Frankfurt: Erasmus Kempfer for Godefrid Tampach, 1621.
2nd Edition. Soft cover. Folio - over 12 - 15" tall. Very Good. Item #002603
1621-1622. Folio (290 x 193 mm). 1-114, 119-163 ; 1-50 pp. 5 folding plates. Signatures: ):(4 A-V4; a-e4 f6 (-f6, blank), 109 of 110 leaves, without the final blank only. Second work with separate title-page, p.89 with section title to the Narratio Prima. Near contemporary paper wrappers, bound without endpapers, blue-colored edges, housed in a custom clamshell box. Text and plates little browned, occasional minor spotting, title-page somewhat soiled, two tiny holes in title-leaf (one affecting one letter of text), short tear at fold of plate 3 outside image, a few dog ears to upper blank corner. A fine, unsophisticated copy. ----
Caspar 67 & 68; Houzeau-Lancaster 2841; DSB VII, p.291-3. - ENLARGED SECOND EDITION of the Prodromus; together as issued with the FIRST EDITION of the Apologia. When Kepler originally published Prodromus Dissertationum Cosmographicarum, continens Mysterium Cosmographicum as a defence against Fludd in 1596, it "was the first unabashedly Copernican treatise since De Revolutionibus itself . . . Kepler argued that the sun's centrality was essential, for the sun itself must provide the driving force to keep the planets in motion . . . although the principal idea of the Mysterium Cosmographicum was erroneous, Kepler established himself as the first, and until Descartes the only, scientist to demand physical explanations for celestial phenomena. Seldom in history has so wrong a book been so seminal in directing the future course of science" (DSB).
The Prodromus was originally printed in 1596 in quarto format in a small edition of about 300 copies. Using the numerical relationship between the five regular solid figures or 'Platonic bodies' and the five intervals between the six planets then known, Kepler advanced the first unitary system in explanation of the structure of the solar system. By 1621 the Prodromus was out of print and it was decided to bring out a new edition; rather than rewrite the text, Kepler added numerous detailed footnotes which enabled him to elaborate upon and amend in the light of his subsequent studies the intuitive discoveries of his youthful genius regarding the number, size, and the course of the planets. This 1621 edition is thus of great importance. The Apologia (1622) is Kepler's defense against the reproaches of Robert Fludd, English physician and mystical philosopher. Kepler had criticized Fludd in an appendix to Harmonices Mundi (1619); the latter continued the argument in published replies to Kepler in 1621 and 1622.
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