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SQUARING THE CIRCLE

[CAUSANS, Le Chevalier de]. [Division du cercle].

[Paris]. [s.n.], [1759].
Folio. 3pp, [1]. Single folded sheet. Creased, margins a trifle chipped, ink-stamp of Furstlich-Starhemberg'sche Familien Bibliothek to head of p.1, later inked manuscript numerals to foot.
A rare survival of an eighteenth-century appeal by Le Chevalier de Causans to the French Academy of Sciences requesting a further review of his solution to the mathematical conundrum of squaring the circle. In 1753, Causans, having no prior experience with geometry, arrived at his, clearly erroneous, answer to the timeworn problem; indeed he went further still, announcing that his quadrature would assist in revealing the mysteries of original sin and the Trinity. The clearly eccentric Causans pledged 300,000 francs, and deposited 10,000 with a notary, to anyone who might offer proof to refute his solution - a simple undertaking for even the amateur geometer. The courts would ultimately declare all bets void, and the Academy refused on multiple occasion to involve themselves in the matter.

OCLC records a single copy (BNF).
£ 375.00 Antiquates Ref: 11737