Cursus Mathematicus


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Item#: 124044 price:$4,400.00

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SCHOTT, Gaspar. Cursus Mathematicus, sive Absoluta Omnium Mathematicarum Disciplinarum Encyclopaedia. Herbipoli [i.e. Würzburg]: Jobus Hertz [for] Joannis Godefridi, 1661. Folio (8-1/2 by 13 inches), contemporary full vellum, later morocco spine labels, yapp edges. $4400.

First edition of this fascinating 17th-century mathematical encyclopedia, splendidly illustrated with engraved extra title page featuring Emperor Leopold I and 42 folio engravings, including chapters on arithmetic, geometry, trigonometry, algebra, logarithms, astrology and astronomy, chronology, geography, hydrography, horology, mechanics, hydrostatics and hydraulics, optics and dioptics, military architecture and tactics, and musical harmonics. A desirable folio volume in contemporary vellum, with a nice provenance.

Gaspar Schott (1608-66) a German Jesuit, studied philosophy under Athanasius Kircher at Würzburg University and became his assistant and chief collaborator. "Schott decided that since Kircher did not have time to publish all that he knew and all the information communicated to him by Jesuits abroad, he himself would do so. While compiling this material, he returned to Germany in the summer of 1655, first to Mainz and then to Würzburg, where he taught mathematics and physics… During the last years of his life he decided to publish the mass of material he had collected [and]… produced in a period of eight years (1658-66) eleven books… Exhausted, it was said, by overwork on his books, he died in 1666" (DSB). Text in Latin. With numerous woodcut illustrations and diagrams in the text; woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces. Engraved armorial bookplate and ownership inscription at head of title page of Johann Adolph, Count Wolff-Metternich, Baron zur Gracht of Prussia. Johann Adolf Wolff Metternich zur Gracht (1592-1669) was an accomplished diplomat whose services for the Electors of Köln and, later, Bavaria, were well-rewarded with grants of land and the rights to income from various taxes and duties. He was also created Baron by the Holy Roman Emperor Ferdinand II in 1637. Library inkstamp on title page pasted over.

Light edge-wear to engraved extra title page, which has not been cut down and is slightly larger than the rest of the text block. Some mild embrowning to text; plates clean. Minor soiling to vellum. A very good copy with a nice provenance.

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