ca. 1775. Item #450
4to. 270 mx 205 mm., (11 x 8 inches). 243 leaves, with some blanks between essays. Text includes numerous equations and hand drawn diagrams in the margins. 19th century vellum backed marbled paper boards, vellum tips, manuscript title on spine. A note in pencil, written in Italian, reads in part, “Purchased in the Compo di Fiori May 10, 1933.”
Born in Turin, Italy in 1736, Lagrange was locally educated and by the age of 17 had recognized his skills in the natural sciences and applied himself to the study of mathematics. He published his first essay on Newton’s binomial theory in 1754 at the age of 18 and in 1755 became a life-long correspondent of Leonhard Euler who at that time was living in Berlin. For the rest of his life Lagrange communicated both in print and through letters with the most important mathematicians working in Europe including Riccati, d’Alembert, Bernoulli and Condorcet, to name a few. In 1756 Lagrange was elected to the Berlin Academy of Science and after years of waiting for a suitable position and support in Turin, he moved to Berlin in 1766 and succeeded Euler, who moved to St. Petersburg. Lagrange remained in Berlin for twenty years before moving to Paris where he codified his research from his days in both Turin and Berlin and published his influential work, Mécanique analytique.
This collection contains 17 manuscripts essays written by Lagrange on numerous subjects including mathematics, differential and integral calculus, mechanics, celestial mechanics, and physics. All the essays in this volume were originally written in French while he was living in Berlin and reflect much of his original research he conducted while a young mathematician in Turin. Fifteen of the essays originally appeared in the Mémoires de l”Académie royale des sciences et belles lettres de Berlin. Two appear to be unpublished.
This is the first appearance of these essay in Italian, and suggest they were written for the scholarly community eager for a translation of his work into his native tongue.
The contents of his manuscript volume include the following essays:
On the tautochrone curves, Acts of Berlin 1765 – On the Passage of Venus of 1769, Acts of Berlin 1769 – On the solution of indeterminate problems of 2nd degree, Berlin Acts 1769 – New method to solve indeterminate problems in whole numbers, Berlin Acts 1768 – New method to solve literal equations by means of series – On the strength of the loaded springs, Berlin Acts 1769 – Over the Kepler problem, Berlin Acts 1769 – On the elimination of the unknowns in the equations, Berlin Acts 1769 – New reflections on the tautochrone ,Berlin Acts 1770 – Reflections on the solution of the tautochrone problem given by Mr. Fontaine – Demonstration of an arithmetic problem, Berlin Acts 1770 – Reflections on the algebraic solution of equations, part 1, Proceedings of the Berlin Academy, 1770 - Reflections on the algebraic solution of equations, 2nd part, Berlin, 1772 – New solution to the problem of the rotation motion of a object of any figure not animated by any accelerating force, Acts of Berlin 1773 – On the attraction of elliptical spheroids, Acts of Berlin1773 – Analytical solutions of some problems on triangular pyramids, Acts of Berlin 1773 – Researches of arithmetic, Acts of Berlin 1773.
Printing and the Mind of Man, 152, 195, 196, & 260. Dictionary of Scientific Biography, Vol. 7, pp. 559-573. Heralds of Science, 112. Bruno, The Tradition of Science, pp. 243, 275. (450).