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Excerpt from A Theory of Natural Philosophy: Latin English Edition, From the Text of the First Venetian Edition, Published Under the Personal Superintendence of the Author in 1763; With a Short Life of Boscovich
The text presented in this volume is that of the Venetian edition of 1763. This edition was chosen in preference to the first edition of 1758, published at Vienna, because, as stated on the title-page, it was the first edition (revised and enlarged) issued under the personal superintendence of the author.
In the English translation, an endeavour has been made to adhere as closely as possible to a literal rendering of the Latin; except that the somewhat lengthy and complicated sentences have been broken up. This has made necessary slight changes of meaning in several of the connecting words. This will be noted especially with regard to the word “adeoque,” which Boscovich uses with a variety of shades of meaning, from “indeed,” “also” or “further,” through “thus,” to a decided “therefore,” which would have been more correctly rendered by “ideoque.” There is only one phrase in English that can also take these various shades of meaning, viz., “and so;” and this phrase, for the use of which there is some justification in the word “adeo” itself, has been usually employed.
The punctuation of the Latin is that of the author. It is often misleading to a modern reader and even irrational; but to have recast it would have been an onerous task and something characteristic of the author and his century would have been lost.
My translation has had the advantage of a revision by Mr. A. O. Prickard, M.A., Fellow of New College, Oxford, whose task has been very onerous, for he has had to watch not only for flaws in the translation, but also for misprints in the Latin. These were necessarily many; in the first place, there was only one original copy available, kindly loaned to me by the authorities of the Cambridge University Library; and, as this copy could not leave my charge, a type-script had to be prepared from which the compositor worked, thus doubling the chance of error. Secondly, there were a large number of misprints, and even omissions of important words, in the original itself; for this no discredit can be assigned to Boscovich; for, in the printer’s preface, we read that four presses were working at the same time in order to take advantage of the author’s temporary presence in Venice. Further, owing to almost insurmountable difficulties, there have been many delays in the production of the present edition, causing breaks of continuity in the work of the translator and reviser; which have not conduced to success. We trust, however, that no really serious faults remain.
The short life of Boscovich, which follows next after this preface, has been written by Dr. Branislav Petronievic, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Belgrade. It is to be regretted that, owing to want of space requiring the omission of several addenda to the text of the Theoria itself, a large amount of interesting material collected by Professor Petronievic has had to be left out.
The financial support necessary for the production of such a costly edition as the present has been met mainly by the Government of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes; and the subsidiary expenses by some Jugo-Slavs interested in the publication.
After the “Life,” there follows an “Introduction,” in which I have discussed the ideas of Boscovich, as far as they may be gathered from the text of the Theoria alone; this also has been cut down, those parts which are clearly presented to the reader in Boscovich’s own Synopsis having been omitted. It is a matter of profound regret to everyone that this discussion comes from my pen instead of, as was originally arranged, from that of the late Philip E. P. Jourdain, the well-known mathematical logician; whose untimely death threw into my far less capable hands the responsib
Product Details :
|Author||Roger Joseph Boscovich|
|Title||A Theory of Natural Philosophy: Latin English Edition, from the Text of the First Venetian Edition, Published Under the Personal Superintendence of … a Short Life of Boscovich (Classic Reprint)|