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Mathematical Treasure: Critical Edition of Newton's Principia

Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University)

Thomas Le Seur (1703-1770) and Francois Jacquier (1711-1788) were French mathematicians, Franciscan priests, and fellow professors of mathematics in Rome. During the period 1739-1742, they published a critical edition of Newton’s Principia. Besides their comments, expressed in abundant footnotes, the volume also contained commentaries by Daniel Bernoulli, Colin Maclaurin, and Leonard Euler. The book was published in Geneva. The title page is shown here.

Commentary was supplied via a system of extensive footnotes. This pattern can be seen in the first three pages of text proper.


Among the preliminary materials presented are the three prefaces from Newton’s three editions. The Preface from Newton’s third edition is shown below.

The images above are presented courtesy of ETH-Bibliotheka Zürich, and are available via e-rara.

Index to Mathematical Treasures


Frank J. Swetz (Pennsylvania State University), "Mathematical Treasure: Critical Edition of Newton's Principia," Convergence (May 2019)