Preclarissimus liber elementorum Euclidis perspicacissimi: in artem geometrie incipit qua[m]fœlicissime
- Uniform Title
- Elements. Latin
- [Venice] : [Erhard Ratdolt], [25 May 1482]
- Physical description
-  pages : diagrams ; 31 cm (fol.)
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- Adelard, of Bath, approximately 1090-approximately 1160, translator.
- Campano, da Novara, -1296, editor, commentator for written text.
- Hypsicles, of Alexandria author.
- Ratdolt, Erhard, 1447?-1527 or 1528, printer.
- Crocker, William H., former owner.
- Crocker, William H., Mrs., former owner.
- Riviere & Son.
- Publication date
- Title variation
- Liber elementorum Euclidis
- Title in ISTC: Elementa geometriae
- Title in Goff: Elementa geometria
- 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.
- Referenced in
- Incunabula short title catalogue, ie00113000
- Gesamtkatalog der Wiegendrucke, 9428
- Goff, F.R. Incunabula in American libraries, E-113
- Copinger, W.A. Supplement to Hain's Repertorium bibliographicum, 6693*
- Catalogue of books printed in the XVth century now in the British Museum, V, 285 (IB.20513, IB.20514, IB.20515)
- Indice generale degli incunaboli delle biblioteche d'Italia, 3722
- Catalogue of books printed in the fifteenth century now in the Bodleian Library, Oxford, E-036
- Catalogue of the fifteenth-century printed books in the University Library, Cambridge, 1748, 1749
- Catalogue of the fifteenth-century printed books in the Harvard University Library, 1805, 1806, 1807
- Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Inkunabelkatalog, E-106
- Pellechet, M. Catalogue général des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France, 4630, 4630A
- Hillard, D. Catalogues régionaux des incunables des bibliothèques publiques de France. 6, Bibliothèque Mazarine, 776
- Polain, M.-L. Catalogue des livres imprimés au quinzième siècle des bibliothèques de Belgique, 1425
- Proctor, R. Index to the early printed books in the British Museum, 4383
- Klebs, A.C. Incunabula scientifica et medica, 383.1
- Horblit, H.D. One hundred books famous in science, 27
- Thomas-Stanford, C. Early editions of Euclid's Elements, 1a
- Stillwell, M.B. Awakening interest in science during the first century of printing, 1450-1550, 163
- Printing and the mind of man (2nd ed.), 25
- Burndy Library. Heralds of science, 100
- Hook, D.H. Haskell F. Norman Library of science and medicine, 729
- Redgrave, G.R. Erhard Ratdolt and his work at Venice, 26
- Riccardi, P. Saggio di un bibliografia euclidea, 1482.1
- Duarte, F.J. Bibliografía: Euclides, Arquímedes, Newton, page 1
- Sotheby & Co. Honeyman Collection (1981), 970
- Sotheby & Co. Horblit Collection (1974), 341
- Wightman, W.P.D. Science and the Renaissance, 235(a)
- Grassi G. Union catalogue of European astronomical observatories, page 235
- Pollard, A.W. Catalogue of books mostly from the presses of the first printers ... collected by Rush C. Hawkins, 254
- Action note
- Cons. Trans. #1950.
- Stanford copy 1 (BARCH): Rubrication: untouched. Binding: full dark blue morocco, gilt panels; upper and lower covers have blind-stamped panels bordered in gilt with arabesques and devices at corners; marbled endpapers; all edges gilt. Binder: Riviere & Son (stamp). Binder's title: Euclid. Venetus 1482; in case, with title: Elementa geometrica.
- Stanford copy 1 (BARCH): Provenance: Wm. Crocker deposit (inscription); scant ms. marginalia on p. -.
- Italy -- Venice.
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