Oxford: Sheldonian Theatre, 1702. First edition of the first textbook of astronomy based on Newtonian principles, including the first printing of Newton's lunar theory, and the only printing of his ‘classical scholia’, according to which the ancients had anticipated some aspects of his theory of gravity.
A fine copy of the first text book of astronomy based on Newtonian principles, which contains the first printings of Newton's lunar theory and his "classical scholia". Babson 71; Gray 87. "The nephew of James Gregory, the mathematician, and the son of the Laird of Kinnairdie, David Gregory (1659-1708) was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he was soon appointed to it chair of Mathematics in 1683. In 1684 he sent Newton a manuscript showing the application of the method of infinite series to a variety of geometrical problems. The two met in 1691 and shortly afterwards Newton helped him obtain the Savilian Chair of Astronomy at Oxford. In 1702 Gregory published Astronomiae Physicae & Geometricae as the first textbook of astronomy based on Newtonian principles. The introduction includes the "Classical Scholia" which Newton had prepared for insertion in hisplanned second edition of the Principia. This attempted to show that essential elements of Newtonian science were also espoused in classical times. Gregory also included Newton’s Theory of the Moon’s Motion [Lunae Theoria Newtoniana, pp.332-336], long used as a guide for practical astronomers in determining the moon’s motion." (Gjertsen: The Newton Handbook). Sotheran I: 1652; Wallis 87; Houzeau & Lancaster 9240.
Folio: 369 x 245 mm. Contemporary Cambrdige panelled calf. Expertly re-backed, preseving the original gilt leather label. A very nice copy. Internally clean and fine throughout. Provenance: armorial book-plate to front paste-down of the Earl of Breadalbane. (12), 494, (2) pp.