Heronis Mechanici Liber de Machinis Bellicis

HERO OF ALEXANDRIA

add to my shopping bag

Item#: 121120 price:$5,500.00

Book Image
Alternate image
Alternate image
Alternate image

HERO OF ALEXANDRIA'S ON ENGINES OF WAR, 1572 FIRST EDITION IN LATIN, WITH WOODCUT ILLUSTRATIONS THROUGHOUT, SEVERAL FULL-PAGE

HERO OF ALEXANDRIA. Heronis Mechanici Liber de Machinis Bellicis Necnon Liber de Geodaesia. Venice: Francesco Franceschi, 1572. Small quarto, later drab stiff paper wrappers. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $5500.

Rare first edition (in Latin) of the Greek mathematician and engineer's first-century treatise on mechanics as applied to siege engines during warfare, with woodcut illustrations throughout depicting the devices and machines in operation, several full-page and one double-page. Together with the Geodaesia, on surveying and measuring land distances, as issued.

"Hero (or Heron) of Alexandria is a name under which a number of works have come down to us. They were written in Greek [in the first century AD]… apart from his works we know nothing at all about him… The Belopoiica [On Engines of War] contains the description of the gastraphetes, or stomach bow, a sort of crossbow in which the bowstring is drawn by the archer's leaning his weight against the end of the stock, and two catapults worked by winches; two bundles of sinews provide the elastic power to propel the arrow, bolt, or stone. The catapults are shaped like those described by Vitruvius and Philo" (DSB). "The Belopoiica is extant in Greek, and both this and the Mechanics contain Hero's solution to the problem of the two mean proportionals" (Britannica, 11th ed.). Historiated initials; woodcut device on title.

Interior with some marginal wormtraces, faint dampstaining, occasional foxing; wrappers and text block expertly repaired. Still an excellent copy of this very rare title.

add to my wishlist ask an Expert shipping & guarantee
email to a friend share print

This Book has been Viewed 270 Time(s).