marginal dampstaining), spine gilt, green morocco lettering piece on spine. Messina: Heirs of P. Brea, 1654. First edition of an extremely rare book; WorldCat locates only one copy in an American library. This is Maurolico’s attempt "to reconstruct books V and VI of the Conics from the brief references to them that Apollonius provided in his preface to the entire work. In Maurolico’s time, only the first four books were known in the Greek original; he completed his restoration in 1547.(Although Maurolico’s work is less famous than Viviani’s, both Libri and Gino Loria cite it as an example of his genius)."–D.S.B., IX, p. 191. Maurolico also here re-worked books I-IV. Cajori, in his History of Mathematics (pp. 141-42), called Maurolico "the greatest geometer of the sixteenth century" and describes the present book as his "chief work [it] is his masterly and original treatment of the conic sections, wherein he discusses tangents and asymptotes more fully than Apollonius had done, and applied them to various physical and astronomical problems." A native of Sicily, Maurolico (1494-1575), was raised in an intellectual environment dominated by Greek humanism. "During the 1530’s Maurolico pursued his elucidations of classical mathematical texts By 1540 Maurolico was ready to lay out a full scale programme for the renaissance of mathematics It is important to remember that to Maurolico’s mind even Greek mathematicians could err Maurolico was certainly the most radical of Renaissance mathematicians in this respect. Whereas Commandino might emend Apollonius in odd passages, Maurolico undertook a full-scale reorganisation of the works of both Apollonius and Archimedes. The result, in the case of the Apollonius, was the first advance in the theory of conic sections since antiquity."–Rose, The Italian Renaissance of Mathematics, pp. 161-66–(and see Chapter 8 — "Maurolico and the Renaissance of Greek Mathematics" — for a full account of this book and Maurolico’s achievements). Fine copy. Old private library stamp on title. ? Riccardi, II, 143. [Attributes: First Edition; Hard Cover] [Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller Inc.]
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