ISBN : 9780198832874
Leonardo's greatest work of science beautifully reproduced for the 500th anniversary of his death.
This edition offers a high-quality facsimile reproduction of Leonardo Da Vinci's Codex Leicester, a collection of his scientific writings. Named after Thomas Coke (later Earl of Leicester) who purchased it in 1719, Codex Leicester holds the record as the most expensive book ever when it was bought by Bill Gates in 1994. Consisting of 72 pages, it was handwritten in Italian by Leonardo using his characteristic mirror writing, and is supported by drawings and diagrams. The Codex Leicester is an extraordinary mixture of Leonardo's observations and theories. Topics include his explanation of why fossils can be found on mountains; the flow of water in rivers; and the luminosity of the moon which Leonardo attributed to its surface being covered by water which reflects light from the sun.
The facsimile reproduction is complemented by three further volumes that include a new transcription and translation, accompanied by a paraphrase in modern language, a page-by-page commentary, and a series of interpretative essays. These four volumes together introduce important new research into the interpretation of the texts and images, on the setting of Leonardo's ideas in the context of ancient and medieval theories, and above all into the notable fortunes of the Codex within the sciences of astronomy, water, and the history of the earth, opening a new field of research into the impact of Leonardo as a scientist after his death.