Mirifici logarithmorum canonis descriptio : eiusque usus, in utraque trigonometria, ut etiam in omni logistica mathematica
John Napier(1550-1617)
 The invention of the logarithm was a most important contribution unequaled in the art of practical calculation. As is well known, the logarithm can reduce multiplication to addition, division to subtraction, and extraction to division. For astronomers and physicists, for example, the burden of lengthy, tiresome calculation was lightened considerably through the development of the logarithm. Therefore this book was widely acclaimed by the academic world when it was published.
 Lord Napir can be called a “homo multarum littererum.” He was an earnest Protestant, who radically refused Catholicism through his interpretation of the Bible. Like Archimedes, he devised various weapons such as heavy guns, tanks and submarines, which were to be used for the defense of Scotland against an expected by Phillip II, a Catholic supporter.
 Napir studied various logarithmic rules for 20 years prior to publishing this work. The study was done quite independently and it is a wonder that he discovered the logarithm without being aware of the idea of the exponent, presented by M. Stifel in c. 1544. In 1594, Napir hit upon a system in which all numbers could be represented by their exponent, which he called logarithms, a word derived from the Greek “logos” and “arithmos”.
 In this book, Napir presented a seven-place table of the logarithms of sines for each minute of arc in the first quadrant, which would reduce the calculation of trigonometry for astronomers. These logarithms were neither the natural logarithms, which were called Napierian logarithms, nor the common logarithms. Henry Briggs, however, the professor of geometry at Oxford, who advised Napir that 10 should be made the base, shortly after developed base-ten, the common logarithms.
 This first issue with the verso the last leaf blank is the rarest of all Napir’s work. As Henry Zeitlinger has noted, “There are only 5 copies of the first edition in all the public libraries of the United Kingdom and a mere 14 of the second edition.” Oddly enough, there are no copies of this edition even in Lord Napier’s library.