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COPERNICUS, Nicolaus; STADIUS, Johannes.

De revolutionibus orbium coelestium, Libri VI

[bound with] Tabulae Bergenses aequabilis et apparentis motus orbium coelestium...

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Basel; Cologne, Heinrich Petri; heirs of Arnold Birckmann, 1566

The second (authorised) edition of the most important scientific publication of the sixteenth century.

Copernicus' De revolutionibus assigned the Sun the central position in the solar system and repositioned the earth as a revolving planet. In thus transforming man's view of the cosmos, it 'set the course for the modern world by its effective destruction of the anthropocentric view of the universe' (PMM 70).

The text of the second edition of De revolutionibus is virtually identical to the 1543 Nuremberg first edition—even the errata that were enumerated on a leaf inserted in some copies of the first edition were not corrected. Additionally, Andreas Osiander's anonymous (and unauthorised) preface was retained, although it presented Copernicus's work as a strictly hypothetical system invented as a convenient calculating device that could well be false, even if the Copernican system was consistent with astronomical observations.

The present edition is the first to contain Rheticus's

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2 works in one vol., folio (29.2 x 18.8 cm); [Copernicus:] Roman type, occasional Greek type, woodcut device to title and Gg6v, woodcut historiated initials, diagrams, and tables, some browning (as usual), occasionally heavy, some foxing, very occasional early ink and later pencil marginalia, 19th-century Italian inscription to first blank; collation: []6 a-z4 A-Z4 Aa-Ff4 Gg6; [Stadius:] woodcut portrait of the author to title, woodcut initials and tables, some foxing and heavy browning, quire Ff shaved with slight loss to fore-edge, restoration to final blank; collation: A-Z4 Aa-Ff4 (Ff4 blank); rebound in period vellum over boards, boards slightly marked and rubbed, endpapers renewed, red speckled edges, overall a good copy.


cf. PMM 70 (1st edition of Copernicus); Adams C-2603; Houzeau & Lancaster 2503 (for Copernicus); Tomash & Williams S176 (for Stadius).

Stock ID:108537

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