An extremely rare Latin edition published by Jacobus Quesnel in 1619 of the famous Traité de la sphère by Joannes de Sacrobosco, annotated by Jacobi Martini Pedemontani.
An indispensable astronomy book, sought after for its remarkable illustrations. This edition is composed of numerous engraved figures, mainly in text (spheres, planispheres, astrolabes), and it also contains two fold-out plates, one of which is a table and the other a superb cut-out plate forming a volvelle, i.e. a rotating map, used for astronomy, navigation and medicine. It is a calculation tool. It embodies the principles of the astrolabe in a book.
Written in Paris by John of Sacrobosco in the 13th century (probably around 1230-1231), the Traité de la Sphère was probably the most popular astronomy book of all time. Before the invention of the printing press, it was copied many times in manuscript form (the oldest surviving manuscript is in Copenhagen and dates from around 1240). This was the first book on astronomy to be printed (apart from calendars and "prognoses") in 1472 in Ferrara. The first French translation dates from 1546 and it was still widely commented on in the 16th century. No other book on astronomy was printed in this way and has remained available for over 200 years.
This unparalleled success is, of course, due to the educational qualities of the book. Written in a clear and pleasant style, nicely illustrated, it was used for a long time, appreciated for its elementary explanations, sometimes accompanied by long commentaries. Galileo himself commented on it in his lessons at the University of Padua.
Here is what André Thevet (1516? - 1592, "Cosmographe du Roi") said of Sacrobosco (whom he refers to as Jean de Sacro Busto):
“Il n’y eut petit ny grand, qui ne reverast l’exquis sçavoir de ce personnage, qui avec telle facilité monstrait tous les secrets de l’Astrologie [comprendre l’Astronomie], que quand ses Auditeurs eussent pû avoir une eschelle assez grande pour toucher jusqu’aux Cieux, à peine eussent-ils pû découvrir si à l’aise & véritablement les singularitez, tant de la voute, distinction, figure & qualitez des lieux célestes, comme d’une méthode très facile leur a représenté ce docte Mathématicien.”
Jean de Sacrobosco (John of Holywood), of British origin (not well known), spent his career at the University of Paris where he taught astronomy in the quadrivium (arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music) of the Faculty of Arts. His tomb, located in the former cloister of the Mathurins (now gone) was still visible at the end of the 18th century. Jérôme Lalande, in his Astronomie (1795) stated that he "was buried in the cloister of the Mathurins, where one can still see an astrolabe on his tomb with Latin verses".
After numerous handwritten versions, Sacrobosco's Treatise on the Sphere saw more than 200 printed editions, from that of 1472 in Ferrara to those of the 17th century, in particular the extensively commented on edition by Clavius (1570), at a time when Copernicus' system was gradually beginning to gain acceptance in the scientific community.
Bound with a second text, at the front of the volume: "Dionysii Alexandrini de situ orbis liber, Interprete Andrea Papio Gandefi". Antverpiae, Ex officina Christophori Plantini, 1575.
Volume preserved in period tan calfskin binding, smooth spine adorned with gilded embossing in the compartments, a gilded number on the tail, gilded fillet rolls framing the covers and cover edges. Binding in original, unrestored condition, cracked joints, fragile covers, to be handled with care. Worn corners. Inside in good condition, yellowed leaves with very, very rare and fine spots of foxing.
Joannes de Sacrobosco
Sphaera Joannis de Sacrobosco Eliae Vineti Santonis Scholia in eandem Sphaeram, ab ipso authore restituta, et Annotationibus Iacobi Martini Pedemontani aucta.
Parisiis (Paris), Apud Iacobum Quesnel, 1619.
189 (3) 190 pp.
Duodecimo (18 x 11.5 cm).
- Anzahl der Bücher
- Astronomie, Volvelle, Sphären, Astrolabien, Wissenschaft (allgemein)
- Autor/ Illustrator
- Joannes de Sacrobosco
- Sphaera Joannis de Sacrobosco Eliae Vineti Santonis Scholia in eandem Sphaeram, ab ipso authore...
- Erscheinungsjahr (ältestes Objekt)
- Anzahl der Seiten
- 18×11.5 cm