Publisher Information: London: J. Lister for J. Newbery, 1767.
Costard, George (1710-82). The history of astronomy, with its application to geography, history, and chronology; occasionally exemplified by the globes. 4to. viii, [2, errata], ix-xvi, 308pp. Engraved plate (printed on both sides); woodcut text diagrams. Cancel slips pasted over diagrams on pp. 222 and 223. London: James Lister for J. Newbery, 1767. 260 x 207 mm. Calf ca. 1767, rebacked, light rubbing. Occasional foxing but very good.
First Edition. Costard, the vicar of Twickenham, appears to have been the first English historian of astronomy, publishing books on the subject in 1746 and 1748 (A Letter to Martin Folkes, Esq., President of the Royal Society, Concerning the Rise and Progress of Astronomy Amongst the Ancients and A Further Account of the Rise and Progress of Astronomy Amongst the Ancients, in Three Letters to Martin Folkes . . .), as well as the present work. Costard’s knowledge of Hebrew, Arabic, Latin, Greek and other ancient languages gave him “unparalleled access to the astronomical literature of classical and early modern eras” (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography). He concluded that the ancient Greeks were the true founders of astronomy, having applied geometry to the study of the stars; the Egyptians and Babylonians, by contrast, were mere observers.Book Id: 43200