Praelectiones tresdecim in principium Elementorum Euclidis habitae MDC.XX.
[ Savile, Henry ].

Oxford: Iohannes Lichfield & Iacobus Short, 1621. First edition. Woodcut diagrams throughout, decorative initial letters and headbands. Printed in Roman, italic, and Greek types. Old armorial bookplate on front pastedown, with library withdrawal rubberstamp. Some light toning, offsetting to margins of first and last few leaves from the binding, tear in upper margin of Kk3. A very good copy. Contemporary paneled calf, neatly rebacked in modern calf. Gilt spine with red calf label. Small quarto. . [4], 260 pp. (Item ID: 16482)


Sir Henry Savile (1549-1622), warden of Merton College, Oxford, was one of the foremost scholars of his day and a patron and donor to the library established by his friend Thomas Bodley. The Praelectiones are a series of lectures on Euclid's Elements delivered to inaugurate the Savilian professorships in Geometry and Astronomy, which he founded. Euclid was a life-long interest of Savile's. He stated at one point that he could forget to eat or sleep when absorbed by his study of the Elements. His lectures are today "still of scholarly worth" (Oxford DNB).

Though many copies of this book exist in old British libraries (especially at Oxford), it is quite scarce on the market, and ESTC notes only five copies in American libraries (Columbia, Folger, Harvard, Huntington, and University of Illinois). STC 21782. Madan I, p. 116.

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