* ALHAZEN [Abu 'Ali al-Hasan ibn al-Hasan ibn al-Haytham] (965-ca 1040). Opticae thesaurus. Translated from Arabic into Latin, probably by Gerard of Cremona (ca 1114-87). - [Abu 'Abd Allah Muhammad ibn Mu'adh AL-JAYYANI (ca 989/90-after 1079)]. De crepusculis & nubium ascensionibus. Translated from Arabic into Latin by Gerard of Cremona. - WITELO (1230/35-75). Libri X. All texts edited by Friedrich Risner (d. ca 1580). Basel: Eusebius Episcopius and the heirs of Nicolaus Episcopius, August 1572.
Folio (320 x 214 mm). Collation: a4, a-z6 zz6; *4, A-Z6 Aa-Pp6 Qq4 Rr6. 389 leaves (lacking a4, blank). Roman and italic types. Woodcut diagrams, one woodcut illustration (title-page verso, repeated on *1r), printers' woodcut devices (title-page, Rr6v). (First quire with a few small holes in gutter at sewing threads, some light spotting.) Contemporary Basel vellum, sides with central blind arabesque, spine in 6 compartments with 5 raised bands hand-lettered in one (lacking ties, soiling and spotting, upper joint separating, edges curling). Provenance: Cornelius Horekondt? (Latin inscription and signature dated 1616 on title-page); Chester Tilton Stone (1886-1937) American physician (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION OF ALHAZEN'S CLASSIC WORK ON OPTICS AND VISION. "The Arab physicist Alhazen preserved for us all that was known by the ancients in the field of optics and added some contributions of his own" (Heralds of Science). Alhazen's work builds on Ptolemy and Euclid, and he derived his explanation of the structure of the eye from the teaching of Galen. Optics was translated into Latin in 12th-century Spain, likely by Gerard of Cremona.
Friedrich Risner, a protege of Pierre Ramus, prepared the first edition of Alhazen's work from two Latin manuscripts discovered by Ramus. Al-Jayyani's treatise on twilight is frequently found in manuscripts with Alhazen's Optics. Witelo's Perspectiva was previously published twice before its inclusion in this work (Nuremberg 1535, 1551). This combined edition was the standard reference work on optics through the 17th century, influencing scientists including Galileo, Brahe, and Kepler. Adams A-754; Dibner Heralds of Science 138; Norman 1027.
Property from the collection of Dr. B. Herold Griffith, Evanston, Illinois