05.07.

1687: Isaac Newton Published the Famous “Principia Mathematica”

1687: Isaac Newton Published the Famous “Principia Mathematica”
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Newton's own copy of his Principia

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 5 July 1687
  • At the time the book was published, Newton held the position of a professor of mathematics at the renowned University of Cambridge. Until recently, that same distinguished professorship was held by the renowned scientist Stephen Hawking.

On this day, in 1687, one of the most famous books in the entire history of science – Isaac Newton’s “Principia Mathematica” – was published.

The full Latin title of the book reads “Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica” and means “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”.

Note that at that time the term “natural philosophy” roughly corresponded to today’s physics.

At the time the book was published, Newton held the position of a professor of mathematics at the renowned University of Cambridge. 

He was appointed Lucasian Professor of Mathematics (after the founder Henry Lucas).

Until recently, that same distinguished professorship was held by the renowned scientist Stephen Hawking.

Let us mention that it was only in 1705, i.e. sometime after the publication of the book “Principia Mathematica” that Isaac Newton received a knighthood from Queen and was subsequently referred to as Sir Isaac Newton.

The year 1687 – when Newton’s book came out – was quite turbulent in Europe.

 On the territory of Hungary the war against the Ottoman Empire was waged, in which the Christian forces pushed the Turks towards south. 

At about that time Slavonia was liberated from the Turks. In Dalmatia, the Venetian Republic also fought against the Ottoman Empire. 

France was then ruled by the mighty King Louis XIV, known as the “Sun King”, with a splendid court in Versailles.

Interestingly, Isaac Newton, after making historically important discoveries in the fields of physics and mathematics, turned to his great passion – the study of the Bible (exegesis of the Scriptures).

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