De occulta parte numerorum, quam algebram vocant, libri duo

Paris: Guillaume Cavellat, 1560. 4to. [iv], 62, [6] ff. (61,62 misnumbered 56, 57), including the final errata leaf. Lovely printer's device on title, illustrated and decorated initials, text diagrams. Contemporary vellum; apart from a worm trail running through the lower blank inner margin and minor age browning, a generally good copy of a rare book with contemporary annotations and underlining. Item #12930

First edition in Latin from his scarce and little known treatise L'Algebra, described by Smith as "one of the first practical textbooks on algebra, and one in which he inaugurated the use of literal symbols, later made popular by Viète" (Rara Arithmetica, p. 245). The present translation represents a rare occasion in which Peletier wrote in Latin, for despite his enthusiasm to publish in the vernacular, his peculiar French orthography in previous works had been met with disdain. "In this work he adopted several original and ingenious ideas from Stifel's Arithmetica itegra and showed himself to be strongly influenced by Cardano" (DNB). Peletier studied the foundations of geometry and in 1557 he published In Euclidis elementa demonstrationum in which he rejected the method of superposition.

Peletier (1517-1582) of Le Mans, was a noted French mathematical writer of the Renaissance who was also educated in the law, philosophy, medicine, and poetry. Although his work presented achievements already reached in Germany and Italy, he was the first mathematician to see relations between coefficients and roots of equations.

Price: $3,500.00

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