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Erasmus Bartholin
BARTHOLIN, Erasmus.

BARTHOLIN, Erasmus.
(1625 - 1698)

(Born: Roeskilde, Denmark, 13 August 1625; Died: Copenhagen, Denmark, 4 November 1698) Danish physician & mathematician.

Bartholin, the sixth son of Casper Bartholin, made between 1646 and 1656 a ten year tour of England, Holland, France and Italy. On his return to Copenhagen, he was appointed professor of mathematics and medicine at the city's University.

Biographical references: Dansk Biografisk Haandleksikon: 1, 95, portrait. Dansk Biografisk Lexikon. DSB: 1, 481-82 [by A. Rupert Hall]. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th edition. Garboe, Geologiens Historie i Danmark, 1959-61: 1, 75-88, portrait. Poggendorff: 1, col. 109. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 2, 496. SBA: Scandinavian Biographical Archive: A-374, 40-43 & A-16, 100-114. Thomas, Dictionary of Biography, 1884: 296. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: 119.

1. Latin, 1661.
ErasmI Bartholini | D. & P.P. | De | Figura | Nivis | Dissertatio. | [rule] | HafniŠ, | Typis MatthiŠ Godicchii, | Sumptibus P. Hauboldi | Anno cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C]c lxi.

8░: a-c8; 24l.; [6], [1]-42 p., one plate.

Contents: [2 pgs/=a1], Title page, verso blank.; [4 pgs/=a2r-a3v], Dedication.; [Full page diagram showing how circles pack].; [1]-42 (=a4r-c8v), Text.

Very rare. This is Bartholin's work treatise on the shape of ice crystals which speculates on the internal structure of snow crystals. This work has sometimes incorrectly been called the earliest treatise on crystallography, because it precedes Boyle's work on gems by eleven years. However, Kepler's Sterna Seu De Niue Sexangula (Francofurti, 1611), which also discusses the shape of snow crystals, is much earlier still.

Included with Thomas Bartholin's 1661 work: ThomŠ Bartholini | De | Nivis | Usu Medico | Observationes variŠ. | Accessit | D. Erasmi Bartholini | De Figura Nivis | Dissertatio; | cum | Operum Authoris Catalogo. | [ornament] | [rule] | HafniŠ, | Typis MatthiŠ Godicchii, | Sumptibus Petri Haubold, Bibl. | cI[Backwards C] I[Backwards C]c lxi. 8░: [24], 232, [8]; [6], 42, [16] p. one engraved plate. Title page in red and black.

Rare. This is the first work after Avicenna to discuss refrigeration anesthesia. The Neapolitan surgeon Marco Aureliano Severino [1580-1656] reintroduced the use of snow and ice as an anesthetic agent in the seventeenth century, and his pupil Bartholin described Severino's methods in this work. Refrigeration anesthesia was employed successfully in amputations as late as the nineteenth century. Added to Bartholin's work is a treatise on the shape of ice crystals written by his younger brother Erasmus. Also included in this work is a bibliography of Thomas Bartholin's published works.

Bibliographical references: Cushing: B-114. Garrison & Morton: no. 5645.90. Heirs of Hippocrates, 1990: 326. Honeyman Sale: 1, no. 225. NLM 17th Century Books (Krivatsy): no. 815. NUC: ??, ??. Osler, Bibliotheca Osleriana, 1969: nos. 1923, 1933, & 1956 [citing each section of the work separately.]. Robinson, V., Victory over Pain. New York, Henry Schuman, 1946: pp. 40, 298-303. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 83. Sallander, Bibliotheca Walleriana, 1955: no. 726. Wellcome Catalog (Books): 2, 107.

Experimenta Crystalli Islandici, 1669

2. Latin, 1669 [First edition].
ErasmI Bartholini | Experimenta | Crystalli Islandici | Disdiaclastici | Qvibus mira & insolita | Refractio | detegitur. | [rule] | Anno [ornament] 1669. | [rule] | HafniŠ, | Sumptibus Danielis Paulli Reg. Bibl.

4░: (*)2 A-G4 H2 (C2 signed C3); 32l.; [4], 1-60 p., circular engraved device on the title and numerous woodcut diagrams in the text. Page size: 204 x 154 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Dedication.; 1-60, Text.

Very rare. Experimenta Crystalli Islandici is the first published study in crystal optics, which also first described double refraction and contradicted the Newtonian theory of light which was presented at the same time. The work essentially describes a wide range of experiments performed on Iceland spar, a variety of the mineral calcite. Beginning with descriptions of the rhombohedral shape of the crystals, and noting that any pieces broken from a specimen are also rhombohedral, the author continues his experiments to define the physical characteristics of the specimens. Included among these are observations of its relative hardness, of its tendency toward cleavage, of its ease of decomposition when treated with acid, and of its ability to hold an electric charge when rubbed or heated. The remainder of the book describes Bartholin's discovery of double refraction, i.e. the physical property of Iceland spar (and other substances) to split light rays such that two images are seen when an object is viewed through the crystal. The author questions the character of double refraction, including its behavior when the crystal is turned, its angle of refraction and its existence in other substances. Bartholin then postulates a theory to explain the phenomena, which is based on pairs of pores, existing along cleavage planes inside the crystal, reflecting "corpuscula" of light at different angles.

Abridged English transl., 1671: Henry Oldenburg [see note below], secretary of the Royal Society of London, set about writing a translation of Bartholin's work. It was published as: "An Accompt of sundry Experiments made and communicated by the Learned Mathematician, Dr. Erasmus Bartholin, upon a crystal like Body sent to him out of Island" (see: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 6 (1671), no. 67, 2039-48).

German transl., 1922: Versuche mit dem Doppelt- | brechenden Islńndischen | Kristall, | die zur Entdeckung einer wunderbaren | und au▀ergew÷hnlichen Brechung fŘhrten | von | Erasmus Bartholinus | Kopenhagen 1669 | [tapered rule] | Uebersetzt von | Karl Mieleitner | [rule] | Mit 17 Textfiguren | [rule] | 1922 | Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft M.B.H. | Leipzig | Okl. 205. 4░: [1]-35, [1] p.

Contents: [1-2], Blank, verso series title page.; [3-4], Title page, verso blank.; [5]-6, "Vorwort."; [7]-35, "Uebersetzung des lateinischen Textes."; [1 pg], Blank.

Scarce. Translation by Karl Mieleitner [see note below] from Erasmi Bartholini Experimenta Crystalli Islandici Disdiaclastici (HafniŠ, 1669). Published as Ostwald's Klassiker der exakten Wissenschaften, no. 205. This German edition was reprinted in 1988.

English, 1991: Experiments on birefringent Icelandic crystal. with a facsimile of the original publication 1669. Erasmus Bartholin. Translated by Thomas Archibald. Introduction by Jed Z. Buchwald and Kurt Møller Pedersen ... Copenhagen. Danish National Library of Science and Medicine. 1991. Published as: Acta Historica Scientiarum Naturalium et Medicinalium, vol. 40. Includes bibliography.

Henry Oldenburg. (Born: Bremen, Germay, c1618; Died: Charlton, near Greenwich, England, 5 September 1677) English scientist. Oldenburg graduated from the University of Utrecht in 1641, and he matriculated at Oxford from 1657 to 1658. He taught in the Paedogogium of Bremen. Later he became a professor in the newly established University of Dorpat, in what is now Estonia. Although it is known that Oldenburg matriculated in the University of Utrecht in 1641, nothing is known with assurance about what he did during the following twelve years, but there is presumptive evidence that he was a tutor during these years. In 1656 he became tutor to Boyle's nephew, Richard Jones, later the third Viscount Ranelagh and first Earl of Ranelagh. Oldenburg made a profession of scientific administration. He founded a system of records in the Royal Society that is still followed, created an international correspondence of scientists, and founded the first scientific journal, The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Oldenburg began publishing in 1665 the Philosophical Transactions, which were his personal enterprise, to make money, although he never made as much as he hoped. He also translated papers for the London Gazette. He also translated and published works from abroad. He translated at least two of Boyle's works into Latin, and he appears to have functioned effectively as the publisher for a number of Boyle's works.

Karl Mieleitner. (Born: Munich, Bavaria, Germany, 31 March 1890; Died: Munich, Bavaria, Germany, 15 March 1923) German mineralogist & historian of mineralogy. Born the son of a shoemaker, Mieleitner became in 1913 assistant for the Bavarian state mineral collection at the University of Munich, where in 1919 he succeeded F. GrŘnlung as `Konservator.' He was an enthusiastic and energetic worker, producing several papers within a few years. He developed an interest in the history of mineralogy and published before his early death German translations, with authoritative notes, of the old works of Steno, Bartholin and Cappeller.

Bibliographical references: BL [529.d.6.(1.)]. DSB: 1, 481-82 [by A. Rupert Hall]. Freilich Sale Catalog: no. 33. Garboe, Axel., "Nicolaus Steno (Niels Stensen) and Erasmus Bartholinus. Two 17th century Danish scientists and the foundation of exact geology and crystallography", Danmarks Geologiske Undersøgelse, IV. RŠkke, 3 (1954), no. 9, [1]-48 p., illus. Lima-de-Faria, Historical Atlas of Crystallography, 1990: 128. LKG: XVI 311. Norman Catalog: 1, 45, no. 124. Norman Sale Catalog: 1, no. 275. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 83. Schmitz, Handbuch zur Geschichte der Optik, 1981-90: 1, ??. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 126. (Oldenburg) Allibone, Dictionary of English Literature, 1859-71. BBA: I 831, 153-174. Biographie Universelle. DNB: 14, 988-90. DSB: 10, 200-3 [by A. Rupert Hall]. Nouvelle Biographie GÚnÚrale (Hoefer). Poggendorff: 2, cols. 321-2. Waller, Dictionary of Universal Biography, 1857-63. Watt, Bibliotheca Britannica, 1824. WBI. World Who's Who in Science: pp. 1279-80. (Mieleitner) Mineralogical Magazine: ?? (19??), 266 [by L.J. Spencer]. Sarjeant, Geologists, 1980: 3, ??. Zeitschrift der Kristallographie: 59 (1923), 86-8 [by H. Steinmetz].

3. Latin, 1670 [2nd edition].
Erasmi Bartholini | Experimenta | Crystalli Islandici | Disdiaclastici | Qvibus mira & insolita | Refractio | detegitur. | [rule] | Anno [ornament] 1670. | [rule] | HafniŠ, | Sumptibus Danielis Paulli Reg. Bibl.

4░: (*)2 A-G4 H2 (C2 signed C3); 32l.; [4], 1-60 p., circular engraved device on title page, numerous woodcut diagrams in the text. Page size: 204 x 154 mm.

Contents: [2 pgs], Title page, verso blank.; [2 pgs], Dedication.; 1-60, Text.

Very rare. A reissue with a new title page (note the "i" in Erasmi is lowercase and the year is 1670), but with the identical text of the 1669 issue.

Bibliographical references: BL [B.232.(5.)]. Roller & Goodman, Catalogue, 1976: 1, 83. Ward & Carozzi, Geology Emerging, 1984: no. 126 [reproduces the title page, p. 73].

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