Title page of Descartes' Principia, 1692

Title page of Descartes' Principia, 1692

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Title page of Descartes' Principia Philosophiae (1692). This book was written by the French philosopher and mathematician Rene Descartes (1596-1650). The title translates as 'Principles of Philosophy', and was first published in 1644. It was a work of natural philosophy, setting forth Descartes' views on physics, including principles on uniform motion that preceded the later work by Newton. The Latin text includes the author's name (top) followed by the title and the edition details. The artwork shows mythological figures either side of an armillary sphere, with the Latin motto 'Indefessus Agendo' (Indefatigable Agenda). At bottom are the publication details, including the year of publication and the location (Amsterdam).

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