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Title: De la grandeur et de la figure de la terre. [In: Suite des memoires de l'Academie Royale des Sciences. Année M.DCCXVIII.]
Description: Paris, De l'Imprimerie Royale, 1720. [actually 1722]. 4to. 2 parts in 1 vol. W. engr. front. (Dupuis after Ant. Coypel, d. 1719), 5 engr. folding maps and 10 (part I) + 5 (part II) engr. fold. pls. Contemp. full clf., spine rebacked in a sympathetic manner, not recent. W. red spine label. (Edges of covers some rubb., board edges giltst.). (XII, 306, I (Errata), I (blank) pp.). (First 6 prelim. lvs. lower margin a wormhole 2 x 0.5 cm; maps 1, 2 and 3 lower margin a few pinhole wormh.; some offsetting of front. on printed title 'Suite'; libr. stamp 'WU Duplicate' on half title.). First edition. DSB III, p. 104 - 106: Cassini, 1677 - 1756. Astronomy, geodesy. 'In 1695 Cassini accompanied his father on a journey through Italy, where he made numerous scientific observations ... he travelled next to Flanders, The Netherlands, and England making various geodesic and astronomical measurements, ... while visiting these countries he became acquainted with Newton, Halley, and Flamsteed and was admitted to the Royal Society. In 1700 - 1701 Cassini participated in his father's project of extending the meridian of Paris as far as the southern border of France. ... In 1718 Cassini managed to complete the determination of the meridian of Paris, ... in 1722 he published the important work "De la grandeur et de la figure de la terre", in which he confirmed his support for the hypothesis of the elongation of the terrestrial ellipsoid and opposed that of its flattening, which was defended by the supporters of Newton and Huygens.': De La Lande, 373: From the preface: ' "La Grandeur & La Figure de la Terre" resultent des observation faites dans les Voyages qui ont été entrepris en divers temps par Ordre du Roy, pour déterminer, depuis l'extremité Meridionale de la France jusqu'à son extremité Septentrionale, la Ligne Meridienne qui passe par l'Observatoire Royal de Paris. C'est pourquois nous diviserons ce Traité en deux Parties, dont la premiere contiendra les Observations faites depuis Paris jusqu'aux Pyrenées; & la seconde, les Observations depuis cette même Ville jusqu'à l'extremité Septentrionale du Royaume.': Cassini's publication led to heated discussions and debates regarding the hypothesis of the elongation of the terrestrial ellipsoid and that of its flattening. ' ... the young Newtonians of the Academy arranged for the sending of geodesic expeditions to Peru and to Lapland in order to obtain measurements of arcs of meridian of latitudes sufficiently different to permit a settlement of the dispute.' (DSB III, p. 105): The engraved frontispiece depicts the allegorical figure of Minerva holding a picture of the young Louis XV (The lower part of the picture frame signed 'Rigaud pinxit'), a skeleton in the shade behind Minerva ... the death of Louis XIV a few years before. The 5 engraved folding maps (4 large folding maps covering France; 1 double page map of the whole of France;), 4 signed 'De Berey sculpsit'. The cartouche on the double page map reading 'Carte de France ou sont marquez les triangles qui ont servi a determiner la meridiene de Paris'.: A very good copy.

Keywords: weights mathematics cartography measures

Price: EUR 1475.00 = appr. US$ 1603.10 Seller: Antiquariaat B.M.Israel B.V.
- Book number: 541