Claudius Ptolomaeus, d. after AD 161. Magnae Constructionis (Almagest).
Basel, Ionnem Walderum, 1538. 2 volumes in 1. Also included is Theonis
Alexandrini in eosdem Commentariorum Lib. XI. Small printer's device on
title page, diagrams, historiated initials throughout. 1 leaf with Walder
device on verso. Bound in contemporary calf, gilt, with large armorial
stamp on sides of Marcus Laurinus, gilt fleurons in each compartment of
spine. Ownership inscription on title page "Bibliotheca Colbertina" and
other library stamps including Viscount Messey, Mathematical Society, and
the Royal Astronomical Society.
First editions of the Greek text, edited by Simon Grynaeus from the
original manuscript (Arabic, 827).
The Almagest (an Arabic word for "the great astronomer") is an encyclopedia
of astronomy, based on Hipparchus's work, and is the most accurate ancient
description of the heavens. It "established astronomy as a mathematical
discipline. It contains an elaborate theory of the planets, the discovery
of the second inequality of the moon's motion (known as evection), the
determination of the distance of the moon, an exposition of spherical and
plane trigonometry and an account of the construction and use of
astronomical instruments." (Printing and the Mind of Man, 1967, p. 23)