ROHAULT, Jacques.

Rohault’s System of Natural Philosophy, illustrated with Dr. Samuel Clarke’s notes taken mostly out of Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophy. With additions. Done into English by John Clarke.

London: Printed for James Knapton,… .1723

2 volumes, 8vo, pp. (xxxvi), 285, (3); 292, (24), 27 folding plates. With the final advert leaf in vol. 1. Titles printed in red and black within rules. Contemporary panelled calf, spines unlettered except for volume numbers in gilt. A few small holes in the leather on the covers, minor crack at top of lower joint, very pale dampstain on plates of volume 2, otherwise a fine copy. Signature of William Sandys, 1758, on front free endpapers.

FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH of Rohault’s Traité de physique, “one of the main channels through which Cartesian physics were disseminated and maintained throughout Europe from the 1670s to well into the eighteenth century” (Gjertsen). This edition is important for its commentary of Newton in the extensive footnotes, and the translator’s notes exposing fallacies in the Cartesian system. It was the textbook of physics at Cambridge for a long period and introduced the Newtonian system there, unseating the Cartesian system. Wallis 143 (calling for 28 plates in error). Babson 103.


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