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De Lunae Atmosphaera Dissertatio.

De Lunae Atmosphaera Dissertatio.

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De Lunae Atmosphaera Dissertatio.

by Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich

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About This Item


Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich. De Lunae Atmosphaera Dissertatio. Text in Latin. Illustrated with fold-out engraved plate comprising numerous geometric diagrams bound at the end; large woodcut device on title-page; woodcut baroque decorative head-piece and woodcut initial on page III. Errata on verso of last leaf. Slim 4to. Original Italian flexible carta rustica, later backed in parchment, untrimmed. Printed in Rome by Generoso Salomoni for Venanzio Monaldini, 1753. First Edition of this important pioneering workby Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich, the celebrated Croatian Jesuit scientist, in which he examines and disproves the claims (by Leonhard Euler among others) that the moon has an atmosphere. (Riccardi I, 177-8 (42); Honeyman Collection 422)

"Boscovich's first contribution to the pluralist debate was indirect and antipluralist in its implications; in 1753 he published De lunae atmospheraera, in which he analyzed whether or not the moon possesses an atmosphere. Led to his investigation by a 1748 paper by Euler, who had used observations of a solar eclipse to suggest that the moon possesses sufficient atmosphere to produce a refraction of 20 seconds of arc, Boscovich systematically analyzed possible and actual observations of objects (stars, planets, and the sun) occulted by the moon to conclude that Euler's result was wrong. In particular, he asserted that if the moon possesses any atmosphere, it is far less dense than Euler had supposed." (Michael J. Crowe, The Extraterrestrial Life Debate, 1750-1900)

Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich, the famous Jesuit scientist, philosopher, and poet, whose original name was Rudjer Josip Bošković, was born May 18, 1711 in Ragusa, Dalmatia [now Dubrovnik, Croatia], and entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1726. He studied mathematics and physics at the Collegium Romanum, in Rome, where he was appointed professor of mathematics in 1740. One of the first scientists of continental Europe to accept Isaac Newton's gravitational theory, he published nearly 70 papers on optics, astronomy, gravitation, meteorology, and trigonometry.
"Boskovic was perhaps the last great polymath to figure in an important way in the history of science, and his career was in consequence something of an anachronism and presents something of an enigma. He stands between Newton and Leibniz at one extreme and Faraday and field theory at the other. . .. A somewhat isolated figure, he belonged to no definite eighteenth-century tradition. . .." (DSB)

A few minor repairs to covers; some worming to the last 3 quires, repaired with minor loss (about 2 to 5 words partially affected on pages 49-74); no loss to the folding plate and Errata page. 18th-century owner's signature to outer margin of title-page. A few minor spots, and occasional very light browning; o/w a very clean and bright copy with wide margins. Scarce.


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George Robert Minkoff, Inc. US (US)
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De Lunae Atmosphaera Dissertatio.
Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich
Original Italian flexible carta rustica, later backed in parchment, untrimmed.
Book Condition
Quantity Available
First Edition
Generoso Salomoni for Venanzio Monaldini
Place of Publication
Date Published
Slim 4to.
0.00 lbs
astronomy, moon, euler, jesuit, croatia, dalmatia
Bookseller catalogs
Latin & Greek; Christianity; Math & Science;

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About the Seller

George Robert Minkoff, Inc.

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
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Great Barrington, Massachusetts

About George Robert Minkoff, Inc.

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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...
The page bound on the left side of a book, opposite to the recto page.
An abbreviation for otherwise
Full page illustration or photograph. Plates are printed separately from the text of the book, and bound in at production. I.e.,...
Errata: aka Errata Slip A piece of paper either laid in to the book correcting errors found in the printed text after being...
Especially for older books, a printer's device refers to an identifying mark, also sometimes called a printer's mark, on the...
Pages or book covering made from a prepared animal skin. Parchment describes any animal skin used for books, while vellum is a...

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