Bologna: Typis Haeredis Victorii Benatii, 1645.
1st Edition. Hardcover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Near Fine. Item #002254
4to (223 x 160 mm). , 228,  pp., including half-title, fine engraved frontispiece with Medici arms by Coriolano, errata and imprimatur/colophon leaves at end, the latter with large printer's device. Numerous woodcut astronomical diagrams in text. Text within ruled borders throughout. Contemporary full vellum, spine titled in manuscript (covers faintly bowed). Internally very clean and crisp with no signs of spotting or markings. Provenance: Lieutenant Rafe? (illegible inscription to front pastedown, dated 1817). An outstanding copy of a rare and important work. ----
DSB I, pp.507-16; Riccardi II, 288. First separate edition of al-Battani's "great work on astronomy, ... among the most excellent in Islamic astronomy" (DSB). Al-Battani (858-929 A.D.) holds a place of honour among Islamic astronomers and historians. This is his principal work, the Kitab al-Zij, translated into Latin as De Scientia Stellarum by Plato of Tivoli in the first half of the twelfth century, on which his fame in both the East and West rests. He tested many of Ptolemy's results by fresh observations, and obtained more accurate values of the obliquity of the ecliptic and of precession. He improved the moon's mean motion in longitude, used signs and cosines, and introduced new and elegant solutions into spherical trigonometry. He measured the apparent diameters of the sun and moon and their variation, and concluded that annular solar eclipses must be possible. The indebtedness of Copernicus to al-Battani is well known, he is frequently quoted by Tycho Brahe and Riccioli, and his observations were of interest to Kepler and Galileo. The De Scientia Stellarum was first published in 1537 with Alfragani's Rudimenta astronomica. The present edition was the only other edition until Nallino's superb scholarly edition of 1899.
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