Grüneberg, Christian (d.1700). Sphinx Arithmetica, Sesquicentum εσφιγμενων, Vulgarem Logisticam Decimalem, Logisticam Sexagenariam, Logarithmicam Nepperianam Algebraicam Numerosam Arithmeticam Complexorum. Frankfurt an der Oder: Johann Coepsel, [c.1690], [VD17 12:196755Y (recording only Bayerische Staatsbibliothek copy)], first two leaves browned and scorched at corner
[Confucius] La Science des Chinois traduite mot pour mot de la langue chinoise par le R. Père Intorcetta Iesuite. Paris: Gervais Clousier & André Cramoisy, 1672, 24pp., [Cordier, Bibl. Sinica 1389-1392]
4 works in one volume, folio (300 x 185mm.), eighteenth-century English half calf, spine gilt with red morocco label ("Arithmetic"), modern fitted cloth folding box
Decker, Ezechiel de. Tweede deel vande niewe tel-konst. Facsimile of the only copy extant. Nieuwkoop: B. de Graaf, 1964, 4to, cream cloth gilt, glassine jacket, [T&W D24bis]
together 2 volumes
The following year, de Decker published the Tweede deel van de Nieuwe Telkonst, announcing in a “Preface to the Art-loving Reader” the imminent publication of Vlacq’s “Great Table”, in Latin, French, and Dutch: “Enjoy meanwhile this book, until the other will leave the printing press”. It appears, however, that de Decker had discovered a shortcut to calculating the missing logarithms, and that he proceeded without Vlacq, sending his own “Great Table” to the printer Rammazeyn. Perhaps because de Decker had broken his contract with Vlacq, or “because Vlacq must have shown that an ‘academic’ version in the style of Briggs’ Arithmetica Logarithmica would sell better than de Decker’s competing ‘merchant-oriented’ version,” the publication was quickly suppressed (Van Poelje). The sheets of de Decker’s extensive introduction were destroyed; his tables were bound into Vlacq’s Arithmetica Logarithmica of 1628 (see lot 679).
The early historians and bibliographers - Cantor, Cajori, De Morgan, Glaisher, Bierens de Haan - all doubted that copies of the Tweede deel had survived. In 1920, a volume containing both de Decker’s text and his “Great Tables” was acquired by the Life Assurance Society "Utrecht" (now Utrecht, AMEV, A-II 23; facsimile edition of the text and a few leaves of the tables, Nieuwkoop, 1964; a copy is included in this lot). Until the appearance of the present volume, which contains de Decker’s text, but not his tables, that copy was considered a unicum.
Briggs: An introduction to the use of logarithms, not in fact a translation of Briggs’ Arithmetica logarithmica (London 1624) - as suggested by the title-page - but a version of Vlacq’s Arithmetica logarithmica (Gouda 1628). The introduction is usually accompanied by a large set of tables (764pp.), being the actual sheets of De Decker’s “Great Tables”, printed in Gouda in 1628, with a divisional title in Dutch (Tafel der Logarithmi…). These tables have not been bound in the present volume (cf. Henderson pp.58-59 26.0).
Grüneberg: An introduction to mathematics cast in the form of a dialogue between Oedipus and the Sphinx; the riddles 529-533 are concerned with Naperian logarithms. Although the author, professor of mathematics in Frankfurt an der Oder, operated a private press, this book is a product of the university press (Josef Benzing & Christoph Reske, Die Buchdrucker des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts im deutschen Sprachgebiet, Wiesbaden 2015, pp.275, 420).
Confucius: The Jesuit Prospero Intorcetta (1625-1696) had accompanied Martino Martini to China in 1657 and apart from a brief spell back in Rome (1669-1676), lived in China for the remainder of his life. He made this Latin translation of the Chung Yung, or Doctrine of the Mean, one of the four books which constituted the core of Chinese education, before his return trip to Europe, and it was first published in a parallel Chinese-Latin edition in Guangzhou and Goa, in 1667-1669. A copy of that book came into the hands of the French scholar, Melchisédech Thévenot, who reprinted the Latin texts in his Relations de divers voyages curieux (Paris: Cramoisy, 1672), volume 4 (subtitled Sinarum Scientia politico-moralis), adding French translations. The publisher Cramoisy simultaneously issued those sheets as an independent work, printing the new title-page La Science des Chinois traduite which is found here. “Leaving aside the few lines of the Daxue translated by [Michele] Ruggieri and published in 1593, the publication by Thévenot in 1672 can be considered the first translation of a Confucian classic to be published in Europe” (Thierry Meynard, The Jesuit Reading of Confucius, Leiden 2015, pp.13-14).
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