Our shops are open and we are processing online, telephone and email orders as normal

BACON, Roger.

Fratris Rogeri Bacon, ordinis minorum, Opus Majus

Ad Clementem Quartum, Pontificum Romanum. Ex MS. Codice Dubliniensi, cum aliis quibusdam collato, nunc primum edidit S. Jebb, M.D.

London: William Bowyer, 1733 Stock Code: 128868
Reserve Ask us a question

Large paper copy of the Opus Majus

First edition, one of 30 large paper copies, of Bacon's most important work, one of the supreme philosophical and scientific achievements of the Middle Ages. William Bowyer's records show a further 220 copies were printed on smaller paper.

The Opus Majus was written in the 1260s but remained unpublished until the present edition. Samuel Jebb used the manuscript held by Trinity College, Cambridge, which resulted in the seventh part, absent in the manuscript, being omitted. The full seven parts were not published until 1897, seven centuries after its composition.

"Bacon believed that the innate wisdom granted to humanity by divine authority could only be developed through reason backed by experience. Experimental science was to be used to certify conclusions of deductive reasoning in the existing speculative sciences, to add to existing sciences new knowledge unobtainable by deduction, and to investigate the secrets of nature beyond the bounds of the existing sciences. Bacon stressed the usefulness of mathematics in both human and divine affairs, as mathematics alone gave absolute certainty" (Norman, p. 37).

Confused? Read our glossary


Folio (368 x 222 mm). Contemporary sprinkled calf, red morocco spine label, edges sprinkled red.


2 engraved folding plates, folding table.


Shelfmark to front pastedown. Very minor rubbing, short splits at joint ends though still firm, light toning to title page, contents with a few instances of faint soiling but generally clean and bright, small chip to first folding table. A very good copy.


With the exception of framed items*, Peter Harrington offers free delivery on all UK orders of rare books, maps and prints placed through this website. Delivery to USA and the rest of the world is similarly free for orders over £200.

View Full Delivery Details



Established in 1969, Peter Harrington is one of the leading rare book firms in the world. It is a proud member of the Antiquarian Booksellers Association – along with ILAB, the PBFA and Lapada – and from shops in Mayfair and Chelsea, London, sells rare books, prints and ephemera to customers across the world.

Email: mail@peterharrington.co.uk

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 0220

ABA Antiquarian Bookseller Association ILAB International League of Antiquarian Booksellers LAPADA The Association of Art and Anatique Dealers PBFA Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association

Our Guarantee Page

Ask us a question


Contact us with details of the book you are interested in or selling and we will contact you

Sell Old Books Help me find a book