Vie de Pierre Gassendi, Prevot de l'Eglise de Digne & Professeur de Mathematiques au College Royal.
by [GASSENDI, Pierre (1592-1655)] BOUGEREL, Joseph (1680-1753).
Paris:: Jacques Vincent, 1737., 1737. 12mo. , 486 [i.e. 488*] pp. * Page numbers 287-288 repeated in the pagination. Printer's ornament on title, woodcut head and tail pieces, index, engraved capitals, errata; small dampstain marks on fore-edge and lower margins. Contemporary full tree calf, gilt-decorated spine, raised bands; spine ends and corners neatly restored. Very good +. First edition. A necessary work for serious Gassendi scholars, "which should be examined carefully because the author had access to documents that are now lost." – Bernard Rochot, DSB V, p. 290. Includes a catalogue of the works of Gassendi. Some copies were issued with an engraved portrait of Gassendi, not present here. Gassendi, the son of a family farmer, rose to become one of the most respected philosophers and scientists of the 17th century. He is remembered for his resistance to Aristotelian and Cartesian ideals, and for publishing the first data on the transit of Mercury across the Sun, thereby confirming Kepler's claims regarding the planet's elongated elliptical orbit and unequal motions. To chart Mercury's progression, Gassendi devised an ingenious method based on the principle of camera obscura. He was a pioneer of observation with the telescope, observed the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn. He is also credited with the first scientific description of an aurora borealis.
(Inventory #: RW1439)
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