1656 · London
The Astronomia Geometrica was essentially Ward's second, and more complete, response to Ismail Boulliau's "Astronomia Philolaica" (Paris: 1645), in which Boulliau attempted to remove some of the notorious difficulties that Kepler's Second Law had presented to astronomers in the thirty-six years since its introduction to science. But Boulliau, in his work, only succeeded in making matters more confusing. He imagined cones of sorts, and pictured planets moving about axes central to these cones. In the present work Ward remarked that this was like imagining a body moving in an "elliptical orbit with uniform angular velocity about the empty focus of the ellipse, the Sun being at the other focus" (Source: ODNB).
Seth Ward (1617-1689), Bishop of Salisbury, was a founder member of the Royal Society, and in 1649 was appointed Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford University earning his reputation with his theory of planetary motion which he expounded in "Astronomica." Ward's work was highly influential, especially among the next generation of English and Continental astronomers, who would have had to have struggled with trial and error and tedious approximation using Kepler's original formulae.
PROVENANCE: Red ink stamp of Antonianum Coll Univ Bibl. 1 E 12 to title; same call number on label pasted to tail of spine; blue ink stamp 14286 to initial blank, title, and rectos of following two leaves.
LITERATURE: Henry, John. "Seth Ward, 1617-1689" Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 2016. Pope, Walter. The Life of the Right Reverend Father in God Seth, Lord Bishop of Salisbury, and Chancellor of the Most Noble Order of the Garter. London: William Keblewhite, 1697. Debus, A. G. Science and Education in the Seventeenth Century: the WebsterWard Debate. New York: MacDonald & Co, 1970. REFERENCES: ESTC R38933. De la Lande p. 242. Houzeau-Lancaster 11840. Poggendorf, cols. 1260-1261. (Inventory #: 2072)