POEMA FISICO-ASTRONOMICO en siete cantos divididos en articulos por D. Gabrield Ciscar, de la Comision de Pesos y Medidas del Instituto Nacional de Francia. Por S.M.C. en 1798 y 1799. Impreso En la Libreria Militar de Gibraltar.
1828. Small 8vo, pp. xv, [i] indice, 223,  blank; quite prominent worm trail affecting title-page and first couple of gatherings to p. 9 but marginal and with no loss of text, some light spotting and foxing throughout, with faint dampstaining in gutter of final couple of leaves; An attractive and scarce first edition of this appealing introduction to physics and astronomy, written entirely in verse by the leading Spanish mathematician Gabriel Ciscar (1769-1829), and here bound in the original and thus early cloth binding.
Divided into seven ‘cantos’, each then further subdivided, Ciscar hopes to present a more accessible overview of astronomy and physics of the period, and introduces his reader to the works and theories of leading scientists such as Galileo, Newton, Piazzi, Olberg, Harding and Herschel. The cantos discuss phenomena observed on the land; the movement and rotation of the earth around the sun; general ideas on the system of the universe; on the determination of the position of the stars, and how this effects navigation; the primary planets and comets; the moon, eclipses and its effects upon the tides and atmosphere; and finally the secondary planets, and other interesting astronomical phenomena.
Originally trained as a midshipman in Cartagena in 1777, Ciscar excelled at his studies and went on to become Provincial Commission of Marine Artillery in 1798. In the same year he was part of the Spanish commission sent to Paris to discuss the new decimal metric system, subsequently writing the first Spanish work on the subject, ‘Memoria elemental sobre los nuevos pesos y medidas decimales’ (1800). During the War of Independence he took on a prominent political role which saw him rise to become Regent in March 1813 - a post which he was to hold three times during this turbulent period in Spanish history. With the return to Spain of Fernando VII, Ciscar was arrested and confined and was ultimately forced to flee to Gibraltar to escape persecution when the absolutist regime of Fernando was restored in 1823. His escape was aided by the Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, to whom the present work is dedicated, and who granted him a pension whilst living in Gibraltar. He remained on the rock until his death in 1829, where he wrote a number of works, including the present poem which also praises the many outstanding Spanish seamen and scientists responsible for the scientific revival at the end of the 18th century. Navarrete, Biblioteca Maritima Espanola, I, p. 532; Maxtor, ‘Ensayo de Bibliografia Maritima Espanola’ 2941; Palau 3, 54971; Houzeau-Lancaster 7931 (though erroneously giving 1805 as date of first edition); OCLC: 28883331 cites only two copies at Harvard and Princeton.
Condition: uncut and largely unopened in the original publisher’s cloth binding, spine a little worn with some loss of cloth, with a few further small nicks to covers, a little soiled and foxed; a good copy.