Lausanne & Geneva: Apud Marcum-Michaelem Bousquet & Socios. 1744.
EULER, Leonhard. Methodus inveniendi lineas curvas maximi minimive proprietate gaudentes, sive Solutio problematis isoperimetrici latissimo sensu accepti. Lausanne: Apud Marcum-Michaelem Bousquet & Socios., 1744.
First edition of Euler’s most valuable contribution to mathematics, in which he developed the concept of the calculus of variations. Quarto (9 5/8 x 7 1/2 inches; 245 x 192 mm). , 322, [1, instructions to the binder], [1, blank] pp. Bound with the initial and final blank leaves. Title printed in red and black. Engraved title vignette by Daudet after Delamonce and five folding engraved plates. Decorative woodcut head-piece and historiated woodcut initial.
Full contemporary acid treated calf. Boards ruled in blind. Spine stamped in gilt. Red morocco spine label, lettered in gilt. Hinges and headcaps repaired. Marbled endpapers. All edges dyed red. Some minor foxing and a few signatures with light toning. Overall, an excellent copy.
“With the publication of this work, the calculus of variations came into being as a new branch of mathematics. Euler was the first to formulate the principal problems of the calculus of variations and to create general methods for their solution. His work in the Methodus was cumbersome by modern standards (the calculus of variations as we know it is the work of Lagrange), but it yielded simple and elegant formulae applicable to a large variety of problems. He introduced (using different terminology) the concepts of function and variation, distinguished between problems of absolute and relative extrema, and deduced the differential equation that now bears his name” (Norman Library).
Dibner 111. Grolier/Horblit 28. Norman Library 731.