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Preclarissimus liber elementorum Euclidis perspicacissimi: in artem geometrie incipit qua[m]fœlicissime

Author: Euclid.; Adelard, of Bath; Campano, da Novara; Hypsicles, of Alexandria; Erhard Ratdolt
Publisher: [Venice] : [Erhard Ratdolt], [25 May 1482]
Edition/Format:   Print book : LatinView all editions and formats
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Genre/Form: Early works
Specimens
Incunabula
Pigskin bindings (Binding)
Hand-colored illustrations
Clasps (Binding)
Bosses (Binding)
Bookbinding (Binding)
Early works to 1800
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Euclid.; Adelard, of Bath; Campano, da Novara; Hypsicles, of Alexandria; Erhard Ratdolt
OCLC Number: 2547690
Notes: Title from incipit (printed in red), leaf a2r.
Imprint as given by ISTC. Colophon, leaf r7v, reads: Opus elementoru[m] euclidis megarensis in geometria[m] arte[m] In id quoq[ue] Campani [per]spicacissimi Co[m]mentationes finiu[n]t. Erhardus Ratdolt Augustensis impressor solertissimus. Venetijs impressit. Anno salutis .M.cccc.lxxxii. Octavis Calen[dis]. Iun[ii].
The first printed edition of Euclid's Elements. Translated indirectly, from the Arabic, by Adelard of Bath (Adelardus Bathoniensis), revised and with the commentary of Campano da Novaro (Campanus Novariensis). While books I-XIII are Euclid's (see T. Heath, The thirteen books of Euclid's Elements, 1956, v. 3, page 519), book XIV is a work of the 2nd century by Hypsicles and book XV the work of a Roman land-surveyor of the 6th century (ISTC, quoting Hillard: "the school of Isidorus Milesius"). For a discussion by B.L. van der Waerden of Euclid's sources, see Encyclopaedia Britannica, 15th edition, Micropaedia IV, page 589.
With Ratdolt's dedicatory letter to the doge Giovanni Mocenigo, leaf a1v, headed: Erhardus ratdolt Augustensis impressor. Serenissimo alme vrbis venete Principi Ioanni Mocenico. S.
Collation: folio: a¹° b-r⁸ [$4 (+a5, -a2) signed]; 138 leaves, unnumbered (first page and last leaf blank). With running heads (Liber/I[-XIIII]), beginning on leaf a10r ("Liebr" on leaf b6v).
The first printed book to include geometrical diagrams. "In the dedication ... Ratdolt attributes the lack of printed mathematical works to the difficulty occasioned by the diagrams, and he adds that he has discovered a method for producing the illustrations as easily as the letters. The nature of his discovery is not clear, although it may have been a scheme for assembling the figures from separate parts."--Owen Gingrich, in Renaissance books of science from the collection of Albert E. Lownes (Hanover, N.H., 1970). Recent scholarship has suggested that the figures were printed from cut and shaped pieces of metal rules assembled, together with pieces of type, in a plaster or type-metal ground, as evidenced by frequent gaps in circles and at points of intersection, the incorporation of type within the figures, and the recurrence of minutely indentical figures; the regularity of the diameters of circles suggests the use of a set of cylindrical forms.
With a floriated, 3-sided woodcut border on leaf a2r, and large and small floriated woodcut initials throughout.
44 lines and head-line. Types: 155 G., heading on 1v; 92 G., pref., definitions, enunciations; 91 G., remainder of text; 100 R., head-lines (book numbers); 56 (75) G., lettering of diagrams. Capital spaces.
"At least seven copies have the dedication (dedicatory letter by Erhard Ratdolt to Giovanni Mocenigo) printed in gold in a variant typesetting (London BL, C.2.c.1; Paris BN (2, 1 on vellum, 1 on paper); Munich BSB (2); Budapest Univ; Augsburg SStB). Cf. V. Carter, L. Hellinga & T. Parker, in The British Library Journal 9 (1983) pp. 1-13. Copies are known with leaves 2-9 in variant typesetting (see GW Anm. 2). For stop-press variants see C. Bühler in Gb Jb 1966, pp.102-104."--ISTC.
Description: [276] pages : diagrams ; 31 cm (fol.)
Other Titles: Elements.
Liber elementorum Euclidis
Elementa geometriae
Elementa geometria

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