St. Petersburg: v tipogra i Imperatorskoy Akademii Nauk, 1846. Item #474
, XVII, , 478,  pp., 1 table. Modern half leather. Very good, foxing throughout.
First edition. Rare.
Viktor Yakovlevich Bunyakovsky (1804-1889) was a celebrated Russian mathematician of Ukrainian descent. He got his Bachelor degree from the Sorbonne
in France where he read the latest works on the theory of probability before returning to St. Petersburg. The Department of Probability Theory was created at St. Petersburg University as early as 1830, and Viktor Bunyakovsky became the rst Head of the Department. In writing this book, Bunyakovsky wanted to adapt Laplace’s theory for a general audience—because the classic study, Le Theorie Analitique des Probabilites (1812) was ‘’intelligible only for a few readers’’. Here Bunyakovsky developed Russian terminology for the theory of probability much of which is still used today. According to O. Sheynin, Bunyakovsky transferred the analytical theory of probability to Applied mathematics. He also connected the theory with statistics, e.g. to the statistical control of quality, the eld to which he would contribute later in his life (O. B. Sheynin, On V Ya Buniakovsky’s work in the theory of probability, Arch. Hist. Exact Sci. 43 (3) (1991) p. 205). The book had great success in Russia at the time because of its practical emphasis, its use of multiple examples and the analysis of how probability works in everyday life. For example, Bunyakovsky dedicated around 60 pages of this text to the treatment of election results, to the study of testimonies and decisions passed by tribunals. Bunyakovsky also examined demographic and social issues in his book such as the increase of the population; he compared various methods of compiling mortality tables.
The book is listed in the catalog of Nikolay Berezin Ruskie knizhnie redkosti (i.e. Rare Russian Books, 1902) No 77 with the note: ‘’a quite signi cant work in the eld of mathematics, containing not only theoretical but some very useful practical applications to different elds. Sold out a long time ago and according to Volf’s catalog (1880) is rare and can be priced up to 25 roubles.’’.