When it comes to the World’s Most Expensive Book you will find impressive that the Bay Psalm Book was sold for 14 and half million dollars in 2013; if you think that is a high price to pay for a book then you will be even more impressed when you find out that St. Cuthbert Gospel was sold for $15.1 million. The Magna Carta was sold for 24.5 million in 2007; the second finalist is The Gospels of Henry the Lion Order of St. Benedict which was sold for $28 million in 1983. The first book in the list is really impressive since it was created by one of humankind’s most brilliant minds, Leonardo da Vinci.
The World’s Most Expensive Book is the Codex Leicester Leonardo da Vinci, at a total price of $49.4 million in 1994. Who bought this magnificent set of notes? The world’s richest man at the time, Bill Gates. What is so special about this book, besides its genius author? It is also known as Codex Hammer, which is a large collection of scientific writings by Leonardo himself. As you probably know he was a man ahead of his time, and many of his ideas paved the way to some of humankind’s most important discoveries in many areas. What we now call basic research is inspired considerably by Renaissance geniuses such as Leonardo. This Codex in particular has a peculiar history since a previous owner was Thomas Coke, Earl of Leicester, who became its owner in 1719. What is so important about this collection of notes? First of all, it is a critical link to understand other works created by Leonardo, which is priceless. The unbreakable link between art and science is shown in the exceptional illustrations drawn by the master. It also shows that the scientific process is not necessarily linear, it is considered as an extremely creative part of human endeavors. This is an important lesson that should be remembered every single day in every scientific field.
In order to refresh your memory, science is based on observation and the book is fertile not only in observations but also in theories about the properties of water, astronomy, fossils, celestial light and air. The inquisitive mind of Leonardo da Vinci is shown in his own explanations about why mountains contain fossils. Many hundred years later science proposed the theory about the existence of plate tectonics. The master believed that sea beds gave way to a series of formations that ended up as mountains, geographically speaking.
The aforementioned subjects contained in the World’s Most Expensive Book are very interesting and useful, but the main subject would change the world forever. Leonardo was a keen observer and studied the movement of water in great detail. He made many observations such as how water flows inside rivers and how it is affected by obstacles in its way. Because of this he made many observations about the erosion and building bridges. As a final point it is worth noticing how the science of aerodynamics owes much of its beginnings to the observations of water flowing through rivers.