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NEWTON, ISAAC (b. Woolsthorpe, England,
25 December 1642; d. London, England, 20 March
1727), mathematics, dynamics, celestial mechanics,
astronomy, optics, natural philosophy.
This bibliography is divided into four major sections.
The last, by A. P. Youschkevitch, is concerned with Soviet
studies on Newton and is independent of the text.
(numbered I-IV): Newton's major
writings, together with collected works and editions,
bibliographies, manuscript collections, and catalogues.
(numbered V-VI): including
general works and specific writings about Newton and his
(numbered 1-11): the chief works used in the
preparation of this biography; the subdivisions of this
section are correlated to the subdivisions of the biography
SOVIET LITERATURE: a special section devoted to
Newtonian scholarship in the Soviet Union.
The first three sections of the bibliography contain a
number of cross-references; a parenthetical number refers
the reader to the section of the bibliography in which a
complete citation may be found.
I. MAJOR WORKS. Newton's first publications were on
optics and appeared in the Philosophical Transactions of
the Royal Society (1672-1676); repr. in facs., with intro. by
T. S. Kuhn, in I. B. Cohen, ed., Isaac Newton's Papers &
Letters on Natural Philosophy (Cambridge, Mass., 1958;
2nd ed., in press). His Opticks (London, 1704; enl. versions
in Latin [London, 1706], and in English [London, 1717 or
1718]) contained two supps.: his Enumeratio linearum
tertii ordinis and Tractatus de quadratura curvarum, his
first published works in pure mathematics. The 1704 ed.
has been repr. in facs. (Brussels, 1966) and (optical part
only) in type (London, 1931); also repr. with an analytical
table of contents prepared by D. H. D. Roller (New York,
1952). French trans. are by P. Coste (Amsterdam, 1720;
rev. ed. 1722; facs. repr., with intro. by M. Solovine,
Paris, 1955); a German ed. is W. Abendroth, 2 vols.
(Leipzig, 1898); and a Rumanian trans. is Victor Marian
(Bucharest, 1970). A new ed. is currently being prepared
by Henry Guerlac.
The Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica (London,
1687; rev. eds., Cambridge, 1713 [repr. Amsterdam,
1714, 1723], and London, 1726) is available in an ed. with
variant readings (based on the three printed eds., the MS
for the 1st ed. and Newton's annotations in his own copies
of the 1st and 2nd eds.) prepared by A. Koyré, I. B. Cohen,
and Anne Whitman: Isaac Newton's Philosophiae naturalis
principia mathematica, the Third Edition (1726) With
Variant Readings, 2 vols. (Cambridge, Mass.-Cambridge,
England, 1972). Translations and excerpts have appeared
in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese,
Rumanian, Russian, and Swedish, and are listed in
app. VIII, vol. II, of the Koyré, Cohen, and Whitman ed.,
together with an account of reprs. of the whole treatise.
The 1st ed. has been printed twice in facs. (London,
1954[?]; Brussels, 1965).
William Jones published Newton's De analysi in his ed.
of Analysis per quantitatum series, fluxiones, ac
. . . (London, 1711), repr. in the Royal Society's
Commercium epistolicum D. Johannis Collins, et aliorum de
analysi promota . . . (London, 1712-1713; enl. version,
1722; “variorum” ed. by J.-B. Biot and F. Lefort, Paris,
1856), and as an appendix to the 1723 Amsterdam printing
of the Principia. Newton's Arithmetica universalis was
published from the MS of Newton's lectures by W. Whiston
(Cambridge, 1707); an amended ed. followed, supervised
by Newton himself (London, 1722). For bibliographical
notes on these and some other mathematical writings (and
indications of other eds. and translations), see the introductions
by D. T. Whiteside to the facs. repr. of The Mathematical
Works of Isaac Newton, 2 vols. (New York-London,
1964-1967). Newton's Arithmetica universalis was
translated into Russian with notes and commentaries by
A. P. Youschkevitch (Moscow, 1948); English eds. were
published in London in 1720, 1728, and 1769.
After Newton's death the early version of what became
bk. III of the Principia was published in English as
A Treatise of the System of the World (London, 1728; rev.
London, 1731, facs. repr., with intro. by I. B. Cohen,
London, 1969) and in Latin as De mundi systemate liber
(London, 1728). An Italian trans. is by Marcella Renzoni
(Turin, 1959; 1969). The first part of the Lectiones opticae
was translated and published as Optical Lectures (London,
1728) before the full Latin ed. was printed (1729); both
are imperfect and incomplete. The only modern ed. is in
Russian, Lektsii po optike (Leningrad, 1946), with commentary
by S. I. Vavilov.
For Newton's nonscientific works (theology, biblical
studies, chronology), and for other scientific writings, see
the various sections below.
II. COLLECTED WORKS OR EDITIONS. The only attempt
ever made to produce a general ed. of Newton was
S. Horsley, Isaaci Newtoni opera quae exstant omnia, 5 vols.
(London, 1779-1785; photo repr. Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt,
1964), which barely takes account of Newton's available
MS writings but has the virtue of including (vol. I) the
published mathematical tracts; (vols. II-III) the Principia
and De mundi systemate, Theoria lunae, and Lectiones
opticae; (vol. IV) letters from the Philosophical Transactions
on light and color, the letter to Boyle on the ether,
De problematis Bernoullianis, the letters to Bentley, and
the Commercium epistolicum; (vol. V) the Chronology, the
Prophecies, and the Corruptions of Scripture. An earlier
and more modest collection was the 3-vol. Opuscula
mathematica, philosophica, et philologica, Giovanni
Francesco Salvemini (known as Johann Castillon), ed.
(Lausanne-Geneva, 1744); it contains only works then
A major collection of letters and documents, edited in
the most exemplary manner, is Edleston (1); Rigaud's
Essay (5) is also valuable. S. P. Rigaud's Correspondence of
Scientific Men of the Seventeenth Century . . . in the
collection of . . . the Earl of Macclesfield, 2 vols. (Oxford,
1841; rev., with table of contents and index, 1862) is of
special importance because the Macclesfield collection is
not at present open to scholars.