This illustrated work shows the use of over forty different mathematical instruments. It is one of the earliest technical books to use a language other than Latin. Apianus chose German, because his work was intended for practitioners in the field, rather than scholars. "Indeed, in the introduction to the work, Apian calls upon other authors to publish in German so as to encourage the broader dissemination of technical information. This copy contains uncut volvelles, printed on one side of the page, with each part (body of the instrument, major rotating scales, sighting vanes, etc.) separated. Apian intended that readers would cut out the individual items and assemble the instruments" (Tomash & Williams). "Les planches manquent dans plusieurs exemplaires que nous avons consultés" (Van Ortroy 104).
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