Publisher Information: Parma: Reale Tipografia Parma, 1797-1799.
History of Algebra, Printed by Bodoni, Inscribed by the Author
Cossali, Pietro. Origine, trasporto in Italia, primi progressi in essa dell'algebra. . . . 2 vols., 4to. [24, incl. blank leaf], 396, ; , 492, pp. 2 engraved plates. Parma: [Giambattista Bodoni for] Reale Tipografia Parmense, 1797-99. 282 x 203 mm. Quarter calf, speckled boards c. 1799, expertly rebacked, a bit rubbed. Fine, crisp copy, presented by the author to his friend Luigi Bramieri, with the recipient's inscription opposite the title in Vol. I: " Dono graziosissimo dell' egregio autore a me devotissimo suo amico Luigi Bramieri."
First Edition. Cossali, the best-known historian of mathematics in 18th-century Italy, taught physics and astronomy at the University of Parma, and was later named by Napoleon to the chair of mathematics at Padua.
"He wrote various memoirs on mathematical questions, chiefly algebraic, but is best known for his history of algebra, a work of considerable scholarship and even yet of service to the student of this phase of the subject" (Smith, History of Mathematics, 1, p. 541).
"C'est un ouvrage important, plein de recherches auxquelles prÈside la critique la plus ÈclairÈee. Apres avoir examine toutes les opinions contraires, il conclut que l'algebre a ete empruntee aux Indiens par les Arabes, qui l'ont ensuite introduite en Europe" (NBG).
Cossali's work was one of the very few scientific books printed by Giambattista Bodoni (1740-1813), the most successful and influential Italian printer of his era, associated with the Royal Press at Parma from 1768 until his death, and proprietor of his own press from 1791. Bodoni "was the most successful early proponent of what is (somewhat misleadingly) referred to as the 'modern' typeface, distinguished by a strong contrast between the thin and thick strokes, and vertical, rather than oblique, shading. His books were produced for the wealthy and the aristocracy, and were more advanced in elegance and refinement than anything else being printed in Europe" (desktoppub [internet reference]). Typefaces based on Bodoni's are still widely used. Brooks, Edizioni Bodoniane, 696.Book Id: 38429