in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries who were interested
in explaining the motions of the heavenly bodies, accepted the
common sense point of view that the earth was the center of the
universe and that the planets, including the sun and moon, revolved
around a stationary earth in perfect circles. Even though an Alexandrian
mathematician, Aristarchus (ca 310-230 B.C.), had proposed
an alternative in the third century B.C. (that the sun not the
earth was the center), his ideas were never accepted, for both
science and common sense seemed to mitigate against it. This book
by Aristarchus is a recent acquisition to the Collections'
Aristarchi de magnitvdinibvs et distantiis solis, et
lunae, liber cvm Pappi Alexandrini explicationibus quibusdam.
A' Federico Commandino Vrbinate in latinum conuersus, ac
Pisavri, apud Camillum Francischinum, 1572.
book on the heliocentric theory is not extant. Only his work on
the size and distances of the sun and moon has survived. This
book is the first printed edition in Latin of Aristarchus's lone