Cologne: Agrippinae, apud haeredes A. Birckmanni, 1580.
5th or later Edition. Soft cover. 4to - over 9¾ - 12" tall. Near Fine. Item #002937
4to (194 x 152 mm). , 47 (i.e. 46),  leaves. Title with woodcut printer's device, several woodcut illustrations in text. Signatures: A-M4, including final blank. Bound in contemporary limp vellum, front board lettered in manuscript (vellum soiled and stained, ties gone, boards somewhat bowed). Text generally crisp and clean with only very minor spotting in places. Near fine copy. ---- VD 16, J 679; Adams P-536; Houzeau-Lancaster 1714; DSB X, p.476. - First Cologne edition by Birckmann. "The Perspectiva communis was the most wideley used of all optical texts from the early 14th until the close of the sixteenth century, and it remains today the best index of what was known to the scientific community in general on the subject." (DSB). It was written in about the 1270s and proved very influential; the first printed edition appeared around 1482 by Petrus de Corneno in Milan. John Peckham, English theologian, mathematician, and physicist, was a member of the Franciscan order, and became Archbishop of Canterbury from 1279-1292. "His 'Perspectiva Communis' is ... divided in three parts, of which the second and third deal respectively with reflection and refraction ... Peckham's Optics was largely derived from Ibn al-Haitham (Alhazen c. 965-1039; 'one of the greatest students of optics of all times'). Hence it is not surprising to find in it references to the camera obscura, even as we find them in the contemporary works of Bacon and Witelo. There is a description of the eye, and the printed editions contain a diagram of it which was probably the earliest to appear in print." (Sarton: Hist. of Science, II, p. 1029). - Visit our website for additional images and information.
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