EUCLID (fl ca 300 BC) The Elements of Geometrie Translated i...
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EUCLID (fl. ca 300 B.C.) The Elements of Geometrie. Translated into English by Sir Henry Billingsley (d. 1606), with a preface by John Dee (1527-1608). London: John Day, 1570.
EUCLID (fl. ca 300 B.C.) The Elements of Geometrie. Translated into English by Sir Henry Billingsley (d. 1606), with a preface by John Dee (1527-1608). London: John Day, 1570. First edition of the first complete English translation of Euclid ’ s Elements . This full translation by Sir Henry Billingsley, a successful London merchant who later became Lord Mayor, relied on the achievements of two earlier editors, Campanus Novara (a medieval Latin translation first printed in Venice 1482) and Bartolomeo Zamberti (a new translation from Greek into Latin printed in 1505), and undoubtedly benefited from the involvement of John Dee who not only wrote the "very fruitfull preface" but contributed many annotations and additional theorems. Folio (324 x 214 mm). Title within an allegorical woodcut border, (McKerrow & Ferguson 99). Folding letterpress "Groundplat" or table accompanying John Dee's preface (a few small holes, tear with old reinforcement on verso). Geometrical diagrams throughout, 34 with one or more overslips in book XI [copies contain varying numbers of overslips, this copy is most likely lacking several]. Woodcut printer's device with portrait of John Day on colophon (McKerrow 145). (Title with small dampstain and with some wear at edges, pale dampstain in lower margins of KK-NN, Fff-end with small nick/loss at lower sheet edge, Xxxi-end with associated marginal repair, burn-hole in foremargin of last six leaves, last leaf with upper, lower and fore-margins renewed.) Contemporary English calf over wooden boards, the sides decorated with rollstamp borders with figures of the virtues (rebacked preserving original spine, upper cover damaged and repaired, straps lacking). Provenance : John Partridge (signature on title); E.N. da C. Andrade (bookplate, sold Sotheby’s New York, 12 July 1965, lot 186; his other copy was sold in the sale of the library of Frank S. Streeter, Christie’s New York, 16 April 2007, lot 183). Sparrow 58; STC 10560; Taylor Mathematical Practioners 41; Thomas-Stanford 41. "This Preface , which set out systematically the many derivatives and practical applications of arithmetic and geometry... established Dee's intellectual leadership among English mathematical practitioners for three generations or more" (Taylor). The printing by John Day (1522-1584) of such a large folio, complete with its folding overslips, was a monumental task, and his portrait is included both on the colophon and possibly as the bearded figure of Mercury at the foot of the title-page. The overslips were originally printed as six bifolia bound in at the end.
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