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Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences

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Georges Cuvier

1. Early Sixteenth-century Anatomists and Zoologists

4. The Works of Conrad Gessner and Ulisse Aldrovandi

Texte intégral

Equus marinus monstrosus
Plate from Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Monstrorum historia (1642). Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.

1Messieurs,

2In our last session we told the story of the first zoologists from the sixteenth century, Belon, Salviani, and Rondelet. We saw that they put even more effort into their critique of the works of the Ancients than the anatomists, extracting excerpts that were related to their topic and creating their own work in a kind of a compilation based on the writings from Antiquity. We also acknowledged that for some of the objects they studied, they made their own observations and, above all, they provided illustrations that did not exist in the work of the Ancients. We also pointed out that they arbitrarily matched to species the names provided by the Ancients.

  • 1 [The Battle of Zug, also called the Second War of Kappel (Zweiter Kappelerkrieg), an armed conflic (...)
  • 2 [Johannes Frick (fl. 1520s,) Gessner’s maternal uncle, a minister who, perceiving his nephew’s dev (...)
  • 3 [John or Johannes Steiger (born 1518, died 1581) of Bern.]
  • 4 [For Rondelet, see Lesson 3, above.]
  • 5 [Hanseatic League, a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market to (...)

3We are now going to look at the writings that came after them. The most important one is History of Animals by Conrad Gessner. Gessner was one of those extraordinary men who combined a strong will, an amazing memory, and a huge knowledge. He wrote about almost all the topics of human knowledge and showed in all his work his extensive scholarship and originality, at least in the organization of his chapters. He lived and wrote his books in Zurich, where he was born on 26 March 1516. His father was a furrier. Maybe his father’s occupation had something to do with his taste for natural history and the extensive knowledge he gained on animals of the north. His father was killed during the Battle of Zug that took place at the beginning of the Reformation in Switzerland between Catholics and Protestants.1 One of his uncles who trained him in the humanities2 was no longer around either, so he went to Strasburg; then, with the help of the canons of Zurich, he went to Bourges to study medicine. At the age of eighteen, he had the opportunity to go to Paris where he passionately studied all kinds of topics. John Steiger,3 a young man from a noble family from Bern, with whom he had become friends, helped him, since at that time he was very poor. After Paris he went for a second time to Strasburg and then, in 1536, to Zurich where he was offered a professorship in a college. Later on he went to Montpellier where he became friends with Rondelet whom we talked about earlier.4 Finally, in 1541, he received his doctorate in Basel. A few years later, he traveled to Venice and Augsburg, two towns that were connected at that time since trade with India was not yet using exclusively the sea route around the Cape of Good Hope. Venice was part of this trade route and saw scholars and travelers who had crossed Egypt and were on their way to England, Sweden, and all the northern countries. The Hanseatic League5 owes its prosperity to this route.

4Although Gessner was not wealthy, since he often had to rely on the help of others for survival, he still managed to commission an artist all his life who drew for him a large number of excellent illustrations. He even put together a cabinet of natural history, probably the first one to exist in zoology. This cabinet only contained dried specimens and organs that could be kept easily as dried specimens; however it enabled him to reach the highest quality in his treatises.

  • 6 Gessner dedicated his history of fishes to this emperor [Ferdinand I (born 10 March 1503, Alcalá d (...)
  • 7 [Bibliotheca universalis sive catalogus omnium scriptorum locupletissimus in tribus linguis Latina (...)

5In 1555, he was appointed professor of natural history in Zurich. Emperor Ferdinand I granted him a coat of arms and other marks of honor.6 But the plague epidemic hit Switzerland, and while he was able to cure many patients who had contracted it, he succumbed to it and died in 1565 at the age of 49. He lived a short life but the number of his works is really astonishing. Some of them are beyond the scope of our studies such as his Bibliotheca Universalis (Universal Library) that was published in folio from 1545 to 1548.7 This was the first book ever written that includes the list of every single known written work, either manuscript or published. Printing was already 180 years old at that time and a large number of books were already in circulation. Thus, it was very useful to create a complete catalogue of all these writings.

  • 8 [Mithridates, de differentiis linguarum tum ueterum, tum quae hodie apud diuersas nationes in toto (...)
  • 9 [Johann Christoph Adelung (born 8 August 1732, Spantekow, Western Pomerania; died 10 September 180 (...)

6Another book, also remarkable and beyond our scope of study as well, is his book called Mithridates, seu de differentiis linguarum.8 This is the first book on comparative linguistics ever written. His first edition includes a table with the Sunday prayer in twenty-two languages; it was a lot for a first time. You understand that he chose the Sunday prayer because it was the most translated text, not only in the language of the Christian countries, but also in the countries where Christians went to convert populations. Gessner’s work was a template for all those who followed him, such as Adelung’s book,9 published thirty years ago, that brought scholarship in comparative linguistics to perfection.

  • 10 [Gessner (Conrad), Thesaurus Euonymi Philiatri de remediis secretis, liber physicus, medicus et pa (...)
  • 11 [Descriptio montis fracti sive Montis Pilati, ut vulgo nominant, iuxta Lucernam in Helvetia, publi (...)

7Gessner also authored a Treatise on mineral waters from Switzerland and Germany,10 Description of Mount Pilatus11 near Lucerne (Switzerland), and several translations of Greek and Arab writers on botany and medicine. But let us talk about his books that are related to our subject.

  • 12 [Gessner (Conrad), De Scorpione, Kurtze Beschreybung dess Scorpions auss dess Weytberumpten Hochge (...)
  • 13 [For Gessner’s work on insects, see notes 70 and 71, below.]

8The first one is his History of Animals, five volumes in-folio that is usually bound in three. In the first volume, published in Zurich in 1551, he treats the subject of viviparous quadrupeds; the second, published in 1554, is about oviparous quadrupeds. The third, published one year later, is about birds; the fourth, published in 1556 is about fishes and other aquatic animals. The fifth one is about snakes; it is a posthumous book since it was published in 1587, long after his death. In addition to this, there was another posthumous work, a treatise on scorpions.12 Gessner had also prepared a sixth book on insects but only notes and woodcut illustrations of a few unknown butterflies remain;13 they are kept in the public library of Zurich. Gessner’s book is organized in a way that describes each species from all angles. Each species is the object of a chapter and each chapter is divided into eight sections. The first section gives the name of the species in all the various languages, both ancient and modern. Gessner’s extensive scholarship enabled him to give the names of the species not only in Greek, Latin, French, German, Italian, and English, but also in oriental languages such as modern Greek, Slavic languages, Illyrian, etc. In the second section of each chapter he describes the animal, its varieties and the countries where it lives. His descriptions are not only based on his own observations but also on everything that has been written on the topic by ancient and modern authors, either published or manuscript. He used the same approach for the sections related to the lifespan of the animal, its growth, its fecundation, gestation, birth and composition of the litter, the diseases it can contract, its lifestyle, instinct, usefulness, and, finally, how it appeared in poetry and arts. This book is a huge emporium of scholarship. It was used by all the authors that followed and some even used it as a source without citing it. It would be very easy to show that some moderns—in their critical discussions about what the Ancients thought or the names they gave to animals or the information they provided on animals—used not only excerpts from Gessner, but also skipped whatever Gessner had not discovered yet. It is certainly very appropriate to cite what other authors have said in the past, especially when the information is accurate, but it is not appropriate to make the comments of others one’s own.

  • 14 [Aristotle, see Volume 1, Lessons 7 and 8.]
  • 15 [Pliny the Elder, see Volume 1, Lesson 13.]
  • 16 [Aelian of Praeneste, see Volume 1, Lesson 15.]

9As it was customary at that time, Gessner did not indicate with precision where he got his citations. He only names the authors, Aristotle,14 Pliny,15 or Aelian,16 thus making source verification a lengthy process. However, it is a huge benefit to have at least the names of the authors; it makes it possible to know what Ancient to read on any specific topic. Gessner not only compiled the writings of others, together with his own critique about the different opinions that he gathered, which was almost always accurate, he also added a wealth of observations either directly made by him or reported to him by his correspondents. He had indeed met several friends during his travels and through some fellow citizens who traveled all over Europe for commerce, who provided him with fact sheets and even illustrations that he immediately had engraved. These engravings are on wood as was customary at that time, but they are of good quality since the drawings he received were very accurate. You know that in the sixteenth century the arts were flourishing, especially drawing.

  • 17 [John Caius, also spelled Kees, Keys, Kay, or Kaye (born 6 October 1510, Norwich, Norfolk, England (...)
  • 18 [Edward VI, see Lesson 3, note 101.]
  • 19 [Mary Tudor, see Lesson 3, note 103.]
  • 20 [Elizabeth I, see Lesson 3, note 104.]
  • 21 [De rariorum animalium et stirpium historia liber unus and De canibus britannicis are usually boun (...)

10One of Gessner’s correspondents is particularly worth mentioning. His name is John Caius, Key or Kaye.17 He was born in Norwich in 1510. He became physician to Edward VI,18 Queen Mary,19 and Queen Elizabeth.20 Cambridge owes him the foundation of a college that bears his name. He published a book called De rariorum animalium et stirpium historia liber unus, and another book called De canibus britannicis, both in London, in 1570, which together are still of interest today.21 Caius is the one who sent the most minerals to Gessner, and his book is extremely valuable to this branch of natural sciences.

  • 22 [Rondelet, see Lesson 3, above.]
  • 23 [Gessner (Conrad), Nomenclator aquatilium animantium, Icones animalium aquatilum in mari et dulcib (...)

11In his book, Gessner also personally observed facts related to animals from Switzerland, and fishes from the Adriatic Sea and from inland Germany and England, that are not found in any other book; some of them are not even mentioned by Rondelet22 or by any other ichthyologist who preceded him. He also introduces several new and interesting facts about birds from Switzerland. While old, his book is still very valuable and useful today. It is a kind of encyclopedia for all zoologists and it is impossible to treat natural history and the animals described therein without referring to this book. It was printed many times; I gave you the years of the first publications but later it appeared again in Basel, Switzerland, Frankfurt, and other cities. There is even a very old French edition that has now become very rare. Some abridged versions were also published such as Icones animalium; Icones avium; Nomenclator aquatilium, etc.23

12Since Gessner’s plates were in wood and engraved with perfection, it made it possible to make more copies from them than if the plates had been in copper. Thus, all the abridged versions that we just mentioned include the same figures as the complete editions, and in this regard, both are of similar quality; the text is what differs between the abridged versions and the complete edition.

  • 24 Belon and Rondelet, see Lesson 3, above.]
  • 25 [Salviani, see Lesson 3, above.]

13The volume about fishes is slightly different from the other volumes. Instead of putting together all the excerpts from the Ancients and the Moderns under eight sections as I described earlier, Gessner used articles written by two of his friends, Belon and Rondelet,24 and added very little to them. He was even able to use some of Salviani’s work,25 but interestingly, the articles of these ichthyologists are different: they describe, under the same name, different species. Gessner notices it; however, he puts them all together and adds to it what he calls a corollary.

  • 26 [Gessner (Conrad), De rerum fossilium, lapidum et gemmarum maxime, figuris et similitudinibus libe (...)

14Other than this difference, his history of fishes is organized in the same way as his history of birds and quadrupeds, but I think the method he used for these two was the best one. Maybe Gessner did not use the same method for his study of fishes because he lived inland where he did not have many opportunities to observe these animals, thus he thought his best option was to refer to authors located in more propitious locales. However, Gessner’s zoology is the primary book in this science, not only for the sixteenth century, but also for the centuries that followed. The insertions from Rondelet and Belon bring additional value to this book, which makes Gessner the oldest author on the history of animals. Gessner is also outstanding as a botanist. When we start our study of botany in the sixteenth century, we will see that he was the one who gave the best figures of plants; we also owe him the true method of classification of plants based on their reproduction system rather than on other parts of the plants that are only secondary. Basically, everything related to modern botany comes from Gessner’s ideas, even though his books on botany were not as numerous as the ones he wrote on zoology. An important point to note, however, is that he did not work much on distribution in zoology. He did indicate genera; he also showed the connections between birds, but he did not indicate classifications as specifically as he did in botany. Gessner also wrote in 1565 a small treatise on illustrations of fossils, stones, and gems.26 I will talk about it when we get to mineralogy.

  • 27 [Aelian of Praeneste, see Volume 1, Lesson 15.]
  • 28 [Pierre Gilles or Gyllius, also known as Pierre Alby; see Lesson 3, notes 15 and 26, above; and Vo (...)

15As you can see, Gessner is equally remarkable and original in these three branches of natural history; he was as well a remarkable erudite. When he was young, he published a few versions of the writings of Greek authors and, later, in 1556, he contributed greatly to science with a complete translation of Aelian’s work.27 So far, the only existing work about Aelian was what Gyllius had written in 1535,28 in an order that was completely different from the original and, furthermore, interspersed with foreign insertions.

  • 29 [Salomon Gessner (born 1 April 1730, Zurich; died 2 March 1788, Zurich), Swiss painter and poet. H (...)
  • 30 [For the Battle of Zug, the Second War of Kappel, see note 1, above.]

16The Gessner family became famous during the last century, especially Salomon Gessner whose poetry and eclogues are known in every country.29 They descended from an uncle of Conrad Conrad named Andreas Gessner. Andreas Gessner was famous in Zurich for having been wounded thirty-six times during the Battle of Zug and survived thirty-six more years after that battle, during which time he held the highest positions in the city.30

  • 31 [Ulisse Aldrovandi or Aldrovandus (born 11 September 1522, Bologna; died 4 May 1605, Bologna), Ita (...)
  • 32 [Aldrovandi’s manuscripts are held today by the Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna, in a special (...)

17From Gessner and his considerable scholarship that we just talked about, succeeded a naturalist named Aldrovandi.31 Aldrovandi’s work is as substantial as Gessner’s but less artistic and less scientific. Aldrovandi was born in Bologna in 1527 and was eleven years younger than Gessner. He belonged to a noble family that still exists today in Bologna. While Bologna was under the Pope’s jurisdiction, it had kept—and has kept almost to this day—the structure of the former Italian Republics; thus, rather than being under the jurisdiction of the Pope, it was more under his protection. Noble families boasted great authority, but Aldrovandi did not participate in any of the public responsibilities or functions. Instead, he devoted his time to natural history. The ardor he put in gathering specimens led him to financial ruin. Like Gessner had done before, he put together a cabinet filled with specimens he had gathered, but only a few skeletons of mammals remain. Many of his fossils, however, are still kept at the institute of Bologna. For that time, his cabinet was quite well stocked. We can still see in the public library of Bologna a large number of Aldrovandi’s manuscripts, which are much more numerous than those that were printed.32 This talented naturalist managed to create up to twenty folio volumes of illustrations of animals, all colored by skilled men of the day, which was a time, as I mentioned earlier, when excellent artists abounded. These twenty volumes of paintings are still kept at the Institute of Bologna. During the revolution they were sent to Paris at the Museum of Natural History but they were taken back in 1814. These are the original engravings of his work; the plates are engraved on wood, more roughly than the ones by Gessner, so much so that it is necessary to refer to the original illustrations to know what was intended to be represented. All these works led Aldrovandi to extreme poverty, and rumor has it that he died at the hospital of Bologna at the age of seventy-eight, old and blind. This story has been recently contested; it is indeed unlikely that the Senate of Bologna, to whom he bequeathed his cabinet and his manuscripts and which spent huge amounts of money to complete the publication of his work after his death, would have left him while he was still alive without any means of subsistence. However, human behavior can be sometimes so inconsequent that it might not be impossible.

18Aldrovandi himself published only four volumes. His project is so huge that twelve volumes are devoted to zoology, one to minerals, and another one to trees, all together representing fourteen folio volumes. The first three, published in 1599, 1600, and 1603, treat ornithology; the fourth, published in 1602, is about insects. All the other volumes were published after his death. His widow published the fifth volume in 1606, which is about mollusks and other “white blooded” animals.

  • 33 [Johannes Cornelius Uterverius (born?, Delft; died 1619, Bologna), prefect of the botanical garden (...)
  • 34 [Solipeds are ungulate mammals with a single hoof on each foot, including horses, asses, and mules (...)
  • 35 [Thomas Demster (born 23 August 1579, Cliftbog, Aberdeenshire; died 6 September 1625, Bologna), Sc (...)
  • 36 [Quadrupedum omnium bisulcorum historia, Bologna: Sebastianum Bonhommium, 1621; split-or cloven-ho (...)

19Cornelius Uterverius,33 born in Delft in Holland and successor to Aldrovandi, wrote his volume on solipeds34 and the one on fishes and cetaceans based on Androvandi’s manuscripts. They were published in 1613 and 1616. Thomas Demster,35 a Scottish aristocrat who was also a professor in Bologna and well known for his expansive treatise on Etruria or ancient Tuscany, published the volume about split-hoof animals.36

  • 37 [Bartholomaeus Ambrosinus or Bartolomeo Ambrosini (born 1588, Bologna; died 1657, Bologna), profes (...)
  • 38 [Cuvier cites 1657, but the works of Aldrovandi that were completed by Bartholomaeus Ambrosinus (s (...)
  • 39 [Ovidius Montalbanus (born 1601, died 1671), doctor of philosophy and medicine and professor of bo (...)

20Bartholomaeus Ambrosinus, director of Bologna’s botanical garden37 and also successor to Aldrovandi, published the volumes on digitated quadrupeds, snakes, monsters, and minerals. They were published only in 1657.38 Finally, the last volume devoted to trees was published by Montalbanus,39 professor of botany in Bologna, in 1667, sixty years after the death of the author. It is important to distinguish the posthumous editions from the ones that were published by Aldrovandi himself in order to distinguish their respective work. Aldrovandi, who undertook on his own this extensive compilation, tried to gather for his work as many excerpts from past writers as he could. He followed his friend Gessner’s approach in this endeavor; however, there are far less personal observations in Aldrovandi’s work than in Gessner’s.

21This prevalence of compilation is especially noticeable in the volumes that were published after his death and for which the editors used almost only the notes that Aldrovandi had left. But the most valuable parts of his work are often its illustrations; they include all of Gessner, Rondelet, and Belon, and a large number of new drawings extracted from the twenty volumes of paintings I talked about earlier. Since he was located in a more propitious location than Rondelet and Gessner, for access to natural species from southern Europe, he was able to collect some that had been missed by these two great naturalists. He also received some from India that he did not know, and some from America and Africa that were still unknown in Europe in the sixteenth century since it is only later that voyages to these faraway lands became more frequent. Anyway, except for these illustrations, Aldrovandi’s work barely includes anything new that is not in Gessner’s. Aldrovandi does not seem either to have had the same critical mind and appreciation skills as Gessner since his notes show elements that should have been discarded or at least edited with comments, or maybe his editors left these elements inaccurately. Thus, this work needs to be read with caution.

  • 40 [Monstrorum historia cum Paralipomenis historiae omnium animalium, Bologna: Nicolai Tebaldini, 164 (...)

22In addition to the illustrations I talked about, some sketches exist as well of monsters. They are included in the volume related to monsters that Ambrosinus published.40 This volume includes not only illustrations of real monsters but also of imaginary ones, or some designed after old descriptions. Indeed, whenever extraordinary facts were related in the Ancients, sixteenth-century artists tried to illustrate them, but this approach only brought quite inaccurate results. The illustrations of real monsters are not very good either; these monsters, even though they were born dead, are represented as if they were adults. Thus, it is important to use precaution when using this part of Aldrovandi’s history.

23As for his study of minerals, we will come back to it when we study mineralogy. I can only say at this point that I had the opportunity to see in Bologna several interesting original fossils and petrifactions copied from nature.

24Here is what we can remember about these huge fourteen volumes: they are arranged with very little methodology; the divisions are broad. The author first treats viviparous quadrupeds, then oviparous quadrupeds, snakes, birds, fishes, mollusks, worms, and insects; basically he follows approximately Aristotle’s divisions. He only tried to bring some kind of methodology in the volume on insects. He brings a kind of dichotomy to it that is still somewhat borrowed from Aristotle; he divides insects into terrestrial and aquatic species; he segregates those that have legs and those that do not. Those that are legless include worms and larvae. He creates a new division among those that have legs, based on whether they have wings or not; then he divides the winged ones based on their number of wings and the number of their spines or of their scales. This section is the only one in which he gives a kind of conspectus, a synopsis of the divisions that he created; for the other sections, he did the same as his predecessors. The order of animals in each class is totally arbitrary and it is very difficult to locate them. At least Gessner had organized them alphabetically.

25The work of these two men was the work of reference used for all studies in natural history until the end of the seventeenth century, and for the study of quadrupeds, even until the eighteenth century. Gessner and Aldrovandi together created a strong pool of knowledge on natural history of animals. As a result, anytime you have in any science such a wealth of information organized in a rather clear and easy to study fashion, science spreads quickly. This is indeed what happened. A taste for zoology spread and we will see that during the end of the sixteenth century and the beginning of the seventeenth century, many men studied zoology. Some studied in their home town specific elements of zoology and others went to faraway countries for similar studies. A huge new scholarship resulted from this strong interest, and fifty years later these studies had reached the maximum level of perfection they could reach at that point and it became indispensable to start new work in a different way. We will soon look at these new studies but before we do that, it is important to recall who were the main observers whose research brought new material for these new books. First we will talk about those who chose to study closer to home; then we will talk about those who chose to travel and explore nature in faraway countries.

  • 41 [Fabio Colonna or Fabius Columna (born 1567, Naples; died 25 July 1640, Naples), Italian naturalis (...)
  • 42 [Giovanni Pietro Olina (born 1585, died 1645, Italian ornithologist, author of Uccelliera overdo d (...)
  • 43 [Thomas Moufet, also spelled Moufet, Mouffet, Moffet (born 1553, London; died 5 June 1604, Wilton, (...)
  • 44 [Columna’s Latin motto: His destituta fortiori, meaning (the column is) “Stronger when deprived of (...)
  • 45 [Phu, phukus, phykos, or fucus, a Greek name for seaweed; for Dioscorides, see Volume 1, Lesson 12 (...)
  • 46 [Valerian, a common name given to the 200 or so species of herbaceous plants of the family Valeria (...)
  • 47 [Phytobasanos sive plantarus aliquot historia: in qva describvntvr diversi generis plantæ veriores (...)
  • 48 [Ecphrasis or Ekphrasis: Fabii Columnae Lyncei minus cognitarum rariorumque nostro coelo orientium (...)

26Among those who studied special topics is Fabio Colonna (usually better known under the Latin name Fabius Columna),41 Olina,42 and Moufet.43 Fabius Columna in particular is the one who deserves the most respect from naturalists for his contributions as an observer. He belonged to a famous family of Naples, but descended from the illegitimate side of the family. His emblem was a column with neither capital nor base and his motto was His destituta fortior.44 He was a doctor in Naples where he was born (in 1567) and died (in 1650). His study of medicine and natural history came from the epileptic attacks he suffered at a young age. He thought that if he could find the plant that the Ancients said could cure this disease, he could be completely healed. With this idea in mind, he undertook many critical studies to discover and determine the species the Ancients talked about, since one of the errors of the Ancients was their failure to describe the characters of the plant that could have helped to identify it. Fabius Columna focused his research primarily on the plant named phu, cited by Dioscorides.45 He thought he had identified it as the valerian46 and he used it. His disease went through long periods of lapse and it was only as he became older that his illness intensified until he passed away; but by then he had reached a natural age to die. He gathered all his research in a book called Phytobasanos.47 He also published another book called Ecphrasis.48 We will talk about these books when we talk about botany; for now we will only talk about his work in zoology, which is very interesting.

  • 49 [De aquatilibus conchis, aliisque animalibus paucis libellus cum figuris, Rome: Jacobum Mascardum, (...)
  • 50 [Janthina janthina, the common purple snail, a species of holoplanktonic sea snail, a marine gastr (...)
  • 51 [A dark purple secretion produced by members of the genus Purpura, marine gastropod mollusks of th (...)
  • 52 [Hoc est de Purpurea ab animali testaceo fusa, de hoc ipso animali aliisque rarioribus testaceis q (...)
  • 53 [Federico Zerenghi (fl. first decade of the seventeenth century), Italian physician-surgeon and tr (...)
  • 54 [The hippopotamus is now confined to central and southern Africa, but in ancient times it was comm (...)
  • 55 [Prosper Alpinus or Prospero Alpini (born 23 November 1553, Marostica, Republic of Venice; died 6 (...)
  • 56 [Colonel Gordon is Charles George Gordon (born 28 January 1833, Woolwich; died 26 January 1885, Kh (...)
  • 57 [Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (born 7 September 1707, Montbard, France; died 16 April 17 (...)
  • 58 [Velella, a cosmopolitan genus of free-floating hydrozoans that live on the surface of the open oc (...)
  • 59 [Thetis, a genus of bivalve mollusks, now considered to be a junior synonym of Gouldia, belonging (...)
  • 60 [We have been unable to identify this “sea slug.”]
  • 61 [Academy of the Lynx or Accademia dei Lincei (literally the “Academy of the Lynx-Eyed,” but Anglic (...)

27His first book is called De aquatilibus conchis, aliisque animalibus libellus and was printed in 1616,49 with illustrations that he had drawn and engraved by etching himself. These illustrations, extremely refined and delicate, represent objects that had not been published by any former ichthyologist or naturalist before. Several of them are very unique; for example, a kind of sea shell that we now call Janthina janthina that secretes dark purple nectar.50 This animal was very well studied by Fabius Columna in a book that he published on purpura51 in 1616 called De purpurea, ab animali testaceo fusa, de hoc ipso animali aliisque varioribus testaceis quibusdam tractatus.52 The first illustration ever done from nature of a hippopotamus was also produced by Columna. A surgeon from Bologna named Zerenghi53 had brought back from his trip to Egypt a salted skin of a hippopotamus54 and Fabius Columna and Prosper Alpinus55 used this skin to draw the figures, the only good ones that existed until Colonel Gordon56 sent one that was inserted in Buffon’s supplement.57 In addition to Janthina janthina, several other mollusks and several other small animals such as Velella,58 Thetis,59 and the Britos sea slug60 were also very well illustrated by Columna. He distinguished himself from all his predecessors by his method: instead of compiling and giving a critique of the work of the Ancients, he observed, drew, and engraved the species by himself. While his illustrations are not very elegant, they are refined; he also belonged to the Academy of the Lynx.61 This academy was named after the lynx because of its sharp sight which, according to the Ancients, enabled it to see through walls. Its members did not claim to have such sharp eyesight, but to be able to observe with great accuracy. We owe them the first academy of observation that ever existed. When our study takes us to the seventeenth century when all academies of the sciences of observation were created, I will talk about the first trials of the Academy of the Lynx.

  • 62 [For purpura, see note 51, above.]
  • 63 [Cochineal, Dactylopius coccus, a scale insect of the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the crim (...)

28Columna was not only an observer, he was also an excellent critic, and he knew the Ancients as much as the other authors I have talked about so far. Usually at that time, authors who wanted to be regarded as knowledgeable had to include their comments on what the Ancients said on their topic of study. This era was more a time of erudition and critique rather than a period of observation. Fabius Columna, who died in 1650, can be considered an author of transition; he was both an erudite and an observer. His talents in both skills are especially remarkable in his treatise on purpura62 in which he critiques all the texts written by the Ancients on the subject and tries by his own observations to identify which animals provided this colorful nectar. The description provided by the ancients of the animal that produces purpura was not very well done and it would be difficult to identify it with their descriptions alone; but it is now an ascertained fact that several univalve sea shells produce similar nectar. Fabius Columna gives the name of four or five; the one that produces the most of it is Janthina janthina, which I talked about earlier. The purpura it produces is of such a dark purple that the yield of only one of these animals is enough to color several pints of liquid. The Ancients described all the many different animals that produce purpura and their variety helps us understand how they could provide for the huge consumption of this color for the robes of the judges and princes as well as for the wall hangings at shows, for blankets, and draperies of that time. Today, no one would think of dying in purple with the substance the Ancients used; cochineal63 together with other substances give all the desired shades of purple.

  • 64 [Peter Olina is Giovanni Pietro Olina, see note 42, above.]
  • 65 [For Olina’s book on birds, see note 42, above.]
  • 66 [Alpozzo is Cassiano dal Pozzo (born 1588, Turin; died 22 October 1657, Rome), Italian scholar and (...)
  • 67 [Buffon’s Histoire naturelle des oiseaux, Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1770-1783, 9 vols, in-4°; for (...)

29Another Italian who came after Columna and who can be considered as a monographer and a special observer is Peter Olina,64 from Orta near Novaro, doctor of law established in Milano. He wrote in 1622 a book called Uccellagione (about birds)65 that he wrote in Alpozzo’s house,66 one of the most famous families of Piedmont, where he was welcomed as a family member. In his book he treats all species of birds, especially singing birds of which he provides forty-six illustrations; though they are not very numerous, they are as well executed, if not better, than Salviani’s illustrations of fishes. They are among the few drawings that were engraved in copper at that time. Peter Olina is an essential author in ornithology. Several of the facts that he indicates are accurate; he was an excellent observer and Buffon resorted to him many times for his History of Birds.67

  • 68 [Aldrovandi’s book on insects: De animalibus insectis libri septem cum singulorum iconibus ad viuu (...)
  • 69 [Thomas Moufet, see note 43, above.]
  • 70 [Insectorum sive minimorum animalium theatrum or insectorum sive minimorum animalium theatrum, Lon (...)
  • 71 [The Insectorum theatrum has a complicated history. It originated from an unfinished study by Gess (...)
  • 72 [Theodore Turquet de Mayerne (born 28 September 1573, Geneva, Switzerland; died 22 March 1654 or 1 (...)
  • 73 Before that, he [Mayerne; see note 72, above] was doctor to James I [Charles James Stuart (born 19 (...)
  • 74 [Henry IV, see Lesson 2, note 57.]

30Insects had not yet been the object of any specific book because Gessner had not had time to write about what he had gathered on the subject; and Aldrovandi’s treatise, published in 1602,68 was far from good. Thomas Moufet,69 an English doctor, wrote a book on this branch of zoology called Insectorum theatrum;70 he added on the title page that the book had been started by Wotton and several other naturalists.71 But Thomas Moufet did not get to publish it; he died before its publication. It is only after his death in 1655 in Chelsea, which was around the end of the period we are now studying, that this book was published by Theodore Mayerne,72 French doctor in the service of Charles I, king of England.73 He was also Henry IV’s doctor and had left France after Henry IV’s assassination.74

  • 75 [Forficules are earwigs, insects of the family Forficulidae.]
  • 76 [Sipuncula or sipunculidas, commonly known as sipunculid worms or peanut worms, a group of several (...)
  • 77 [Pneumoras are grasshoppers, insects of the family Pneumoridae, order Orthoptera, of which there a (...)
  • 78 [Hydrophilus, a genus of water scavenger beetles belonging to the family Hydrophilidae.]
  • 79 [Phryganea, a genus of caddisflies of the family Phryganeidae.]

31Moufet is to the study of insects what Gessner was for the study of quadrupeds and Rondelet for fishes. His book is the first treatise somewhat complete, done ex professo, to ever be published on this branch of zoology. The division of insects is still quite imperfect; but they are gathered by genera and family in a way somewhat similar to what Rondelet had done with fishes. In his first book, he treats bees, wasps, and all other related insects; he also adds to this category several species that do not belong to the same family such as the cicadas, beetles, forficules,75 and butterflies, but it is reported that his aim was to put together in this first book all the small winged animals. In his second volume, he included all the animals that do not have wings. At that time, not much was known about the metamorphosis of insects; we only knew that caterpillars morphed into chrysalides and chrysalides into butterflies, but this doctrine had not spread yet to all classes and genera; thus, Moufet describes many larvae and imperfect insects without knowing what shape they will later take. In this regard, his book is still an incomplete work, but it is remarkable for the number of species that are represented. It includes five hundred illustrations in wood, all designed from nature and quite accurate. Actually, he considers as insects many animals that are no longer considered insects today but that were classified as insects at that time based on some semblance of articulation in their structures. He even put worms that do not have any articulation in the same category of insects. In spite of this imperfection in distribution, Moufet’s work is extremely valuable for the accurate information and illustration it provides of many insects that are not very often the object of observation. He gives excellent representations of bees, wasps, bumblebees, sipunculas,76 mayflies, damselflies, pneumoras,77 and polyps. He also offers good figures of butterflies and moths. His woodcut figures of aquatic insects such as Hydrophilus78 and Phryganea79 are also very well done; so basically this work is an excellent groundwork for this branch of natural history that today counts for the highest number of species of all.

32These are, messieurs, the main authors who studied specific branches of zoology under the impetus of the great works of Gessner and Aldrovandi. In fact, that same influence led other talented men of science to travel to various European countries or lands recently discovered by seafarers in order to discover new species. I will only talk here about those who focused on zoology and I will follow them in the various regions they traveled. I will first talk about those who went to the northern countries; then we will look at those who went to the Levant, in Egypt, in Asia Minor and Syria; then we will talk about those who traveled in Africa, then those who went to the East Indies and China; we will end our study with the authors who described their findings from America.

  • 80 [Rurik or Riurik (born c. 830, died c. 879), Varangian chieftain who gained control of Ladoga in 8 (...)
  • 81 [Vladimir Sviatoslavich the Great (born c. 958, died 15 July 1015), prince of Novgorod, grand prin (...)
  • 82 [Schism of Photius, a four-year (863 to 867) schism between the episcopal sees of Rome and Constan (...)
  • 83 [Henry I (born 4 May 1008, Reims; died 4 August 1060, Vitryaux-Loges), King of the Franks from 103 (...)
  • 84 [Hugh Capet (born c. 941, Paris; died 24 October 996, Paris), Hugh the Great, first King of the Fr (...)
  • 85 [Ivan III Vasilyevich (born 22 January 1440, Moscow; died 27 October 1505, Moscow), also known as (...)
  • 86 [Ivan IV Vasilyevich (born 25 August 1530, died 28 March 1584), known in English as Ivan the Terri (...)

33In the north, we will mostly focus on Russia. During the sixteenth and the first half of the seventeenth century, this country was considered, so to speak, as a savage country; not that its inhabitants did not belong to the same kind of people found in other European countries, thus Caucasian, or that they had not been Christians for very long, but because they were for a very long time slaves to the Tartars. The Russian Empire was founded only at the end of the tenth century by Rurik,80 and by the beginning of the eleventh century it was already huge; it extended from the Baltic Sea all the way to the Black Sea and included almost all the countries in Europe that make up Russia today, except for those that were under Vladimir’s power.81 Vladimir was converted by the Greek Christians of Constantinople and was baptized in 988. Since then this country remained attached to the Greek Church; before that its relationship with the Roman Church had already diminished, especially after the Schism of Photius.82 But these facts do not explain why it severed its relationship with Europe. This break up was due to the following events. A Russian princess became the wife of Henry I,83 grandson of Hugh Capet;84 she later divided her kingdom among her children in a way that triggered a civil war in Russia; this war only ended in the thirteenth century when Russia and all its provinces submitted themselves to the vassalage of the Tartars. Vladimir was held prisoner and killed in a battle that occurred in 1224. During the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, the Tartars were the overlords of the various provinces of Russia. The khans of the Tartars chose among the various princes the one who stood out above the others and gave him the title of Grand-Duke of Russia. Russia, which was compelled to follow a vile courtship to this savage people in order to obtain its protection, became itself barbarian. Divisions occurred among the Tartars, and the Russian princes took advantage of it to jostle them. This only happened in the sixteenth century. Ivan III was one of the first to set free from the yoke of the Tartars; he died in 1505.85 His grandson, Ivan IV,86 conquered the kingdoms located near the Caspian Sea, Kazan, Astrakhan, and Azov. He was the first one to hold the title of Tsar, a word that comes from the Tartar language.

  • 87 [Great Duke Basil IV is Vasily II Vasiliyevich Tyomniy (born 10 March 1415; 27 March 1462, Moscow) (...)
  • 88 [Maximilian I (born 22 March 1459, Wiener Neustadt, Austria; died 12 January 1519, Wiener Neustadt (...)
  • 89 [Baron Sigismund von Herberstein, also called Siegmund Freiherr von Herberstein (born 23 August 14 (...)
  • 90 [Rerum moscovitarum commentarii, Basel: Joannis Steelsii, 1556, [12] + 205 + [1] + [9] p.]
  • 91 [Ferdinand I (born 10 March 1503, Alcalá de Henares, Spain;, 25 July 1564, Vienna, Austria), Holy (...)

34Then new divisions occurred. Princes from different families were chosen to reign until the beginning of the seventeenth century when the Romanov dynasty, whose current princes received their titles and succession from women, became permanently the rulers of Russia. Europe started to establish a relationship with Russia as soon as it freed itself from the Tartars. This is when we started learning a little about this country’s customs, which until now had remained almost unknown in Europe. The wars it waged against the Polish were, for the German emperors, an opportunity to tie some connections with it. The first book published on Russia was written by an ambassador who was sent to Great Duke Basil IV,87 father of Ivan IV, by Emperor Maximilian I.88 This ambassador was Sigismund von Herberstein;89 he was from Styria and died in 1565 at the age of seventy-eight. Before he died, he published in Basel, in 1556, a book called Rerum moscovitarum commentarii.90 He came back from Russia in 1526, thus it took him thirty years to write his book since his dedication to Emperor Ferdinand I91 is dated 1549. In his book he gives not only details of Russian history, which was mostly new to Europe, as it is nowadays with China, but also on the customs and religion of the country, its strength, its power, and the extent of its size. He even provides a map and adds new details on what can be found there. In this book we can find the first illustration of the bison or wild ox that inhabits the forests of Lithuania. It also includes a figure of another kind of ox that is now extinct. The bison is the ox with a hump and a mane that lives in some forests of southern Russia. The other species of ox is the one that produced our domesticated cow of today. Herberstein’s work is thus very valuable since it gives us illustrations of species that no longer exist in their wild state. Several other books were written on Russia around the same period of time. Russia was important at that time not only in terms of politics in Europe but it was also of great interest to countries that belonged to the Roman Church.

  • 92 [Clement VII, see Lesson 3, note 10.]
  • 93 [Gregory XIII, see Lesson 2, note 44.]
  • 94 [Paolo Giovio, see Lesson 3, note 9.]
  • 95 [De romanis piscibus libellus ad Ludouicum Borbonium cardinalem amplissimum, [Basileae]: In offici (...)
  • 96 [De legatione Basilii Magni Principis Moschoviae ad Clementem VII, Rome: Francisci Minitii Calui, (...)
  • 97 [Antonio Possevino, Antonius Possevinus (born 10 July 1533, Mantua; died 26 February 1611, Ferrara (...)

35Ivan IV, whom I talked about earlier and who waged unfortunate wars with the Polish, sent an ambassador to Clement VII92 and another one to Gregory XIII.93 Paolo Giovio, whom we talked about earlier,94 in addition to his descriptions of the fishes of Rome,95 wrote a small treatise on Russia based on what the ambassadors brought back.96 Finally, a Jesuit named Antonio Possevino, sent by Gregory XIII to Ivan IV, wrote in 1586 a small book called Moscovia, seu de rebus moscovitis.97

  • 98 [Olaus Magnus (born October 1490, Linköping, Östergötland; died 1 August 1557, probably Rome), Swe (...)
  • 99 [Johannes Magnus (born 19 March 1488, Linköping; died 22 the last functioning Catholic Archbishop (...)
  • 100 [Gustav I, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known as Gustav Vasa (born 12 M (...)
  • 101 [Santa Brigida, a convent church dedicated to St. Bridget of Sweden and the Swedish national churc (...)
  • 102 [See note 98, above.]
  • 103 [For Herberstein, see note 89, above.]
  • 104 [Kraken, legendary sea monsters of giant proportions said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Gr (...)

36So these are the men who wrote about what could be found in terms of natural species in Russia in the sixteenth century. Those who traveled to Russia only by land had said so little about it that when the English arrived in Archangel, they almost thought that they were making a discovery, as we shall see when we start to study the travelers who describe Sweden and several areas of Northern Asia. Among them was Olaus Magnus98 who was Archbishop of Uppsala and became famous with his history of northern people. Although he was archbishop of Uppsala, he never fulfilled its functions. His brother, Johannes Magnus,99 held this archbishopric when Gustav Vasa100 began to introduce Reformation in Sweden. John tried to hinder Gustav’s projects but he did not manage to win over such a firm and cautious monarch and he left for Rome. Olaus, who was at that time archdeacon of the Cathedral of Strengnes in Sweden, resigned as well and followed his brother to Rome. It is only at the death of his brother that the Pope granted him Uppsala’s archbishopric. However, the same reason why he had left Sweden still existed and he did not accept the title of archbishop and remained in Rome to live in a convent founded by the Swedish called the convent of St. Bridget.101 The fame he gained was more the result of the tales he wrote about than based on real merit. His book is called Historia de gentibus septentrionalibus.102 It was published in Rome in 1555 and was reprinted many times. In his book Olaus describes not only Sweden and Norway, but also Iceland, Lapland, Finland, even Russia, and all the lands from this part of Europe that were very little known at that time. What is directly related to geography and history is not of our concern and we will only focus on the details of natural history that his book includes. They are more numerous than the ones Herberstein gives in his book on Russia.103 But they are not always as accurate because the author worked from memory; thus, as I said earlier, he put in his book many tales that he might have drawn from popular beliefs from Sweden or that he may have heard directly from Swedish people who were numerous at that time in Italy because all those who did not accept Reformation had found refuge in this country. We owe Olaus, for example, the story of the glutton who when his stomach is full with food goes to compress himself between two trees in order to speed up the moment when he can begin to eat again; we also owe to him the story of the kraken,104 this huge octopus, so large that sometimes sailors mistook it for an island, set their anchor there, and stayed until it would go back under water then revealing its true animal nature. Olaus even tells that sometimes vessels were swallowed by this octopus. He also told the story of that sea monster of an amazing length, as long as a league and a half, for example. It is mainly to discredit these tales that I mention Olaus Magnus because as far as the remaining information he gives on reindeers, moose, and whales—whose jaws are used to make beams for the northern dwellings—even though this information is correct it is not important enough to recommend his book. Many authors copied his stories; thus, it was important to clarify and state that the tales were only stories told by Swedish refugees who wrote in Rome and who put in their books all the popular myths of their country.

  • 105 [Tabula terrarum septentrionalium et rerum mirabilium, perhaps better known as Carta marina et des (...)

37Olaus gathered all these tales together, and the countries where they came from, in a map that was published in Venice in 1539 called Tabula terrarum septentrionalium et rerum mirabilium in iis, ac in oceano vicino.105 He situates almost all these wonders in the Northern Sea that surrounds Lapland. Several are copied in Gessner and Aldrovandi’s books; they also appear in more recent works which led me to bring your attention to it.

38The northern authors I just mentioned did not bring any significant new contribution to the science. Natural history saw its greatest expansion in the sixteenth century and during the first half of the seventeenth century as a result of the voyages undertaken by the Dutch. I will devote part of my next lesson to the history of these various travels.

Notes

1 [The Battle of Zug, also called the Second War of Kappel (Zweiter Kappelerkrieg), an armed conflict in 1531 between the Protestant and the Catholic cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy during the Reformation in the vicinity of the town of Zug. The tensions between the two parties had not been resolved by the peace concluded after the First War of Kappel two years earlier, and provocations from both sides continued unabated. On 11 October 1531, a force of approximately 7,000 soldiers from the five Catholic cantons met an army of only 2,000 men from Zurich. The main Zurich force arrived at the battlefield in scattered groups, exhausted from a forced march. The Catholic forces attacked and after a brief resistance, the Protestant army broke, leaving about 500 Protestants dead.]

2 [Johannes Frick (fl. 1520s,) Gessner’s maternal uncle, a minister who, perceiving his nephew’s developing genius, assisted in completing his education with instruction in literature and in botany.]

3 [John or Johannes Steiger (born 1518, died 1581) of Bern.]

4 [For Rondelet, see Lesson 3, above.]

5 [Hanseatic League, a commercial and defensive confederation of merchant guilds and their market towns that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe. It stretched from the Baltic to the North Sea and inland during the Late Middle Ages and early modern period (c. thirteenth to the seventeenth centuries).]

6 Gessner dedicated his history of fishes to this emperor [Ferdinand I (born 10 March 1503, Alcalá de Henares, Spain; died 25 July 1564, Vienna), Holy Roman Emperor from 1558, king of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526, and king of Croatia from 1527 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor (see Lesson 1, note 74, above).] [M. de St.-Agy].

7 [Bibliotheca universalis sive catalogus omnium scriptorum locupletissimus in tribus linguis Latina, Graeca et Hebraica: extantium & non extantium, veterum & recentiorum, published in four volumes by Christopher Froschauer in Zurich, from 1545 to 1549; the first truly comprehensive “universal” listing of all the books of the first century of printing. The first edition consisted of three parts: the first part was a list of works from every period arranged in alphabetical order, including about eighteen hundred authors and some ten thousand titles; the second was a systematic exposition of all areas of knowledge as treated in literature, including individual comprehensive treatises; and the third was a dictionary of arts and sciences. Together, it offered the academic world a 1,264 folio-page index of authors, complete with biographical details. Because of this great work, Gessner is often called the father of bibliography.]

8 [Mithridates, de differentiis linguarum tum ueterum, tum quae hodie apud diuersas nationes in toto orbe terrarum usu sunt, Zurich: Christoph Froschover, 1555, 21 vols; intended by Gessner to be a comprehensive survey of the world’s languages.]

9 [Johann Christoph Adelung (born 8 August 1732, Spantekow, Western Pomerania; died 10 September 1806, Dresden), German grammarian and philologist, important in the history of general linguistics for his Mithridates oder allgemeine Sprachenkunde, which compiled information (including versions of the Lord’s Prayer) on all languages then known to European scholarship. Published by Adelung and Johann Severin Vater in four volumes (from 1806 to 1817,) with the contents arranged geographically, it represents the final survey of its kind in the period before the triumph of comparative linguistics.]

10 [Gessner (Conrad), Thesaurus Euonymi Philiatri de remediis secretis, liber physicus, medicus et partim etiam chymicus, & œconomicus in vinorum diversi saporis apparatu, medicis & pharmacopolis omnibus praecipue, Zurich: Andreas Gessner, 1552, 580 + [48] p., illus.; one of the most important works of the sixteenth century on chemistry and distillation, it deals with the distillation and extraction of essential oils from plants, mineral oils and their various essences, tinctures for their use in pharmaceuticals, as well as wine-making, etc. An English translation was published in London, in 1559, by John Daie, entitled The treasure of Euonymus, conteyninge the wonderful hid secrets of nature, touchinge the most apte formes to prepare and destyl medicines, for the conservation of helth.]

11 [Descriptio montis fracti sive Montis Pilati, ut vulgo nominant, iuxta Lucernam in Helvetia, published as part of Gessner’s De raris et admirandis herbis, quae sive quod noctu luceant, sive alias ob causas, Lunariae nominantur, Commentariolus, Zurich: Andreas and Jakob Gessner, 1555, [2] + 87 + [9] p., illus.]

12 [Gessner (Conrad), De Scorpione, Kurtze Beschreybung dess Scorpions auss dess Weytberumpten Hochgelehrten Herrn D. Conradi Gessners S. History vom Ungeziffer zusamen getragen gemehrt und verfertigt durch den Hochgelehrten Herrn D. Caspar Wolphen, Zurich: Christoph Froschow, 1589, [4] + 72 leaves, illus.]

13 [For Gessner’s work on insects, see notes 70 and 71, below.]

14 [Aristotle, see Volume 1, Lessons 7 and 8.]

15 [Pliny the Elder, see Volume 1, Lesson 13.]

16 [Aelian of Praeneste, see Volume 1, Lesson 15.]

17 [John Caius, also spelled Kees, Keys, Kay, or Kaye (born 6 October 1510, Norwich, Norfolk, England; died 29 July 1573, London), prominent humanist and physician whose classic account of the English “sweating sickness” is considered one of the earliest histories of an epidemic.]

18 [Edward VI, see Lesson 3, note 101.]

19 [Mary Tudor, see Lesson 3, note 103.]

20 [Elizabeth I, see Lesson 3, note 104.]

21 [De rariorum animalium et stirpium historia liber unus and De canibus britannicis are usually bound together with a third book by Caius (see note 17, above), De libris propriis liber unis, London: William Seres, 1570, in-8°.]

22 [Rondelet, see Lesson 3, above.]

23 [Gessner (Conrad), Nomenclator aquatilium animantium, Icones animalium aquatilum in mari et dulcibus aquis degentium, plusquam DCC cum, Zurich: Christoph Froschover, 1560, [xxiii] + 374 + [2] p., illus.]

24 Belon and Rondelet, see Lesson 3, above.]

25 [Salviani, see Lesson 3, above.]

26 [Gessner (Conrad), De rerum fossilium, lapidum et gemmarum maxime, figuris et similitudinibus liber: non solum medicis, sed omnibus rerum naturae ac philogiae studiosis, utilis et juncundus futurus, Zurich: Jakob Gessner, 1565, [7] + 169 p., in-8°.]

27 [Aelian of Praeneste, see Volume 1, Lesson 15.]

28 [Pierre Gilles or Gyllius, also known as Pierre Alby; see Lesson 3, notes 15 and 26, above; and Volume 1, Lesson 15, note 20.]

29 [Salomon Gessner (born 1 April 1730, Zurich; died 2 March 1788, Zurich), Swiss painter and poet. His writing suited the taste of his time, but by some more recent standards it is insipidly sweet and monotonously melodious; as a painter, he represented the conventional classical landscape.]

30 [For the Battle of Zug, the Second War of Kappel, see note 1, above.]

31 [Ulisse Aldrovandi or Aldrovandus (born 11 September 1522, Bologna; died 4 May 1605, Bologna), Italian naturalist, recognized by Carolus Linnaeus (born 1707, died 1778; see Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 34) and Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (born 1707, died 1788; see Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 39) as the father of natural history studies. He spent his life and fortune assembling the materials for his great natural history, in thirteen folio volumes (published in Bologna between 1599 and 1688), only four of which he himself published, namely, three on birds (1599 to 1603) and one on insects (1602). The volume on fishes and cetaceans, drawn up in part from Aldrovandi’s notes by his successor at Bologna (Johannes Cornelius Uterverius, see note 33, below), was not published until 1613, but it was reprinted at Bologna in 1638 and 1644 and at Frankfurt in 1623, 1629, and 1640.]

32 [Aldrovandi’s manuscripts are held today by the Biblioteca Universitaria di Bologna, in a special room known as the Aldrovandi Museum. The collection, the drawings of which are the most important, was probably begun by Aldrovandi around 1549, after his stay in Rome, and was augmented up until his death in 1605. The drawings were intended to illustrate his publications but a large proportion of them were never used; the 3,454 that remain represent a collection unique in the world for its antiquity and exceptional quality.]

33 [Johannes Cornelius Uterverius (born?, Delft; died 1619, Bologna), prefect of the botanical garden of Bologna from 1605 to 1619, and disciple of Ulisse Aldrovandi; he was buried in the church of the Madonna di Galliera.]

34 [Solipeds are ungulate mammals with a single hoof on each foot, including horses, asses, and mules.]

35 [Thomas Demster (born 23 August 1579, Cliftbog, Aberdeenshire; died 6 September 1625, Bologna), Scottish scholar and historian, author of De Etruria regali libri VII, nunc primum editi curante Thoma Coke Magnae Britanniae armigero, Florence: Joannem Cajetanum Tartinium, 1723-1724, 464 p., 80 pls; published posthumously by Thomas Coke, Earl of Leicester (born 1697, died 1759. The Dempsters were Catholics in an increasingly Protestant country and had a reputation for being quarrelsome. Thomas’s brother James was outlawed for an attack on his father, spent some years as a pirate in the northern islands, escaped by volunteering for military service in the Low Countries, and was drawn and quartered there for insubordination. Thomas’s father lost the family fortune in clan feuding and was beheaded for forgery.]

36 [Quadrupedum omnium bisulcorum historia, Bologna: Sebastianum Bonhommium, 1621; split-or cloven-hoofed animals are ungulate mammals with two digits, homologous to the third and fourth fingers of the hand, including deer and sheep.]

37 [Bartholomaeus Ambrosinus or Bartolomeo Ambrosini (born 1588, Bologna; died 1657, Bologna), professor of medicine at the University of Bologna and prefect of the natural history museum and botanical garden; not to be confused with his brother, the Italian botanist Hyacinthus Ambrosinus or Giacinto Ambrosini (born 1605, died 1671), who succeeded Bartholomaeus as praefectus horti of the botanical garden of Bologna, serving in that position from 1657 to 1665.]

38 [Cuvier cites 1657, but the works of Aldrovandi that were completed by Bartholomaeus Ambrosinus (see note 37, above) were all first published in the 1630s and 1640s: De quadrupedib’ digitatis viviparis libri tres et de quadrupedib’ digitatis oviparis libri duo, Bologna: Nicolai Tebaldini, 1637, [8] + 492, 495-718 + [16] p., illus.; Serpentum et draconum libri duo, Bologna: Clementem Ferronium, 1640, [10] + 427 + [31] p., illus., in-folio; Monstrorum historia cum Paralipomenis historiae omnium animalium, Bologna: Nicolai Tebaldini, 1642, [947] p., illus., in-folio; Musaeum metallicum in libros IV distributum Bartholomaeus Ambrosinus, Bologna: Marcus Antonius Bernia, 1648, 979 p. + index rerum.]

39 [Ovidius Montalbanus (born 1601, died 1671), doctor of philosophy and medicine and professor of botany and mathematics at the University of Bologna; his Dendrologiae naturalis silicet Arborum historiae libri duo, was published in 1668 by Giovanni Battista Ferroni, Bologna ([5]+ 660 + [26] p., infolio).]

40 [Monstrorum historia cum Paralipomenis historiae omnium animalium, Bologna: Nicolai Tebaldini, 1642, [947] p., illus.; see note 38, above.]

41 [Fabio Colonna or Fabius Columna (born 1567, Naples; died 25 July 1640, Naples), Italian naturalist, best known for his work in botany, especially the study of medicinal plants. As a youngster he became proficient in Latin and Greek before attending the University of Naples, where he graduated in law in 1589. He suffered from epilepsy, which prevented him from practicing law, so he turned to studying the ancient authors of medicine, botany, and natural history. Columna was the first to demonstrate convincingly that glossopetrae (tongue stones) are fossil shark teeth, and through publication of his De glossopetris dissertatio, Rome: 1616, in-4°, paleontology became an independent discipline of natural science.]

42 [Giovanni Pietro Olina (born 1585, died 1645, Italian ornithologist, author of Uccelliera overdo discorso della natura e proprieta di diversi uccelli, Rome: Andrea Fei, 1622, [6] + 81 + [6] p., a book on the birds of Italy, their habits and songs, the methods of catching them, the ways to maintain them in captivity, and their diseases; one of the earliest works with engraved plates representing birds.]

43 [Thomas Moufet, also spelled Moufet, Mouffet, Moffet (born 1553, London; died 5 June 1604, Wilton, Wiltshire, England), English naturalist and physician, best known for his Puritan beliefs, his study of insects with regard to medicine (particularly spiders; see note 71, below), his support of the Paracelsian system of medicine, and his emphasis on the importance of experience over reputation in the field of medicine.]

44 [Columna’s Latin motto: His destituta fortiori, meaning (the column is) “Stronger when deprived of these” (the capital and the base), alluding to his life-long struggle with epilepsy (see note 41, above).]

45 [Phu, phukus, phykos, or fucus, a Greek name for seaweed; for Dioscorides, see Volume 1, Lesson 12, note 62.]

46 [Valerian, a common name given to the 200 or so species of herbaceous plants of the family Valerianaceae, primarily the genus Valeriana, regarded since ancient times as a magical plant, especially as a powerful love potion; includes catnip.]

47 [Phytobasanos sive plantarus aliquot historia: in qva describvntvr diversi generis plantæ veriores, ac magis facie, viribúsque respondentes antiquorum Theophrasti, Diocoridis, Plinij, Galeni, aliorúmque delineationibus, ab alijs hucusque non animaduersæ, Naples: Horatii Saluiani, 1592, 8 + 120 + 32 + [8] p., illus.] Columna [see note 41, above] gave a Greek title to this book that means plant tortures because he compared his research on each of them to the interrogation that criminals go through [M. de St.-Agy].

48 [Ecphrasis or Ekphrasis: Fabii Columnae Lyncei minus cognitarum rariorumque nostro coelo orientium stirpium ekphrasis, Rome: Jacobum Mascardum, 1616, 2 parts (340 + LXXIII + [7] p.; [12] + 99 p.), illus.; in-4°.]

49 [De aquatilibus conchis, aliisque animalibus paucis libellus cum figuris, Rome: Jacobum Mascardum, 1606, 161 figs, in-4°.]

50 [Janthina janthina, the common purple snail, a species of holoplanktonic sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk belonging to the family Janthinidae, the violet snails or purple storm snails.]

51 [A dark purple secretion produced by members of the genus Purpura, marine gastropod mollusks of the family Muricidae, the murex snails or rock snails.]

52 [Hoc est de Purpurea ab animali testaceo fusa, de hoc ipso animali aliisque rarioribus testaceis quibusdam tractatus, Rome: Jacobum Mascardum, 1616.]

53 [Federico Zerenghi (fl. first decade of the seventeenth century), Italian physician-surgeon and traveler, said to have killed two hippopotami, of both sexes, at Damietta, Egypt, and brought the skins back to Italy; he published a good description of the species, with a figure of the female: Hippopotamo: la vera descrizzione dell’Hipopotamo, autore Federico Zerenghi de Narni, in Breve compendio de cirurgia, Naples: Costantino Vitale, 1603, in-4°.]

54 [The hippopotamus is now confined to central and southern Africa, but in ancient times it was common in Lower Egypt.]

55 [Prosper Alpinus or Prospero Alpini (born 23 November 1553, Marostica, Republic of Venice; died 6 February 1617, Padua), Venetian physician and botanist, who was among the first to understand the sexuality of plants, which was later adopted as the foundation of Linnaean plant taxonomy. Well over a century before Linnaeus (see Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 34), Alpinus noted that “female date-trees or palms do not bear fruit unless the branches of the male and female plants are mixed together; or, as is generally done, unless the dust found in the male sheath or male flowers is sprinkled over the female flowers.” His best known work is De Plantis Aegypti liber (Venice: Apud Franciscum de Franciscis, 1592, [4] + 80 + [8] p., illus., in-4°), which introduced a number of plant species previously unknown to European botanists.]

56 [Colonel Gordon is Charles George Gordon (born 28 January 1833, Woolwich; died 26 January 1885, Khartoum), British army officer and administrator.]

57 [Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (born 7 September 1707, Montbard, France; died 16 April 1788, Paris), see Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 39.]

58 [Velella, a cosmopolitan genus of free-floating hydrozoans that live on the surface of the open ocean, containing only a single species, Velella velella, commonly known as the sea raft, by-the-wind sailor, purple sail, little sail, or simply Velella.]

59 [Thetis, a genus of bivalve mollusks, now considered to be a junior synonym of Gouldia, belonging to the family Veneridae, the Venus clams.]

60 [We have been unable to identify this “sea slug.”]

61 [Academy of the Lynx or Accademia dei Lincei (literally the “Academy of the Lynx-Eyed,” but Anglicized as the Lincean Academy), an Italian academy of science, located at the Palazzo Corsini on the Via della Lungara in Rome. Founded in 1603 by Federico Cesi (born 1585, died 1630), it was the first academy of sciences to exist in Italy. Named after the lynx, an animal whose sharp vision symbolizes the observational prowess that science requires, it did not long survive the death in 1630 of Cesi, its founder and patron. It disappeared in 1651, but it was revived in the 1870s to become the national academy of Italy, encompassing both literature and science among its concerns.]

62 [For purpura, see note 51, above.]

63 [Cochineal, Dactylopius coccus, a scale insect of the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the crimson-colored dye carmine is derived. A primarily sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico, this insect lives on cacti of the genus Opuntia, feeding on plant moisture and nutrients. The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects. Carminic acid, typically 17 to 24% of the dried insects’weight, is extracted from the body and eggs then mixed with aluminum or calcium salts to make carmine dye (also known as cochineal). The dye was used in Central America in the fifteenth century for coloring fabrics and became an important export during the colonial period. Carmine is today primarily used as a food coloring and for cosmetics, especially as a lipstick coloring.]

64 [Peter Olina is Giovanni Pietro Olina, see note 42, above.]

65 [For Olina’s book on birds, see note 42, above.]

66 [Alpozzo is Cassiano dal Pozzo (born 1588, Turin; died 22 October 1657, Rome), Italian scholar and patron of the arts; a doctor with interests in the proto-science of alchemy, a correspondent of major figures like Galileo, a collector of books and master drawings, dal Pozzo played an important role in the network of European scientific figures.]

67 [Buffon’s Histoire naturelle des oiseaux, Paris: Imprimerie Royale, 1770-1783, 9 vols, in-4°; for more on Buffon, see Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 39.]

68 [Aldrovandi’s book on insects: De animalibus insectis libri septem cum singulorum iconibus ad viuum expressis, Bologna: Joannem Baptistam Bellagambam, 1602, [12] + 767 + [45] p., illus., wood engraving.]

69 [Thomas Moufet, see note 43, above.]

70 [Insectorum sive minimorum animalium theatrum or insectorum sive minimorum animalium theatrum, London: Thomas Cotes, 1634, 10 pls + 326 [i. e. 316] + [4] p.; see note 71, below.]

71 [The Insectorum theatrum has a complicated history. It originated from an unfinished study by Gessner, after whose death his assistant Thomas Penny (born 1532, died 1589) fleshed the work out with his own observations, along with material from the notes of Edward Wotton (see Lesson 3, note 32). But like Gessner, Penny died before his work could be published. Thomas Moufet (see note 43, above), Penny’s neighbor and close friend, acquired the manuscript and further added to it, but again death intervened, and it was not until Theodore Mayerne (see note 72, below) bought it from Moufet’s apothecary that the work saw the light of day.]

72 [Theodore Turquet de Mayerne (born 28 September 1573, Geneva, Switzerland; died 22 March 1654 or 1655, Chelsea), Swiss-born physician who treated kings of France and England and advanced the theories of Paracelsus (born Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim on 11 November or 17 December 1493, died 24 September 1541; a German-Swiss physician, botanist, alchemist, astrologer, and general occultist, founder of the discipline of toxicology); he is widely recognized for his influence on the administration of medicine, including the first suggestion of socialized medicine in England, and the standardization of chemical cures.]

73 Before that, he [Mayerne; see note 72, above] was doctor to James I [Charles James Stuart (born 19 June 1566, died 27 March 1625), King of England and of Ireland from 1603 until his death; the first to style himself King of Great Britain], after he had cured an English Lord from a very dangerous illness. Thus, he continued to be doctor to the king when the unfortunate Charles I became king [see Lesson 2, note 101]. Mayerne used in his practice many remedies and chemical preparations that the faculty condemned as dangerous innovations. He was considered an imposter; the faculty even had the most insulting ordinance issued against him and his colleagues decided that he would never be called again on a consultation. Time brings all things to light and Mayerne was later proved to be correct. Let talented men submit to the judgment of their century, and especially of their colleagues! [M. de St.-Agy].

74 [Henry IV, see Lesson 2, note 57.]

75 [Forficules are earwigs, insects of the family Forficulidae.]

76 [Sipuncula or sipunculidas, commonly known as sipunculid worms or peanut worms, a group of several hundred species of bilaterally symmetrical, unsegmented marine worms. Traditionally considered a phylum, they are thought by some to be a subgroup of the phylum Annelida based on recent molecular work.]

77 [Pneumoras are grasshoppers, insects of the family Pneumoridae, order Orthoptera, of which there are about twenty species, occurring in South Africa.]

78 [Hydrophilus, a genus of water scavenger beetles belonging to the family Hydrophilidae.]

79 [Phryganea, a genus of caddisflies of the family Phryganeidae.]

80 [Rurik or Riurik (born c. 830, died c. 879), Varangian chieftain who gained control of Ladoga in 862, built the Holmgard settlement near Novgorod, and founded the Rurik Dynasty, which ruled Kievan Russia (medieval Slavic state that was the forerunner of modern Russia; centered around the city of Kiev, it included most of present-day Ukraine and Belarus and part of northwest Russia)—and later the Grand Duchy of Moscow and Tsardom of Russia—until the seventeenth century.]

81 [Vladimir Sviatoslavich the Great (born c. 958, died 15 July 1015), prince of Novgorod, grand prince of Kiev, and ruler of Kievan Russia from 980 to 1015.]

82 [Schism of Photius, a four-year (863 to 867) schism between the episcopal sees of Rome and Constantinople. At issue was not accusations of heresy but the papal claim to jurisdiction in the East. The schism arose largely as a struggle for ecclesiastical control of the southern Balkans and because of a personality clash between the heads of the two sees, both of whom were elected in the same year (858 and both of whose reigns ended in 867, by death in the case of the Pope, by the first of two depositions for the Patriarch. The Photian Schism thus differed from what occurred in the eleventh century, when the pope’s authority as a first among equals was challenged on the grounds of having lost that authority through heresy.]

83 [Henry I (born 4 May 1008, Reims; died 4 August 1060, Vitryaux-Loges), King of the Franks from 1031 until his death. The royal demesne of France reached its smallest size during his reign, and for this reason he is often seen as emblematic of the weakness of the early Capetians (see note 84 below). This is not entirely agreed upon, however, as other historians regard him as a strong but realistic king, who was forced to conduct a policy mindful of the limitations of the French monarchy.]

84 [Hugh Capet (born c. 941, Paris; died 24 October 996, Paris), Hugh the Great, first King of the Franks of the eponymous Capetian dynasty from his election to succeed the Carolingian Louis V (born c. 967, died 21 May 987; King of Western Francia from 986 until his premature death; he died childless and was the last monarch in the Carolingian line) in 987 until his death.]

85 [Ivan III Vasilyevich (born 22 January 1440, Moscow; died 27 October 1505, Moscow), also known as Ivan the Great, a Grand Prince of Moscow and Grand Prince of all Russia. Sometimes referred to as the “gatherer of the Russian lands,” he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde over Russia, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. He was one of the longest-reigning Russian rulers in history.]

86 [Ivan IV Vasilyevich (born 25 August 1530, died 28 March 1584), known in English as Ivan the Terrible, the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547 and Tsar of All the Russias from 1547 until his death. His long reign saw the conquest of the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan, and Siberia, transforming Russia into a multi-ethnic and multi-confessional state spanning almost one billion acres, approximately 4,046,856 square kilometers. Ivan managed countless changes in the progression from a medieval state to an empire and emerging regional power, and became the first ruler to be crowned as Tsar of All the Russias. Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan’s complex personality: he was described as intelligent and devout, yet given to rages and prone to episodic outbreaks of mental illness. On one such outburst he killed his groomed and chosen heir Ivan Ivanovich. This left the Tsardom to be passed to Ivan’s younger son, the weak and intellectually disabled Feodor Ivanovich (born 31 May 1557, died 16/17 January 1598, the last Rurikid Tsar of Russia (1584 to 1598), son of Ivan IV, The Terrible, and Anastasia Romanovna). An able diplomat and a patron of arts and trade, but he is also remembered for his apparent paranoia and arguably harsh treatment of the nobility.]

87 [Great Duke Basil IV is Vasily II Vasiliyevich Tyomniy (born 10 March 1415; 27 March 1462, Moscow), the Grand Prince of Moscow whose long reign, from 1425 until his death, was plagued by the greatest civil war of Old Russian history. In his later years, he was greatly helped by Ivan III (see note 85, above) who was styled co-ruler since the late 1450s. On Vasily’s death in 1462 Ivan III succeeded him as Grand Prince of Moscow. His daughter Anna was married to a prince of Ryazan.]

88 [Maximilian I (born 22 March 1459, Wiener Neustadt, Austria; died 12 January 1519, Wiener Neustadt), son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans (also known as King of the Germans) from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky. He had ruled jointly with his father for the last ten years of his father’s reign, from about 1483. By marrying his son Philip the Handsome to the future Queen Joanna of Castile in 1498, Maximilian established the Habsburg dynasty in Spain and allowed his grandson Charles to hold the throne of both León-Castile and Aragon, thus making him the first de jure King of Spain.]

89 [Baron Sigismund von Herberstein, also called Siegmund Freiherr von Herberstein (born 23 August 1486, died 28 March 1566), diplomat, writer, historian, and member of the Holy Roman Empire Imperial Council; he is most noted for his extensive writings on the geography, history, and customs of Russia, best exemplified by Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii (Vienna: [s. n.], 1549, [175] p.), which became the primary early source of knowledge of Russia in Western Europe.]

90 [Rerum moscovitarum commentarii, Basel: Joannis Steelsii, 1556, [12] + 205 + [1] + [9] p.]

91 [Ferdinand I (born 10 March 1503, Alcalá de Henares, Spain;, 25 July 1564, Vienna, Austria), Holy Roman Emperor from 1558, King of Bohemia and Hungary from 1526, and King of Croatia from 1527 until his death. Before his accession, he ruled the Austrian hereditary lands of the Habsburgs in the name of his elder brother, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The key events during his reign were the contest with the Ottoman Empire, whose great advance into Central Europe began in the 1520s, and the Protestant Reformation, which resulted in several wars of religion.]

92 [Clement VII, see Lesson 3, note 10.]

93 [Gregory XIII, see Lesson 2, note 44.]

94 [Paolo Giovio, see Lesson 3, note 9.]

95 [De romanis piscibus libellus ad Ludouicum Borbonium cardinalem amplissimum, [Basileae]: In officina Frobeniana, 1531, 144 + [6] p., in-12, see Lesson 3, note 11.]

96 [De legatione Basilii Magni Principis Moschoviae ad Clementem VII, Rome: Francisci Minitii Calui, 1525, [37] p.]

97 [Antonio Possevino, Antonius Possevinus (born 10 July 1533, Mantua; died 26 February 1611, Ferrara), theologian, papal envoy, and Jesuit protagonist of the Counter Reformation, he was the first Jesuit to visit Moscow; his Moscovia, seu de rebus Magni Ducis Moscouiae anno 1581, a descriptive account of Moscoviticis et acta in conuentu legatorum regis Poloniae et the court of Tsar Ivan IV, in sixteenth-century Moscow, as seen through the eyes of Possevino, was published by Ioannem Velicensem, Vilna, in 1586.]

98 [Olaus Magnus (born October 1490, Linköping, Östergötland; died 1 August 1557, probably Rome), Swedish patriot, Catholic ecclesiastic, and writer, who did pioneering work in the interest of Nordic people; he is best remembered as the author of the famous Historia de Gentibus Septentrionalibus (History of the Northern Peoples), Rome: printed by Giovanni Maria Viotti, 1555, [84] + 815 p., a patriotic work of folklore and history which long remained for the rest of Europe the authority on Swedish matters.]

99 [Johannes Magnus (born 19 March 1488, Linköping; died 22 the last functioning Catholic Archbishop in Sweden; author of March 1544, Rome), theologian, genealogist, and historian, Historia de omnibus gothorum sueonumque regibus (History of all Kings of Goths and Swedes), Rome: printed by Giovanni Maria Viotti, 1554, [58] + 787 p., a work on Swedish history, printed posthumously by his brother, Olaus Magnus (see note 98, above.]

100 [Gustav I, born Gustav Eriksson of the Vasa noble family and later known as Gustav Vasa (born 12 May 1496, Rydboholm Castle, northeast of Stockholm; died 29 September 1560, Stockholm),King of Sweden from 1523 until his death, previously self-recognized Protector of the Realm (Rikshövitsman) from 1521, during the ongoing Swedish War of Liberation against King Christian II of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. Initially of low standing, Gustav rose to lead the rebel movement following the Stockholm Bloodbath, in which his father perished. Gustav’s election as king on 6 June 1523 and his triumphant entry into Stockholm eleven days later meant the end of Medieval Sweden‘s elective monarchy.]

101 [Santa Brigida, a convent church dedicated to St. Bridget of Sweden and the Swedish national church in Rome, known also as Santa Brigida a Campo de’ Fiori since it was built on what was then part of Campo de’ Fiori; in the sixteenth century during the Reformation, the convent became a refuge for Swedish Catholics who chose exile rather than conversion. Among those who lived here in this period was Johannes Magnus (see note 98, above), the last Catholic Archbishop of Sweden.]

102 [See note 98, above.]

103 [For Herberstein, see note 89, above.]

104 [Kraken, legendary sea monsters of giant proportions said to dwell off the coasts of Norway and Greenland. The legend may have originated from sightings of giant squid that are estimated to grow to 15 meters in length, including the tentacles. The sheer size and fearsome appearance attributed to the kraken have made it a common ocean-dwelling monster in various fictional works.]

105 [Tabula terrarum septentrionalium et rerum mirabilium, perhaps better known as Carta marina et descriptio septemtrionalium terrarum mirabilium rerum in eis contentarum diligcntissime elaborata anno Domini 1539, or simply Carta marina or Carta Gothica, a strange work, by its ambitious size, 170 x 125 cm, divided into nine map sheets.]

Table des illustrations

Légende Equus marinus monstrosusPlate from Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Monstrorum historia (1642). Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.
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