"One could argue that it was Commandino's translating activity that made possible the rapid recovery of Western mathematics in the sixteenth century." -Encyclopedia of the Scientific Revolution
“In the sixteenth century, Western mathematics emerged swiftly from a millennial decline. This rapid ascent was assisted by Apollonius, Archimedes, Aristarchus, Euclid, Eutocius, Heron, Pappus, Ptolemy and Serenus - as published by Commandino.” -Edward Rosen, Dictionary of Scientific Biography
FIRST EDITION OF THE MAGNIFICENT COMMANDINO EUCLID. THE DE-CHAMBRAY- MACCLESFIELD COPY.
“Almost from the time of its writing, the Elements exerted a continuous and major influence on human affairs. It was the primary source of geometric reasoning, theorems, and methods at least until the advent of non-Euclidean geometry in the 19th century. It is sometimes said that, other than the Bible, the Elements is the most translated, published, and studied of all the books produced in the Western world. Euclid... set a standard for deductive and geometric instruction that persisted, practically unchanged, for more than 2,000 years” (Britannica).
Translated into Latin with extensive commentary by the noted scholar Federico Commandino. Commandino's edition was "made use of by subsequent editors for centuries" (Thomas-Stanford). The Commandino Euclid is a gorgeously printed book, profusely illustrated with 865 in-text diagrams.
Provenance: Roland Fréart de Chambray, with his ownership signature on front free endpaper (dated Paris, 1645); The Earl of Macclesfield, with his bookplate and embossed stamps from Shirburn Castle, Oxfordshire.
de Chambray was an important figure in seventeenth-century French culture. In 1640 he was sent by Richelieu to Rome “to bring back to Paris the best artists of the time with the aim of making France the new artistic centre of the time.” (It is likely he brought this copy of Euclid back with him.) He was an influential architectural and aesthetic critic, publishing the widely read Parallel of Antique and Modern Architecture in 1650 and translating into French the works of Palladio and Da Vinci. (Lefaivre and Tzonis, The Emergence of Modern Architecture).
The library of the Earl of Macclesfield was one of the most renowned scientific libraries ever assembled, remaining largely untouched since the 18th-century until it was sold in a series of sales in 2004-2005. At the time, the Macclesfield sale realized the highest total ever for any sale of scientific books and manuscripts.
Elementorum libri XV una cum scholiis antiquiis. A Federico Commandino Urbinate nuper in latinum conversi, commentariisque quibusdam illustrati. Pesaro: Camillo Franceschini, 1572. Folio (209x300mm), early full calf rebacked with original spine laid-down, gilt-ruled boards and gilt-decorated spine; edges speckled red. A few early notations in margins (possibly de Chambray’s). Very occasional light browning but text exceptionally clean; CCC2 torn in margin. A few scuffs to binding. An outstanding wide-margined copy with distinguished provenance.
Price: $11,000 .