Tabulae long ac. lat. stellarum fixarum ex observatione... commentariis illustravit, Thomas Hyde. Oxford: Typis Henrici Hall, 1665. [bound with] ULUGH BEG. Epochae Celebrioris, Astronomicis, Historicis... London: Jacobi Flesher, 1650. [and] ABULFEDA (Ismail-ibn Ali). Chorasmiae et Mawaralnahrae, hoc est, Regionum... London: [n.p.], 1650
Three books in one. 4to (209 x 164 mm.) Two titles in red & black, several folding tables, parallel Latin and Persian text, woodcut initials, head- and tailpieces, woodcut diagrams; first book printed left-to-right, last two books printed right-to-left. Manuscript star chart bound after first book; some underlining and occasional marginalia in an early hand. Repair to title of first book, stain touching head and foot of first 3 ff., manuscript leaf browned, book two wanting A1 (blank?). 19th century calf, slightly worn, newer end-papers.
FIRST EDITION IN PERSIAN of one of the most important texts on astronomy of the medieval period. Ulugh Beg, the grandson of Tamerlane, founded an observatory at Samarkand which used the Fakhri sextant for measurement. It had a massive radius of 40.04m and was used to measure the height of the sun at its meridian. "The star catalogue of Ulugh Beg has great value, since it is basically original, but nevertheless was influenced by Ptolemy, at least in respect to its coordinates" (DSB XIII, p.537).
This work was paid for by Hyde himself, although he may well have been subverted by Bishop Seth Ward. Hyde edited it from three manuscripts in the Bodleian (one of them from Edward Pococke), and part of the text had already appeared (edited by John Greaves) in Bainbridge's Canicularia (cf. Macclesfield Science A-C, lot 282). The third book is the first Western edition of any of Abulfida's writings.
Houzeau & Lancaster 1329; Madan 2724; Wing U-23; U-24; I-1073