The Sceptical Chymist (1661)
The Sceptical Chymist (1661). This title page is from the first edition of this work by the Anglo-Irish natural philosopher Robert Boyle (1627-1691). In this book, written in the form of a discourse (dialogue), Boyle wrote that elements combine to form compounds, which can be broken apart again into their constituent elements. He also argued for chemistry to become an experimental science in its own right, speaking out against the influence of alchemists and spagyrists (alchemists who used herbal medicines). This work is considered a founding text of modern chemistry. It was first published in English, and later translated into Latin.
© GREGORY TOBIAS/CHEMICAL HERITAGE FOUNDATION/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Lunar map of 1854
Lunar map of 1854. This map of the Moon's surface was published in Germany, and the title across top in in German. The Moon is orientated with celestial North at bottom, and the surface is divided up by lines of latitude and longitude. Early astronomers, from the time of Galileo onwards, used their telescopes to draw lunar maps of increasing accuracy. The main features of such maps are the lowland maria (dark area), the surrounding highlands (white areas), and the impact craters and basins. It was not until space probes were launched in the 1960s that the far side of the Moon was seen for the first time.
© DETLEV VAN RAVENSWAAY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Luigi Groto, Italian poet
Luigi Groto (1541-1585), Italian poet. The circular Italian inscription gives his name, calls him the 'blind man of Hadria' (referring to Adria, northern Italy), and states that here he is 31 years of age. Groto studied philosophy and literature despite losing his sight soon after birth. He lived and worked in Venice, where he published several works of poetry and plays. Groto also worked as an editor on books by the 16th-century Italian aristocrat Giovanni Maria Bonardo. Artwork from the 1589 edition of Bonardo's 'La grandezza, larghezza e distanza di tutte le sfere'. This work concerned the nature of the planets, stars and celestial spheres.
© Todd-White Art Photography