"The Greatest Work In The History of Science": First Edition in English of Newtons Principia
The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translated into English by Andrew Motte. To which are added, the Laws of the Moon’s Motion, according to Gravity.
Item Number: 3760
London: Benjamin Motte, 1729.
First edition in English of Isaac Newton’s Principia. Octavo, two volumes. Bound in full calf, gilt titles and stamping to the spine. With forty-six folding engraved plates and two folding charts. A few leaves with light foxing, pages lightly toned; an excellent near fine example of this landmark work.
"Newtons Principia is generally described as the greatest work in the history of science. Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler had certainly shown the way; but where they described the phenomena they observed, Newton explained the underlying universal laws. The Principia provided the greatest synthesis of the cosmos, proving finally its physical unity. Newton showed that the important and dramatic aspects of nature that were subject to the universal law of gravitation could be explained, in mathematical terms, with a single physical theory. With him the separation of the natural and supernatural, of sublunar and superlunar worlds disappeared. The same laws of gravitation and motion rule everywhere; for the first time a single mathematical law could explain the motion of objects on earth as well as the phenomena of the heavens. The whole cosmos is composed of inter-connecting parts influencing each other according to these laws. It was this grand conception that produced a general revolution in human thought, equaled perhaps only by that following Darwins Origin of Species [Newton] is generally regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians of all time and the founder of mathematical physics" (PMM 161). "It is perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make" (Einstein).