Apr 08, 2021 - Sale 2563

Sale 2563 - Lot 201

Price Realized: $ 1,188
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
Cleomedes (fl. circa 400 CE); ed. Robert Balfour (c. 1553-1621)
Cleomedis Meteora Graece et Latine.

Bordeaux: Simon Milangium, 1605.

First edition, quarto, title page printed in red and black with a block of type ornaments above the imprint, illustrated with text diagrams throughout, text in first section printed in Greek and Latin in parallel columns, divisional title page for Balfour's commentary, pagination and collation continuous, bound in parchment over boards, boards bowed, contents toned, some minor worming, 8 1/2 x 6 in.

Balfour was the principal of Guienne College in Bordeaux. He consulted a manuscript of Cleomedes' work from the Cardinal François de Joyeuse's (1562-1615) library. Cleomedes was an ancient Greek astronomer and author of On the Circular Motions of the Celestial Bodies, a blend of philosophy and science from a Stoic perspective. Through his extensive verbatim references to Posidonius of Rhodes (135-51 BCE), he has effectively preserved the work, which has not come down to us through any extant manuscripts. Cleomedes' work is valuable for its accurate obersvations on lunar eclipses, and the earliest clear explantion of the Sun and Moon Illusion, i.e., why the rising and setting bodies look larger at the horizon than they do when fully risen, even though their sizes do not change. Even this he attributes to Posidonius.