Venice: Sumptibus Lucentonii Juntae Typographi, 1533. First edition.
A fine copy, with contemporary annotations, of these very rare ephemerides, containing tables as well as astrological prognostications for the years 1534 through 1551, each preceded by a special title page.
❧Horblit 447 (two leaves in in facsimile); Honeyman 1448 (10 leaves defective).
According to Houzeau and Lancaster, the ephemerides are calculated after the Alphonsine Tables, and for the meridian of Venice. Astrologer and mathematician, Luca Gaurico was born at Giffoni, near Naples, in 1476 and died at Rome in 1558. As a mathematician he is best known for the first published Latin translations of Archimedes’ works De Mensura Circuli and De Quadratura Parabolae (1503). He went on to publish an edition of Pecham’s Perspectiva Communis (Venice, 1504), and Trapezuntius’s translation of the Almagest (Venice, 1528). Rose (p. 120) suggests that Gaurico may have met Copernicus at Padua, as they were both at the university in the early years of the 16th century, and would have shared a common interest in Ptolemy and Archimedes. In 1531 he was appointed professor of mathematics at Ferrara, where Scaliger was one of his pupils.
Gaurico’s contemporary reputation stemmed from his astrological prognostications. He was appointed ‘astrological consultant’ to Catherine de Medici after correctly predicting (aged 14) the ascension to the papacy of Catherine’s great-uncle Giovanni de Medici. He became famous throughout Europe after twice predicting in 1529 and 1532 the ascension of Alessandro Farnese who, as Paul III, rewarded him by making him bishop of Giffoni in 1539, transferring him in 1545 to the see of Civitate nella Capitanata. His most famous astrological work is his Tractatus Astrologicus (1552) which gave charts of the foundation of various buildings and cities as well as the natal charts of popes, cardinals and other eminent religious leaders, kings and nobles, scholars, musicians and artists.
Gardner 488; Houzeau & Lancaster 14657; Riccardi I 579-80. Rose, The Italian Renaissance of Mathematics, 1975; Thorndike, History of Magic and Experimental Science, Vol. IV, 1941. OCLC lists six copies in America (Brown, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Harvard, Michigan).
4to (218 x 160 mm), ff. ; . With woodcut illustrations, charts, ornaments and decorations. Colophon and separate leaf with Junta device; small device on title page. Contemporary limp vellum, worn, some small flaws to the inner margin of the front free end paper and title page as well as the next two leaves.