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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
£6,250.00
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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The Opus Majus was written in the 1260s but remained unpublished until the present edition.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).

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Description

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

Illustrations

2 engraved folding plates, folding table.

Condition

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.

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