This hugely influential mathematical publication bears many connections to Erasmus and his circle as well as to the more general humanist agenda. It was published by Johann Herwagen, who had married the widow of Johann Froben shortly after his death in 1528, and set up his own publishing business in Basel, pursuing a similar publishing agenda to that of Froben.
It is the first ever printed edition of the Greek text of Euclid’s Elements, a high-point in Greek mathematics and one that would assume a foundational position in the development of mathematics in modern times. The Greek text was edited by the German theologian and Erasmus-associate Simon Grynäus using Greek manuscript sources obtained from contacts across Europe. Also included is the first publication of a 5th century commentary on the first book of Euclid’s Elements by the Greek philosopher Proclus, a key work in the history of Greek mathematics. In a lengthy introduction, Grynäus dedicated his edition to Erasmus’ close friend Cuthbert Tunstall, Bishop of Durham, and author of the first arithmetic book printed in English.
Title: Eukleidou Stoicheiōn bibl. ie ek tōn Theōnos synousiōn [Elements] (Basel: Johann Herwagen, 1533)
Shelfmark: D.1.12 (catalogue record)