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Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences

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Georges Cuvier

6. Seventeenth-century Advances in Zoology and Botany

17. Zoology in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century

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Museum Wormianum
Plate from Worm’s Museum wormianum. Seu historia rerum… (1655) Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.

1Messieurs,

2During the prior sessions, we tried to give you an idea of the great progress that occurred during the second half of the seventeenth century in chemistry, anatomy, and physiology. We are now going to look at the history of zoology, botany, and mineralogy during the same period. As we did for the prior period, when we talked about a few general works and a few travels undertaken in the interest of these sciences, we must also say a few words about those that were done with the same purpose during the period we are currently studying.

  • 1 [Clusius, see Lesson 6, notes 73 and 81.]
  • 2 [Aldrovandi, see Lesson 4, notes 31 and 32.]
  • 3 [Francesco Calzolari or Franciscus Calceolari (born 1522, Verona; died 1609, Verona), an Italian a (...)
  • 4 [Basilius Besler, see Lesson 7, note 148.]
  • 5 [Hortus Eystettensis, see Lesson 7, notes 148 and 149.]

3As soon as it became clear that it was through direct observation, experiment, and the comparison of objects —and not by following the Ancient authors— that exact knowledge of the topics that constitute the sciences we are now reviewing could be achieved, natural history collections started to be formed. We already saw a few during the prior period; for example, the cabinets of curiosities built by Clusius1 and Aldrovandi.2 As the usefulness of these collections for research became more and more evident, they started to become more numerous. We can cite some of their authors. First, Calzolari,3 a physician from Padua who created in this town quite a nice museum; then, Basilius Besler,4 an apothecary from Nuremberg whom I talked about earlier when I dealt with the creation of the botanical gardens. He was the director of the garden of Eichstätt in Bavaria, which was the object of the first book to contain beautiful illustrations.5

  • 6 [Ole Worm or Olaus Wormius (born 13 May 1588, Aarhus; died 31 August 1655, Copenhagen), a Danish p (...)
  • 7 [Museum Wormianum, seu, historia rerum rariorum, tam naturalium, quam artificialium, tam domestica (...)

4Ole Worm,6 a professor from Copenhagen who died in 1654, also gathered a collection of objects of natural history. It was described by his son exactly at the beginning of the period of our study, in 1655, under the title of Museum Wormianum.7

  • 8 [Lodovico Moscardo (born 1611, Verona; died 1681, Verona), an Italian nobleman, academician, and c (...)

5An Italian named Moscardo8 maintained a museum in Verona that was described at the same time.

  • 9 [Manfredo Settala (born 8 March 1600; died 6 February 1680, Milan), an Italian cleric who, having (...)
  • 10 This book [Musaeum septalianum, see note 9, above] is very valuable because it includes the descri (...)

6Yet another museum also existed at this time, in Tortona, created by another Italian, named Manfredo Settala,9 which was described in 1664 by Terzago.10

  • 11 [Frederick III of Holstein-Gottorp (born 22 December 1597, Gottorp; died 10 August 1659, Tönning), (...)
  • 12 [Adam Olearius, Adam Ölschläger or Oehlschlaeger (born 24 September 1599, Aschersleben, near Magde (...)
  • 13 [Johan Albrecht de Mandelslo (born 15 May 1616, at Schönberg in Mecklenburg; died 16 May 1644, Par (...)
  • 14 [Duke of Holstein, see note 11, above.]

7But a more important collection was that belonging to the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp,11 which was described by Olearius.12 You will remember that in the history of the travels undertaken during the prior period, I told you about Mandelslo’s13 trip through Russia and Persia, which had been ordered by the Duke of Holstein14 who was working to establish a canal between the Baltic and North seas, hoping to open a new trade route, with Persia and India by way of the Baltic Sea. This prince had great projects in mind; he was very favorable to the sciences and had created in Hamburg a beautiful collection of natural history that was later combined with one from Denmark when the area of Holstein was annexed to this country.

  • 15 [Roman College, a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning in Rome, founded in 1551 as the Co (...)
  • 16 [Kircher, see Lesson 12, notes 19 and 21.]
  • 17 [Romani collegii Societatis Jesu Musaeum celeberrimum, cujus magnum antiquariae rei, statuarum ima (...)
  • 18 [Musaeum Kircherianum, sive, Musaeum a P. Athanasio Kirchero in Collegio Romano Societatis Jesu ja (...)

8During the same period, the Jesuits who managed the Roman College15 created in Rome a beautiful collection directed by Athanasius Kircher.16 I already told you about this author in relation to other works that were done during that same period. He was the director of this collection or museum, which still exists today in the Roman College, and was described shortly before his death under the title of Museum collegii romani.17 This first description was printed in Amsterdam in 1678. Another edition was published in Rome in 1709 by Filippo Buonanni under the title of Museum Kircherianum.18

  • 19 [Musaeum Regalis Societatis, see Lesson 16, note 26; for Grew, see Lesson 16, notes 23 and 25.]

9The Royal Society of London had also established a very important museum. Since its mission was observation and experiment, it made sense that it would establish the best resource possible to achieve these two goals. Its museum was described by Nehemiah Grew in 1681.19

  • 20 [Christian V (born 15 April 1646, Flensburg; died 25 August 1699, Copenhagen), king of Denmark and (...)
  • 21 [Oliger Jacobaeus, also known as Holger Jacobi (born 1650, Arhusen; died 1701), a Danish physician (...)

10The King of Denmark20 had also created one in Copenhagen; it was described in 1696 by a professor from this town named Oliger Jacobaeus, under the title of Museum regium.21 These were still weak attempts; the only known preservation system at that time was the drying process. Alcohol preservation was barely used; it became widely employed sometime later, which is when truly beautiful collections finally began to appear. Such collections existed only in the eighteenth century because during the seventeenth century collections were mostly made of objects that could be dried. Thus, in the description of the museums we just talked about, we can only find remains of reptiles and fishes, and a few objects of comparative osteology. Rarely do we find figures good enough to properly show the characters of the birds, quadrupeds, and other animals whose successful preservation requires secrets of preparation that were still unknown at that time. However, we must still praise the men who started these museums.

  • 22 [James Petiver (born 1663, Hillmorton, Warwickshire; died 20 April 1718, London), an English apoth (...)
  • 23 [By “Museum” Cuvier clearly refers to Jacobi Petiveri opera, Historiam naturalem spectantia, or Ga (...)

11An apothecary from London named James Petiver,22 a member of the Royal Society of London who died in 1718, wrote a book [that may be] called Museum23 that is different from the prior works. It is a collection of illustrations of many different kinds of things that the author gathered from everywhere. He published, by the hundreds, descriptions and illustrations of all the objects he could find, a collection that he maintained until 1717. His book contains a very large number of small figures since the author put several of them on each plate.

12Today, we still find objects in it that have never been represented elsewhere. It is a necessary work to consult but, unfortunately, it has become very rare because the author distributed it in a very irregular way, and complete copies are now very difficult to find.

13Here is, messieurs, a short summary of the primary catalogs of the cabinets of curiosities during the second half of the seventeenth century; I say catalogs because it was the latter rather than descriptions that were published at that time.

14During the same period were published works of a different kind on comparative natural history. They were done by scholars that we call describer-topographers. These scholars focused on the natural history of particular countries, listing everything these countries contain. These books are very useful because they include objects of all kinds; furthermore, since their authors studied a fewer number of species, they could observe them in more depth. Furthermore, since they had the specimens in front of them, they could describe them in a more complete manner.

  • 24 [Georg Marcgrave, see Lesson 3, note 95.]

15Those who study this branch of science today are far superior to those we are mentioning now; however, the books written by the scholars of that prior period include items that we do not find in works of today. It is an observation I had the opportunity to make when we talked about early travelers such as Marcgrave24 and others. These men give me the opportunity to mention this fact again.

16It is primarily at this time that work on particular natural histories of plants and animals of Europe began. I will only talk today about the authors who included in their lists animals of specific countries. In a lesson or two, I will talk about those who described plants.

  • 25 [Caspar Schwenckfeld von Ossig (born 1489 or 1490, Ossig, near Liegnitz; died 10 December 1561, Ul (...)
  • 26 [Schwenckfeld’s Theriotrophaeum Silesiae was published much earlier than indicated by Cuvier—in 16 (...)

17The first describer-topographer is Caspar Schwenckfeld,25 a physician from Silesia. His book called Theriotrophaeum Silesiae, printed in Leipzig in 1663, contains descriptions of the animals of Silesia that he knew.26

  • 27 [Gerard Boate, also Gérard de Boot, Bootius, or Botius (born 1604, Gorinchem; died 1650, Dublin), (...)
  • 28 [Joshua Childrey (born 1623, Rochester; died 20 August 1670, Upwey), an English churchman and acad (...)
  • 29 [Bacon, see Lesson 11, notes 19 and 30.]
  • 30 [Britannia Baconica, or the natural rarities of England, Scotland, & Wales, according as they are (...)
  • 31 [Histoire des singularitez naturelles d’Angleterre, d’Écosse et du pays de Galles... ce qui fait a (...)

18We have from Gerard Boate, or Botius,27 a history of Ireland that was published in 1666; and from an ecclesiastic named Childrey,28 a history of England. This history of England is so much based on the principles of the new philosophy introduced by Bacon29—which, in turn, was based on observation and experiment—that it was given the title of Britannia Baconica.30 It was published in London in 1661, and translated into French under the title of Singularités naturelles de l’Écosse, de l’Angleterre et de la principauté de Galles and published in Paris in 1667.31

  • 32 [Christopher Merrett (born 16 February 1614 or 1615, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire; died 19 August 1 (...)
  • 33 [Pinax rerum naturalium Britannicarum, continens vegetabilia, animalia, et fossilia, London: Cave (...)

19Another book on the natural history of England is by Christopher Merrett,32 a doctor from London. Also published in 1667, it is called Pinax rerum naturalium Britannicarum, or Description of the natural objects of Great-Britain.33

  • 34 [Johann Jacob Wagner (born 30 April 1641; died 14 December 1695), a Swiss physician and botanist, (...)
  • 35 [Academia Naturae Curiosorum, see Lesson 12, note 91.]

20In 1680, a natural history of Switzerland was published, written by Johann Jacob Wagner and called Historia naturalis Helvetiae curiosa.34 From this epithet “curiosa,” we notice that Wagner was a member of the Academy of the Curious as to Nature.35 His book was published in Zurich.

  • 36 [Robert Sibbald (born 15 April 1641, Edinburgh; died August 1722, Edinburgh), a Scottish physician (...)
  • 37 [Scotia illustrata, sive prodromus historiae naturalis in quo regionis natura, incolarum ingenia (...)

21However, a book by Robert Sibbald,36 a physician and professor from Edinburgh, is better, for its broader coverage, than all those I just mentioned. It was printed in Edinburgh in 1684 and is entitled Scotia illustrata.37 It focuses on the natural history of Scotland, which is also described from several other perspectives, but with regard to natural history, it contains extremely valuable documents.

22Here are, messieurs, the descriptions of almost all the regions of Europe or at least of the most interesting ones, that need to be added to the catalogs of the collections described topographically during the prior period.

23We also have other books of quality on countries located farther away, which can be added to the list of those I have already given you.

  • 38 [Johan Nieuhof (born 22 July 1618, Uelsen; died 8 October 1672, Madagascar), a Dutch traveler who (...)
  • 39 [Zee-en lant-reise door verscheide Gewesten van Oostindien, behelzende veele zeldzaame en wonderli (...)

24About India in particular, we have a book written by Johan Nieuhof, or Nieuwhof.38 He was born in Usen, in the County of Bentheim in Westphalia, and held various positions for the Dutch East Indies Company; he was even governor of Ceylon. He died in 1671 in Hindustan. His book is entitled Travels by sea and land in the East Indies, with a description of the town of Batavia and was not printed until after his death in 1682.39

  • 40 [For Willughby and his Historia piscium, see Lesson 3, note 94.]

25We also have from him a voyage to Japan, which contains precious information on the fishes from the seas of the Indies, most of which was borrowed by Willughby for his history of fishes.40

  • 41 [Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre (born 1610, Calais; died 1687, Paris), a French blackfriar and botanist, (...)
  • 42 [Histoire générale des Antilles habitées par les Français, see note 41, above.]

26The French were established in the West Indies, in particular in Martinique and Santo Domingo; a general natural history of these islands was written by a Dominican missionary named Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre.41 It is called General history of the West Indies inhabited by the French,42 and was printed in Paris in 1654 in one quarto volume. Another edition was published from 1667 to 1671 composed of four volumes in quarto. The West Indies are described under all aspects. In the chapters on natural history, we find valuable details on the customs and habits of animals, as well as on the culture of plants, which was just then starting to be introduced. However, the author was not a naturalist, like most of those I just talked about.

  • 43 [Marcgrave, see Lesson 3, note 95.]
  • 44 [Charles de Rochefort (born c. 1604, Rotterdam; died 1683), a French Protestant pastor sent to the (...)
  • 45 [Historische beschreibung der Antillen-Inseln Inseln in America gelegen, in sich begreiffend deros (...)

27Du Tertre borrowed from Marcgrave43 several of the details included in his book; he even copied some of them verbatim. Despite this, Du Tertre’s book was later almost entirely stolen by Rochefort,44 a Protestant minister from Rotterdam who published in 1668 a book called Historical description of the Antilles Islands in America.45

28These are the authors who most deserve mention regarding the period of our study; however, they are neither very significant, not very valuable.

  • 46 [Jonston, see Lesson 6, note 113.]

29We are now going to give a brief history of the authors in zoology. We will not be able to limit our review to general works only, since there are none for the period of our study. Jonston’s work,46 which was published at the end of the last period or the beginning of this period, was, as I told you, the only general work in which all the known animals were described, and it remained as such until the eighteenth century, almost until publication of the works of Linnaeus.

30But during this time, studies of several classes of animals were undertaken and these individual works are what contributed to the main progress of zoology.

31We will successively look at the works related to quadrupeds, birds, fishes, crustaceans, insects, and mollusks.

  • 47 [John Ray, see Lesson 3, note 94.]
  • 48 [Willughby, see Lesson 3, note 94.]
  • 49 [Swammerdam, see Lesson 16, note 50.]
  • 50 [Johannes Goedart (born 1617, Middelburg; died 1668), a Dutch painter famous for his illustrations (...)

32Regarding the quadrupeds, we will mostly talk about John Ray;47 with regard to birds, Francis Willughby,48 and regarding fishes, John Ray again, who was Willughby’s collaborator. Willughby and Ray are also the most important contributors to the insects. We recognize other authors, such as Swammerdam49 and Johannes Goedart,50 for example, but Ray will always remain the most important, the best taxonomic organizer of his time. It is only with shells that he did not use his methodic mind, his genius in classification.

  • 51 [Barrow, see Lesson 12, note 72.]
  • 52 [Newton, see Lesson 11, note 37.]

33John Ray was an English priest, born in Black-Notley near Braintree in the County of Essex in 1628. His father was a blacksmith. He studied in Cambridge at the same time as Barrow51 and Newton,52 the greatest geometricians of that time. He became a member of a College, as was customary in England at the time, where he taught Greek and Mathematics. His interests were mostly directed toward classifications, methodology, and the organization of objects of natural history, because it is mostly in this science that organizational methods find the most objects to work with. As early as 1660, Ray started to write a catalog of the plants of the region of Cambridge.

  • 53 This Act [of Uniformity], enacted by Parliament in 1662, ordered all clergymen to accept a set of (...)
  • 54 [Charles II, see Lesson 8, note 96.]
  • 55 [Willughby, see Lesson 3, note 94.]

34Ray was ordained in 1660, but in 1662, he renounced the priesthood because of the Act of Uniformity53 that was passed by Charles II54 at the beginning of his Restoration. Lacking the means for a better life that his position would have provided him, Ray was supported by a man who was a little younger than him and who had been his student in sciences. This man was Francis Willughby,55 who belonged to a great house, to a family of Peers from England that still exists today.

  • 56 [Sons of Francis Willughby: Francis (born 1669, died 1688), who died at age nineteen; and Thomas ( (...)

35Willughby, born in 1635, was seven years younger than John Ray; however, he died before Ray, in 1672. But during the time they lived together, all their work was done in common and the books that bear the name of Willughby also bear the imprint of John Ray’s spirit. They constantly traveled together from 1663 until 1666, in France, Germany, and Italy, and they never missed an opportunity to gather and describe interesting objects that they discovered. Willughby mainly studied animals and John Ray, plants; but as I said, both put their research together and they helped each other. Willughby even entrusted Ray with the education of his sons when he died. The eldest son died young; the second son became a peer under the name of Baron Middleton.56

36We will talk about Willughby’s works later, but we must first talk about John Ray’s book on quadrupeds.

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

37Up until this time, quadrupeds had been divided according to Aristotle’s method,57 which was based on the feet. The distinction was made between those whose feet bear hoofs, those whose toes have only toenails, and those that are adapted for swimming, such as the seal. John Ray used these divisions but he took them farther.

  • 58 [Ruminants are mammals that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it i (...)

38I forgot to mention that Aristotle had divided quadrupeds between the viviparous and the oviparous. John Ray also adopted this distribution. He divided the viviparous forms, which are covered with hair, that is, the mammals, between solipedes, which are those that have a single hoof on each foot, and the cloven-footed ones that have two hooves. These are further subdivided on the basis of whether they are ruminant58 and have hollow horns like the bullock, the sheep, and the goat; or ruminant with solid horns that fall off and regenerate, like the deer; or non-ruminant forms like the pigs. Then come those quadrupeds that have a greater number of hooves, such as the tapir, rhinoceros, hippopotamus; then those that have toenails instead of hooves, among which comes first the elephant, whose feet are not cloven; the camel, which has a small toenail at the tip of its toes, is also placed in this category. Then come the quadrupeds that have multiple toes, whose feet are very split, whose toenails are either flat or compressed—those with flat nails are the monkeys; those with compressed nails are subdivided according to their teeth.

39Numerous incisors are characteristic of the carnivores. Two long incisors characterize the rodents. The animals whose muzzle is elongate and whose teeth are irregular, but that do not belong to the families I just mentioned, are the insectivores, like the hedgehog and the mole; Ray adds to these the armadillo. The quadrupeds that do not have teeth are the anteaters. Ray completes his list with those that have a short muzzle, which he calls “anomals” some of which walk, like the sloths, and others that fly, like the bats.

  • 59 [Linnaeus, see Lesson 2, note 112; see also Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 34.]

40This is a classification in which we can recognize all the seeds of the divisions that have been established since then. We must admit, indeed, that our present-day concepts have been attained only by shuffling these different sets of characters on which the eighteenthcentury authors based their classes. Carolus Linnaeus,59 in particular, took almost all his characters from those that Ray had proposed for all the other classes of animals. We recognize Ray as the primary author, the model for all the classifiers who came after him, for his skill at this exercise of the mind that we call method.

41The oviparous quadrupeds are in such small numbers that it is quite simple to find the same distribution as the current one. Ray distinguishes the frogs, turtles, and lizards; yet he puts the salamanders together with the lizards, although, since then, they have been placed with the frogs. This is about the only change that more recent methodologists brought to his classification.

42Then Ray deals with the snakes since he understood their analogy with the oviparous quadrupeds.

  • 60 [Sibbald, see note 36, above.]
  • 61 [Phalainologia nova, sive observationes de rarioribus qui busdam balaenis in Scotiae littus nuper (...)

43At the same time, a book was published by Robert Sibbald60 who lived in Scotland, a place that provides more opportunities than anywhere else to see many toothed whales, baleen whales, and other large cetaceans that came to land ashore on the coast of this country. His book is called Phalainologia nova.61 It is still quite fundamental today for the natural history of the animals we mentioned, but it is quite rare and difficult to find. We are now going to talk about the progress that was made in the natural history of birds during the same time. Here, John Ray and Willughby need to be mentioned again.

  • 62 [Ornithologiae libri tres, London: Joannis Martyn, 1676, 6 p. leaves + 307 + [5] p., 77 leaves of (...)
  • 63 This book [Synopsis methodica avium] was published posthumously as we can see by its date; as was (...)
  • 64 [Frugivore, a fruit eater: any type of herbivore or omnivore in which fruit is a preferred food ty (...)
  • 65 [Gallinaceous birds, those related or belonging to the Galliformes, an order of birds, including g (...)

44Willughby, who died very young, published almost nothing while alive. Ray was the one who, in memory of his friend, took care of the publication of all his works. The first one is Ornithologiae libri tres, which was published four years after Willughby’s death, in 1676.62 Ray, who had organized all its sections and applied his method to it, published an abridged version of it in 1713 under the title of Synopsis methodica avium.63 In his book, birds are divided into terrestrial and aquatic species. Terrestrial birds are subdivided based on the morphology of their beak and their claws; those with a hooked beak and hooked claws are distinguished from those whose beak and claws are more or less straight. The first group includes the carnivores or frugivores.64 The carnivores are either diurnal or nocturnal and they are equivalent to Linnaeus’s genera that contain the falcons, owls, and vultures. The frugivores are the parrots. Then Ray divides the birds with less hooked claws on the basis of their size, which is not in conformity with the rules of the method as they should be followed. The largest ones are the ostriches. Then come those of a medium size that have a large, strong bill; or a smaller size and weaker bill. The birds with a strong beak are the crows, which are separated from the magpies, whose beak is smaller. Then there are those that have either white or black flesh, the first of which includes the gallinaceous birds,65 the other, the pigeons and the doves; but again, this distinction is not founded on the correct rules of the method.

  • 66 [Granivores, animals that feed on grains or seeds, the primary diet for many birds, especially gam (...)
  • 67 [The Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes, is a passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae (...)

45Finally, the small birds are divided based on whether their beak is thin or thick; those with a thin beak are the insectivores; those whose beak is thick are the granivores,66 like the sparrow or the hawfinch.67

46The aquatic birds are divided based on whether they live along the shores or whether they swim at the surface of the water.

47The first category includes the waders and other shore birds, which are subdivided on the basis of their size; the largest are the cranes, the smallest are the woodcocks.

  • 68 [Palmiped, a web-footed bird such as various water fowl.]

48The second category, those that swim on the surface of the water and are equivalent to today’s palmipeds,68 have either their feet divided to a certain point, like the coot, or are completely web-footed and walk on long or short legs. Those that have long legs are the avocets and flamingos; those that have short legs are subdivided based on whether they have three or four toes. Those with four toes gathered together by the same membrane are the cormorant and the pelicans; those whose toes are split, which means their thumb is free, are the swimming birds, which are distinguished again depending on whether their bill is small or large. Those with a small bill are the sea swallows; those whose bill is large are the ducks, swans, and geese.

49This first description of an ornithological classification provides us with nearly all the primary divisions we still have today. Linnaeus brought very little changes to it; we could even say that his division of birds is borrowed from Ray. This classification is so well grounded that it has been followed by the English until today, since most of the authors on birds did not feel the need to change the method that Ray had established.

50Willughby’s work, which is the basis of Ray’s abridged version, ranks first in ornithology. Reptiles have not been the object of any particular work except for the one by Ray.

  • 69 [De historia piscium libri quatuor, see Lesson 3, note 94.]
  • 70 [Gessner, see Lesson 4.]
  • 71 [Aldrovandi, see Lesson 4, note 31.]
  • 72 [Rondelet, see Lesson 1, note 42.]

51On fishes, however, we have again a joint work by Willughby and Ray called Historia piscium69 printed in 1686 by the Royal Society of London in two volumes, one of which includes the plates. Ray was also the one who organized it. This work is much more precise than the one on birds because it includes many more observations that belong directly to the author. In the book on birds, Willughby borrowed mostly from Gessner,70 Aldrovandi,71 and other earlier authors who had written about ornithology, and most of the descriptions were not made from nature, because Willughby had access only to birds from England and a few others that he had gathered during his travels. But regarding fishes, because he had been in various ports of the Mediterranean, in Genoa, Livorno, and mostly Venice, where he stayed for a long time, he was able to write very accurate descriptions of a large number of species. His book still gives us the opportunity to admire the care with which Rondelet72 had gathered his observations.

  • 73 [For Aristotle, Pliny, and Aelian, see Volume 1, parts 3 and 5.]

52Willughby hardly found any fish species that were not already recorded in Rondelet’s work; but his book is more useful because Rondelet’s descriptions are inaccurate—his illustrations were made from woodcuts and instead of descriptions based on the result of direct personal observations, he gave a compilation of all that had been written by the Ancients. Thus, he often links to a species of fish excerpts from Aristotle, Pliny, and Aelian73 that do not necessarily belong to the species in question and that could equally apply to several others. If Rondelet’s book had not featured any illustrations, it would have been completely useless; the figures are what give his book its great value.

53Willughby described the species of Rondelet with care, in great detail, and with some elegance. Guided by Ray’s methodical spirit, he classified them in a way that was very useful to his successors. His method is quite simple: he started with the cetaceans. Although these animals are warm-blooded, give birth to living offspring, and breast-feed their young, they were not at that time distinguished from the fishes and classified with the mammals as they are today. Fishes are divided between cartilaginous and bony forms. The cartilaginous fishes or Chondrichthyes, that is, the sharks and rays, are subdivided by whether they are elongate or broad; the elongate species are the sharks and the lampreys; the broad ones are the rays.

54The bony fishes are also divided according to their shape: some are flat, like the turbots, the soles, and the plaice; others are cylindrical or laterally compressed. Those that are cylindrical are the eels or anguilliforms; those that are compressed are divided based on the presence or absence of pelvic fins. Those that have pelvic fins are subdivided further on the nature of the rays of their fins: those with soft flexible rays are the malacopterygians; those with spiny rays are the acanthopterygians.

  • 74 [Artedi, see Volume 1, Lesson 13, note 17.]

55This classification is the only good one ever proposed; we still follow it today, despite some attempts to modify it. It was adopted by Artedi74 who, in the middle of the eighteenth century, wrote the first comprehensive work on fishes. Artedi, who was used as a model by Linnaeus and all the ichthyologists who came after him, took most of his doctrine and the groundwork for his book from Willughby’s ichthyology, which, as I said earlier, has the merit of offering descriptions that are very accurate, extremely detailed, and very adequate with regard to anatomy.

56In each of the orders of his classification, Willughby also arranges fishes by genera, in such a way that Artedi only had to give generic names to these groups that Willughby and Ray had quite satisfactorily established.

  • 75 [Rondelet, Aldrovandi, and Belon, Renaissance zoologists; see Lesson 3, above.]
  • 76 [Marcgrave, see Lesson 3, note 95.]
  • 77 [Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton (born 29 May 1716, Montbard; died 31 December 1799, Paris), a French n (...)
  • 78 [René Just Haüy (born 28 February 1743, Saint-Just-en-Chaussée; died 3 June 1822, Paris), a French (...)
  • 79 [Encyclopédie méthodique par ordre des matières (“Methodical Encyclopedia by Order of Subject Matt (...)
  • 80 [Peter Simon Pallas (born 22 September 1741, Berlin; died 8 September 1811, Berlin), a German zool (...)

57The second volume of Willoughby’s natural history of fishes, which is composed of plates, contains copies of all the figures taken from Rondelet, Aldrovandi, Belon,75 and Marcgrave,76 basically from all the naturalists who had ever written about fishes. The many original drawings that he included in this volume have a unique characteristic. All these engravings were paid for by the Royal Society of London, and by various individuals who were amateurs of the sciences. Willughby’s ichthyology was a major contribution to this branch of science until the time of Linnaeus. We could even say it remained the standard almost until today, at least until Daubenton77 and Haüy78 worked together to produce the article entitled “Ichthyology” in the Encyclopédie méthodique,79 in which the only thing they did, really, was to translate Willughby’s classification and apply Linnaeus’s names and descriptions, with synonymies borrowed from Pallas80 and several others. Willughby’s treatise is, in fact, the basis of their article. The method of this ichthyologist was also followed in England until Linnaeus’s system was introduced. Generally speaking, Linnaeus’s zoological methods replaced all others by the end of the eighteenth century, not because of their intrinsic merit, but because of the simplicity their nomenclature provided to studies. But it has not always been beneficial to the sciences; if we do not want to stay away from natural methods, if we do not want to separate fishes that must be put together in the same group, it is necessary to go back to a classification that is closer to the one proposed by Willughby and Artedi rather than the one by Linnaeus.

  • 81 [Synopsis methodica piscium, see note 63, above.]

58In 1713, Ray wrote an abridged version of Willughby’s history of fishes called Synopsis methodica piscium,81 much like the one he had written on ornithology.

  • 82 [Stephan von Schoenevelde or Schonefeld (died 1616), a German physician, author of Ichthyologia et (...)

59Independent of this general work, several special publications on fishes appeared during the same time. There is an ichthyology of the coast of Holstein, written by a physician at Hamburg named Stephan von Schoenevelde;82 it was published in 1624, well before the time of our present study. It contains several good figures of fishes that had not been represented either by Rondelet nor Gessner, and especially of fishes from the North Sea that Rondelet had not had the opportunity to observe.

  • 83 [Paul Neucrantz (born 27 October 1605, Rostock; died 24 May 1671, Lübeck), a physician at Lübeck, (...)

60In 1664, a particular treatise on herrings was published by Paul Neucrantz.83

61But these works are not of great importance—Willughby’s book contained everything one could possibly wish for at that time.

62Let’s talk now about insects, a class that was still almost unknown, and which required many more new observations than all the other animal groups.

  • 84 [Thomas Moufet, see Lesson 4, notes 43 and 71.]
  • 85 [Jonston, see Lesson 6, note 113.]

63We saw the work of Moufet84 on insects and what Jonston85 and Aldrovandi had added to it. All of this was still disorganized; divisions were not well established, and the relationship between larvae and adult insects was in general still unknown. Thus, in Moufet’s books, it happens sometimes that fully metamorphosed insects are described in one chapter and their larval stages in another, as if nature had not been observed whatsoever. The naturalists of the time we are now reviewing worked much more diligently and obtained more results from their research.

  • 86 [Redi, see Lesson 12, note 80.]

64I already told you about Redi86 for his study of insects under various aspects; for example, with a focus on their reproduction. He established that spontaneous reproduction does not exist; that each time an insect is born, it is because an egg was deposited where it hatched.

65The same author wrote a book on insects in which he considers them to be parasitic animals; in the same book, he also treats of the worms inside the body.

66But all of this does not yet constitute a general natural history or a natural method based on positive facts and especially on accurate observations of the metamorphosis of insects. The links between the caterpillar and the butterfly, and between the larva and the adult insect were still unknown.

  • 87 [Goedart, see note 50, above.]
  • 88 [Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum, Middelburg: Jacobum Fierensium, 1662, [32] + 236 (...)

67The best entomological works of this time were published by a painter from Middleburg in Holland named Johannes Goedart.87 His book is entitled Metamorphosis historia naturalis insectorum. It was published in Middleburg in 1662.88 A French translation was printed in Amsterdam in 1700. As a painter, Johannes Goedart had the best skills required to deal with insects; he accurately drew the larvae, that is, the caterpillars, and had them engraved later in a very nice way. His book is the first to provide good line engravings of insects. He followed them in their metamorphosis and drew the various metamorphic stages; thus, we can follow the development of an insect in its different phases with certainty.

  • 89 [Anna Maria Sibylla Merian, see Lesson 6, note 117.]
  • 90 [Johann Andreas] Graf was a skilled painter [and architect] from Nuremberg; but after several year (...)
  • 91 [Erucarum ortus, alimentum et paradoxa metamorphosis, Amsterdam: Joannes Oosterwijk, 1718, [5] lea (...)

68A German woman named Maria Sibylla Merian89 worked on the same topic a few years later. She was from Basel and had married Johann Andreas Graf, a Dutchman.90 She published in Holland a book called Erucarum ortus, alimentum et paradoxa metamorphosis91; [an earlier edition was] printed in Nuremberg in 1679. The caterpillar and the butterfly are described with great talent, and very nice line-engraved figures provide an accurate idea of what they look like.

  • 92 [Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Amsterdam: Joannes Oosterwijk, 1719, 1 vol. ([8] + [73] l (...)

69Mrs. Merian also wanted to bring knowledge about foreign insects; to that effect, she went to Surinam where she spent several years before she died at the age of seventy. Her book on the insects of Surinam is a work of luxury; all the plates are magnificent.92 It was not published until after her death in Amsterdam in 1719.

  • 93 [Historia insectorum generalis, see Lesson 16, note 52.]
  • 94 [Histoire générale des insectes. Où l’on expose clairement la manière lente & presqu’insensible de (...)

70But the primary author of this time, the one who provided the most accurate information on the natural history of insects is the naturalist I told you about during our last session, with regard to his work on the anatomy of the same animals. Jan Swammerdam published in 1669 in Utrecht a general history of insects93 of which we have a French translation dated from 1682.94 In this book, he describes the various metamorphoses of insects. First he separates those that do not go through a metamorphosis and whose only change is the addition of wings, like the cicadas and grasshoppers that do not go through an interval of time when they remain in a stage of torpor. Then he distinguishes the insects that go through a complete metamorphosis, those that go through a phase of immobility during which the animal is called a nymph or chrysalis; this is what happens, for example, to butterflies, which, during that time, are wrapped in a kind of bark-like envelope that prevents them from any movement.

71Swammerdam also showed the differences among nymphs. He showed that some of them are formed from the drying process of the skin of the larva and this dried skin becomes the envelope of the nymph, like in flies and other insects that have a single pair of wings; and that in others, the larva slough off their skin to reveal the internal preexisting envelope of the nymph. Swammerdam knew perfectly all these various kinds of metamorphoses and described them very accurately; he showed all the different stages of each one.

72But there was still no general method for understanding the insects. But Ray was the one who finally proposed one, as he had done with the animal kingdom and, as we will see it later, for the plant kingdom as well. His book on insects was not published until after his death. In the same way that he had taken care of publishing Willughby’s books, his friends took care of publishing his works on insects, the production of which was commissioned by the Royal Society. Although his book on insects had been written a long time ago, it was not published until the beginning of the eighteenth century, in 1710. Ray roughly took, as a basis for his divisions of insects, the metamorphoses that Swammerdam had described. He first talks about insects that do not go through a metamorphosis, then of insects that do.

73The insects that do not go through a metamorphosis include some with legs and some without; among those that are legless, we have the terrestrial ones and the aquatic ones. Among the terrestrial forms, some live within the earth, like the earthworms, and others within other animals (intestinal worms were still considered at that time to be insects). Regarding the aquatic insects, he introduces a division that is based on size, either large or small, a method that we have already had the opportunity to criticize.

74The insects with legs are divided according to number: some have six, others eight, or ten as in the scorpions and the spiders; others have fourteen, like the isopods; others have even more.

75Then, we find the insects that go through a complete metamorphosis and those that go only through a semi-metamorphosis, like the dragonflies and the grasshoppers. He subdivides the insects with metamorphosis according to the nature of their wings, a subdivision that had already been suggested by Aristotle. In some species, the wings are covered with a membrane; in others, they are exposed; they can be either chitinous or membranous. The chitinous kind are those found in the butterflies. The membranous can have two or four wings. Each of these sub-divisions is sub-divided again, as genera within which the known species are gathered; subsequent authors were thus able to use this distribution as a basis for their work.

76You see, messieurs, that at the beginning of the eighteenth century, Ray was the main contributor to zoology. He established a method for quadrupeds, he created one for birds, or at least he helped Willughby to write his great work. He published an abridged version of a synopsis on reptiles, together with a synopsis on quadrupeds. He was also a major writer in ichthyology since he was the one who proposed the divisions that were introduced in Willughby’s work. Finally, his natural history of insects was a major achievement because it was the only methodical work to be published up until that time. In this work, he gathered everything that existed among prior authors and added to it a large number of descriptions made after nature. I insist on these facts because Ray’s works truly represent the most important period in zoology, and after him, we can follow the progress of this science up to Linnaeus.

  • 95 [François Salerne (born c. 1705, Lisieux; died 29 May 1760, Orleans), a French physician and natur (...)
  • 96 [Johann Leonhard Frisch (born 19 March 1666, Sulzbach; died 21 March 1743, Berlin), a German lingu (...)

77During the first fifty years that followed Ray, two French books were written based on his method: a book on birds by Salerne dated 1750,95 and another on insects by Frisch from 1760.96 We will see that Salerne’s work is not much more than a translation of Willughby, in accordance with Ray’s method; and that Frisch’s insects are also classified according to the method of this naturalist.

  • 97 [Lister, see Lesson 16, note 47.]
  • 98 [Historiae sive synopsis methodicae conchyliorum quorum omnium pictura, ad vivum delineata, exhibe (...)
  • 99 [Historiae sive synopsis methodicae conchyliorum et tabularum anatomicarum edition altero, recensu (...)
  • 100 [Buonanni, see Lesson 12, note 26.]

78Ray did not write about shells and mollusks, but he was replaced in this regard by one of his fellow countrymen named Martin Lister.97 I already told you about Lister who gave us anatomies of mollusks. We owe him the most complete natural history of shells that was ever done up until that time. Even today, it is still very precious for the large number of its figures; several articles extracted from these works were published from 1685 to 1693.98 It is composed almost entirely of these figures; however, we find at the bottom of each plate sentences that indicate the order, family, and genus to which the shell belongs. This book along with the plates were published again in the eighteenth century with a kind of catalog that employs Linnaeus’s nomenclature.99 But the most recent editions are not as valuable as the earlier ones because the copper plates were, by this time, slightly worn. Lister died in 1711. He almost had as his contemporary the Jesuit Buonanni,100 a professor from Rome who was born in 1638 and who died in 1725.

  • 101 [Recreatio mentis et oculi, in observatione animalium testaceorum curiosis naturae inspectoribus, (...)

79This Jesuit published, almost at the same time as Lister, in 1684, a book called Recreatio mentis et oculi in observatione animalium testaceorum.101 It is a volume in quarto, with figures of shells, which are far from being close to the ones produced by Lister, since they are not well done and often inaccurate.

80I did not go into the details of the divisions and subdivisions that were established by Lister because they are not very important. The natural history of the mollusks not only covers those that have a shell but also the shell-less species. The present classification is no longer based on the characters of their shells, but according to the characteristics of the animal that lives inside the shell; the old divisions that were based on the shells are of very little use today.

81Here is, messieurs, a brief summary of the works in zoology that were done during the second half of the seventeenth century. They represent, in a way, appendices of the larger and more numerous works that were done during the same period of time on human and comparative anatomy as well as on general physiology. I will cover the history of botany in our next lesson.

Notes

1 [Clusius, see Lesson 6, notes 73 and 81.]

2 [Aldrovandi, see Lesson 4, notes 31 and 32.]

3 [Francesco Calzolari or Franciscus Calceolari (born 1522, Verona; died 1609, Verona), an Italian apothecary, botanist, and virtuoso, whose famous cabinet of curiosities, the Musaeum Francisi Calceolari, was cataloged and described by two Veronese physicians, Benedetto Ceruti (died 1621, Verona) and Andrea Chiocco (died 1624, Verona), and printed in Verona by Angelus Tamus, in 1622 ([48] + 746 p., [2] fold. leaves of pls, illus., engr., in-4°). Calzolari’s grandson of the same name (born c. 1585) added to it, making it one of the most extensive in Italy. Especially important for its botanical and mineralogical specimens, the entire collection was eventually acquired by Lodovico Moscardo (see note 8, below), who continued to expand it with his own additions.]

4 [Basilius Besler, see Lesson 7, note 148.]

5 [Hortus Eystettensis, see Lesson 7, notes 148 and 149.]

6 [Ole Worm or Olaus Wormius (born 13 May 1588, Aarhus; died 31 August 1655, Copenhagen), a Danish physician, antiquary, and natural philosopher, who assembled at great expense a massive collection of curiosities, which ranged from native artifacts from the New World, to stuffed animals, minerals, and fossils. He compiled engravings of his collection, along with his speculations about their meaning, into a catalog called Museum Wormianum, which was published posthumously in 1655 (see note 7, below). As a scientist, Worm straddled the line between modern and pre-modern; for example, he determined in 1638 that the unicorn did not exist and that purported unicorn horns were really simply from the narwhal. At the same time, however, he wondered if the anti-poison properties associated with a unicorn’s horn still held true, and undertook experiments in poisoning pets, serving them ground up narwhal horn and reporting later that it had no ill effect.]

7 [Museum Wormianum, seu, historia rerum rariorum, tam naturalium, quam artificialium, tam domesticarum, quam exoticarum, quae Hafniae Danorum in aedibus authoris servantur, edited by Willum Worm (born 11 September 1633, Copenhagen; died 17 March 1704, Copenhagen; a Danish Supreme Court Justice and Royal Historian), and printed in Leiden in 1655 by Johannes and Daniel Elzevier (389 + [3] p., illus., in-folio).]

8 [Lodovico Moscardo (born 1611, Verona; died 1681, Verona), an Italian nobleman, academician, and collector who in 1642 acquired Francesco Calzolari’s (see note 3, above) collection of curiosities and continued to add to it, acquiring a wide variety of exotic antiquities, shells, minerals, animals, fruits, inscriptions, and coins, and eventually publishing a catalog of the collection entitled Note overo memorie del Museo di Lodovico Moscardo... dal medesimo descritte ex in tre libri distinte, nel primo si discorre delle cose antiche... nel secondo delle pietre, minerali e terre, nel terzo de corali, conchi glie animali frutti..., Padua: Paolo Frambotto, 1656, 306 p., engrav. figs, in-folio.]

9 [Manfredo Settala (born 8 March 1600; died 6 February 1680, Milan), an Italian cleric who, having inherited from his father a passion for scientific curiosities, built a large collection of natural and ethnographic objects, which was cataloged and described in Musaeum septalianum Manfredi Septalae patritii Mediolanensis industrioso labore constructum, published by Paolo Maria Terzago (an Italian physicist and philosopher; born 1610, died 1695, Milan), Tortona: Elisei Violae, 1664, [5] + 324 + [1] + [2] p., in-4°.]

10 This book [Musaeum septalianum, see note 9, above] is very valuable because it includes the description of a meteorite that fell in the convent of Notre-Dame de la Paix in Milan [in 1660] and killed a clergyman [a Franciscan monk]. It is the first known instance of a man killed by an accident of this kind; the defeat of the Gibeonites under Joshua [see Joshua 9, verse 22] is considered to be a miraculous event. See the Bibliothèque universelle des sciences, belles-lettres, et arts de Genève [volume 20, 1822, pp. 230-233; an academic journal published by the faculty of the University of Geneva in Switzerland for the various French-speaking countries of Europe during the nineteenth century] [M. de St.-Agy].

11 [Frederick III of Holstein-Gottorp (born 22 December 1597, Gottorp; died 10 August 1659, Tönning), Duke of Holstein-Gottorp and a generous patron of art and culture.]

12 [Adam Olearius, Adam Ölschläger or Oehlschlaeger (born 24 September 1599, Aschersleben, near Magdeburg; died 22 February 1671, Gottorp), a German scholar, mathematician, and geographer who became librarian to the Duke of Holstein-Gottorp (see note 11, above) as well as keeper of the Holstein-Gottorp cabinet of curiosities, which he cataloged and described in Gottorfische Kunst-Cammer, worinnen allerhand ungemeine Sachen zo theils die Natur theils künstliche Hände hervor gebracht, Schleswig: Johan Holwein, 1666, 88 p., engr. pls, in-8°.]

13 [Johan Albrecht de Mandelslo (born 15 May 1616, at Schönberg in Mecklenburg; died 16 May 1644, Paris), a German adventurer, who wrote about his travels through Persia and India in Beschryvingh van de gedenkwaerdige Zee-en Landt Reyze, deur Persien naar Oost-Indien, Amsterdam: Joost Hendriksz & Jan Rieuwertsz, 1658, 150 p., 3 ills.]

14 [Duke of Holstein, see note 11, above.]

15 [Roman College, a Roman Catholic institution of higher learning in Rome, founded in 1551 as the Collegium Romanum by St. Ignatius and St. Francis Borgia, later constituted as a university by Pope Julius III; it is now known as the Pontifical Gregorian University.]

16 [Kircher, see Lesson 12, notes 19 and 21.]

17 [Romani collegii Societatis Jesu Musaeum celeberrimum, cujus magnum antiquariae rei, statuarum imaginum, picturarumque partem ex legato Alphonsi Donini… a secretis, Munifica liberalitata relictum, Amsterdam: Janssonio-Waesbergiana, 1678, [8] + 66 + [6] p., [18] leaves of pls (8 fold.), illus., infolio; the first published catalog of Kircher’s museum (see Lesson 12, notes 19 and 21), advertised as a “theatre of nature and art,” offering perpetual-motion machines, optical tricks, a mermaid’s tail, the bones of a giant, and a host of other natural and artificial marvels to learned visitors to the Jesuit college in Rome.]

18 [Musaeum Kircherianum, sive, Musaeum a P. Athanasio Kirchero in Collegio Romano Societatis Jesu jam pridem incoeptum nuper restitutum, auctum, descriptum, & iconibus illustratum, Rome: Georgius Plachus, 1709, [12] + 522 + [9] p., [172] leaves of pls, illus., in-folio; for Buonanni, see Lesson 12, note 26.]

19 [Musaeum Regalis Societatis, see Lesson 16, note 26; for Grew, see Lesson 16, notes 23 and 25.]

20 [Christian V (born 15 April 1646, Flensburg; died 25 August 1699, Copenhagen), king of Denmark and Norway from 1670 until his death.]

21 [Oliger Jacobaeus, also known as Holger Jacobi (born 1650, Arhusen; died 1701), a Danish physician and naturalist, professor of medicine, philosophy, history, and geography at the University of Copenhagen, and son-in-law of Thomas Bartholin (see Lesson 12, note 82); he is remembered for his Museum regium, seu catalogus rerum tam naturalium, quam artificialium, quae in basilica bibliotheca augustissimi Daniae Norvegiaeque Monarchae Christiani V, Copenhagen: Joachim Schmetgen, 1696, [16] + 201 + [1] p., XXVII leaves of pls (some fold.), illus. (engr.), in-folio.]

22 [James Petiver (born 1663, Hillmorton, Warwickshire; died 20 April 1718, London), an English apothecary, famous for his studies in botany and entomology; an eager collector, his collection, much of it acquired from colleagues in the American and British colonies, was purchased after his death by Sir Hans Sloane (see Lesson 6, note 68) for £ 4,000 —a few specimens remain today in The Natural History Museum, London.]

23 [By “Museum” Cuvier clearly refers to Jacobi Petiveri opera, Historiam naturalem spectantia, or Gazophylacium, containing several 1000 figures of birds, beasts, reptiles, insects, fish, beetles, moths, flies, shells, corals, fossils, minerals, stones, fungusses, mosses, herbs, plants, & c. from all nations, on 156 copper-plates, with Latin and English Names, London: John Millan, 1764, 2 vols, illus., in-folio.]

24 [Georg Marcgrave, see Lesson 3, note 95.]

25 [Caspar Schwenckfeld von Ossig (born 1489 or 1490, Ossig, near Liegnitz; died 10 December 1561, Ulm), a German theologian, writer, and preacher who became a Protestant Reformer and spiritualist, one of the earliest promoters of the Protestant Reformation in Silesia.]

26 [Schwenckfeld’s Theriotrophaeum Silesiae was published much earlier than indicated by Cuvier—in 1603 in, Silesia (Lignicii: Alberti, [12] + 563 + [4] p., in-4°); we are unable to find a Leipzig edition of this work from 1663.]

27 [Gerard Boate, also Gérard de Boot, Bootius, or Botius (born 1604, Gorinchem; died 1650, Dublin), a Dutch physician, known for his Natural History of Ireland, being a true and ample description of its situation, greatness, shape, and nature; of it hills, woods, heaths, bogs; of its fruitfull parts and profitable grounds, with the severall way of manuring and improving the same; with its heads or promontories, harbours, roades and bayes; of its springs and fountaines, brookes, rivers, loughs; of its metalls, mineralls, freestone, marble, sea-coal, turf, and other things that are taken out of the ground; and lastly, of the nature and temperature of its air and season, and what diseases it is free from, or subject unto; conducing to the advancement of navigation, husbandry, and other profitable arts and professions, London: John Wright, 1652, [16] + 186 + [6] p., in-8°; Cuvier cites a later French edition, Histoire Naturelle d’Irlande, published at Paris (by Robert De Ninville, 1666, [8] + 334 + [2] p., in-12).]

28 [Joshua Childrey (born 1623, Rochester; died 20 August 1670, Upwey), an English churchman and academic, antiquary and astrologer, and the archdeacon of Salisbury from 1664; he is author of Britannia Baconica (see note 30, below).]

29 [Bacon, see Lesson 11, notes 19 and 30.]

30 [Britannia Baconica, or the natural rarities of England, Scotland, & Wales, according as they are to be found in every shire; historically related, according to the precepts of the Lord Bacon; methodically digested; and the causes of many of them philosophically attempted, London: Printed for the author, 1661, [30] + 184 p., in-8°.]

31 [Histoire des singularitez naturelles d’Angleterre, d’Écosse et du pays de Galles... ce qui fait avec l’Histoire naturelle d’Irlande... une histoire naturelle entière, de tous les royaumes & de tous les estats que possède le Roy de la Grand’-Bretagne trad. de l’anglois de Childrey par M. P. B., Paris: Robert de Ninville, 1667, [36] + 315 + [7] p., 1 leaf of pls, in-12.]

32 [Christopher Merrett (born 16 February 1614 or 1615, Winchcombe, Gloucestershire; died 19 August 1695, London), an English physician and scientist, the first to document the deliberate addition of sugar for the production of sparkling wine; he also produced the first lists of British birds and butterflies (see note 33, below).]

33 [Pinax rerum naturalium Britannicarum, continens vegetabilia, animalia, et fossilia, London: Cave Pulleyn, 1666, [xxx] + 223 + [1] p., in-12.]

34 [Johann Jacob Wagner (born 30 April 1641; died 14 December 1695), a Swiss physician and botanist, author of Historia naturalis Helvetiae curiosa, Zurich: Johann Henrici Lindinneri, 1680, [24] + 390 + [28] p., in-12.]

35 [Academia Naturae Curiosorum, see Lesson 12, note 91.]

36 [Robert Sibbald (born 15 April 1641, Edinburgh; died August 1722, Edinburgh), a Scottish physician, botanist, and antiquary, instrumental in establishing the first botanical garden in Edinburgh as well as the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, of which he was elected president in 1684. He was appointed Geographer Royal in 1682 and the first professor of medicine at the University of Edinburgh in 1685. His numerous and miscellaneous writings deal with historical and antiquarian as well as with botanical and medical subjects.]

37 [Scotia illustrata, sive prodromus historiae naturalis in quo regionis natura, incolarum ingenia & mores, morbi iisque medendi methodus, & medicina… in triplice ejus regno, Edinburgh: Jacobi Kniblo, 1684, 3 parts in 1 vol. ([17] + 102 + [6]; [6] + 114 + [6]; [6] + 56 + [4] p.), 23 engr. pls, in-folio.]

38 [Johan Nieuhof (born 22 July 1618, Uelsen; died 8 October 1672, Madagascar), a Dutch traveler who wrote about his journeys to Brazil, China, and India (see note 39, below), the most famous of which was a trip of 2,400 km from Canton to Peking in 1655-1657, which enabled him to become an authoritative Western writer on China.]

39 [Zee-en lant-reise door verscheide Gewesten van Oostindien, behelzende veele zeldzaame en wonderlijke voorvallen en geschiedenissen; beneffens een beschrijving van lantschappen, dieren, gewassen, draghten, zeden en godsdienst der inwoonders: en inzonderheit een wijtloopig verhael der Stad Batavia, Amsterdam: Jacob van Meurs, 1682, [4] + 308 + [4] p., 44 pls, illus. (copper pls), in-folio.]

40 [For Willughby and his Historia piscium, see Lesson 3, note 94.]

41 [Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre (born 1610, Calais; died 1687, Paris), a French blackfriar and botanist, who wrote several works about the Antilles where he described the indigenous peoples, the animals, and the plant world, including Histoire générale des îles Saint-Christophe, de la Guadeloupe, de la Martinique et autres dans l’Amérique. Où l’on verra l’establissement des colonies françoises, dans ces isles; leurs guerres civiles & estrangeres, & tout ce qui se passe dans les voyages & retours des Indes... (Paris: Jacques & Emmanuel Langlois, 1654, [16] + 481 + [7] p., [3] fold. leaves of pls, in-4°); Histoire naturelle et morale des îles Antilles de l’Amérique, enrichie de plusieurs belles figures des raretez les plus considérables qui y sont décrites, avec un vocabulaire caraïbe (Rotterdam: Arnould Leers, 1658, [14] + 527 + [12] p., 1 leaf of pls, illus., in-4°); La vie de Sainte Austreberte vierge, première abbesse de l’abbaye de Pavilly, près de Roüen: tirée de l’ancien manuscrit de la royale abbaye de Sainte Austreberthe de Monstreüil sur mer (Paris: Guillaume Sassier, 1659, [24] + 167 p., in-12); and l’Histoire générale des Antilles habitées par les Français (Paris: Thomas Jolly, 1667-1671, 4 vols, in-4°).]

42 [Histoire générale des Antilles habitées par les Français, see note 41, above.]

43 [Marcgrave, see Lesson 3, note 95.]

44 [Charles de Rochefort (born c. 1604, Rotterdam; died 1683), a French Protestant pastor sent to the West Indies to serve as a minister or chaplain to French-speaking Protestants; he published a book about his own observations but incorporated as well the writings of previous authors, most notably Jean-Baptiste Du Tertre (see note 41, above) who severely criticized him for plagiary.]

45 [Historische beschreibung der Antillen-Inseln Inseln in America gelegen, in sich begreiffend deroselben Gelegenheit, darinnen befindlichen natürlichen Sachen, sampt deren Einwohner Sitten und Gebräuchen, Frankfurt: Wilhelm Serlins, 1668, 2 vols ([22] + 430 + [14] p., [46] leaves of pls; [12] + 514 + 31 + [2] p.), illus., in-12).]

46 [Jonston, see Lesson 6, note 113.]

47 [John Ray, see Lesson 3, note 94.]

48 [Willughby, see Lesson 3, note 94.]

49 [Swammerdam, see Lesson 16, note 50.]

50 [Johannes Goedart (born 1617, Middelburg; died 1668), a Dutch painter famous for his illustrations of insects; he is best known for a book entitled Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum (Middelburg: Jacobum Fierensium, 1662, [32] + 236 p., color pls, in-8°), in which he demonstrates meticulous observations of all the growth phases of the insects depicted, including metamorphosis.]

51 [Barrow, see Lesson 12, note 72.]

52 [Newton, see Lesson 11, note 37.]

53 This Act [of Uniformity], enacted by Parliament in 1662, ordered all clergymen to accept a set of propositions, the purpose of which was to exclude Presbyterians. Not that Ray [see Lesson 3, note 94] was a Presbyterian —he always remained faithful to the Anglican Church— but this measure from the Parliament was thought by Ray to be contrary to the freedom of religion [M. de St.-Agy].

54 [Charles II, see Lesson 8, note 96.]

55 [Willughby, see Lesson 3, note 94.]

56 [Sons of Francis Willughby: Francis (born 1669, died 1688), who died at age nineteen; and Thomas (born 9 April 1672, Middleton; died 2 April 1729), a celebrated mathematician and naturalist, created Baron Middleton by Queen Anne (see Lesson 16, note 48).]

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

58 [Ruminants are mammals that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion, principally through bacterial actions. The process typically requires regurgitation of fermented ingesta (known as cud), and chewing it again. The process of re-chewing the cud to further break down plant matter and stimulate digestion is called “Rumination.” The word “ruminant” comes from the Latin ruminare, which means “to chew over again.” There are about 150 species of ruminants, which include both domestic and wild species. Ruminating mammals include cattle, goats, sheep, giraffes, yaks, deer, camels, llamas, and antelope.]

59 [Linnaeus, see Lesson 2, note 112; see also Volume 1, Lesson 7, note 34.]

60 [Sibbald, see note 36, above.]

61 [Phalainologia nova, sive observationes de rarioribus qui busdam balaenis in Scotiae littus nuper ejectis, Edinburgh: Robert Edward, 1692, [4] + 44 p., [3] leaves of pls.]

62 [Ornithologiae libri tres, London: Joannis Martyn, 1676, 6 p. leaves + 307 + [5] p., 77 leaves of pls, illus., in-folio; one of the first truly scientific ornithological texts.]

63 This book [Synopsis methodica avium] was published posthumously as we can see by its date; as was Synopsis piscium, which will be mentioned later [actually these two texts were originally published together as Synopsis methodica avium & piscium, London; William Innys, 1713, 2 vols in 1, [4] leaves of pls, illus., in-4°]. These two books were published [with the help of William] Derham, who filled the same duty [as editor and contributor of a preface] toward the author as Ray had done so well for Willughby [M. de St.-Agy].

64 [Frugivore, a fruit eater: any type of herbivore or omnivore in which fruit is a preferred food type; frugivory is considered to be common especially among birds and mammals.]

65 [Gallinaceous birds, those related or belonging to the Galliformes, an order of birds, including ground-feeding domestic or game birds, such as chickens, turkeys, grouse, quail, and pheasants, having a heavy rounded body, short bill, and strong legs.]

66 [Granivores, animals that feed on grains or seeds, the primary diet for many birds, especially game birds, sparrows, finches, parrots, pigeons, and doves.]

67 [The Hawfinch, Coccothraustes coccothraustes, is a passerine bird in the finch family Fringillidae, the closest living relatives of which include the Evening Grosbeak from North America and the Hooded Grosbeak from Central America, especially Mexico.]

68 [Palmiped, a web-footed bird such as various water fowl.]

69 [De historia piscium libri quatuor, see Lesson 3, note 94.]

70 [Gessner, see Lesson 4.]

71 [Aldrovandi, see Lesson 4, note 31.]

72 [Rondelet, see Lesson 1, note 42.]

73 [For Aristotle, Pliny, and Aelian, see Volume 1, parts 3 and 5.]

74 [Artedi, see Volume 1, Lesson 13, note 17.]

75 [Rondelet, Aldrovandi, and Belon, Renaissance zoologists; see Lesson 3, above.]

76 [Marcgrave, see Lesson 3, note 95.]

77 [Louis-Jean-Marie Daubenton (born 29 May 1716, Montbard; died 31 December 1799, Paris), a French naturalist and anatomist who specialized in the study of birds and mammals; he was also a major contributor to the Encyclopédie ou Dictionnaire raisonné des sciences, des arts et des métiers (see note 79, below).]

78 [René Just Haüy (born 28 February 1743, Saint-Just-en-Chaussée; died 3 June 1822, Paris), a French mineralogist, who performed experiments that led to the geometrical law of crystallization, work that resulted in his election to the French Academy of Sciences; he is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Crystallography.”]

79 [Encyclopédie méthodique par ordre des matières (“Methodical Encyclopedia by Order of Subject Matter”) is an encyclopedia of 210 to 216 volumes (different sets were bound differently), published between 1782 and 1832 by the French publisher Charles Joseph Panckoucke (born 26 November 1736, Lille, France; died 19 December 1798, Paris), his son-in-law Henri Agasse de Cresne (born 1752, Paris; died 1813, Paris), and the latter’s wife, Thérèse-Charlotte Agasse. It was a revised and much expanded version, arranged by disciplines, of the originally alphabetically arranged Encyclopédie edited by Denis Diderot and Jean Le Rond D’Alembert (see Lesson 11, note 31). The full title is L’Encyclopédie méthodique ou par ordre de matières par une société de gens de lettres, de savants et d’artistes; précédée d’un vocabulaire universel, servant de table pour tout l’ouvrage, ornée des portraits de MM. Diderot et d’Alembert, premiers éditeurs de l’Encyclopédie. There are only two remaining complete original copies left in the World: one in the library of the Teyler’s Museum, Haarlem; and one at a London antiquarian.]

80 [Peter Simon Pallas (born 22 September 1741, Berlin; died 8 September 1811, Berlin), a German zoologist and botanist who worked primarily in Russia; among his many publications, perhaps the best known is Spicilegia zoologica quibus novae imprimis et obscurae animalium species illustrantur, fourteen parts, usually bound in a single volume, Berlin: August Lange, Christian Voss & Joachim Pauli, 1767-1780, 14 fasc., pls, in-4°.]

81 [Synopsis methodica piscium, see note 63, above.]

82 [Stephan von Schoenevelde or Schonefeld (died 1616), a German physician, author of Ichthyologia et nomenclaturae animalium marinorum, fluviatilium, lacustrium, quae in Florentissimis ducatibus Slesvici et Holsatiae et celeberrimo Emporio Hamburg occurrunt triviales, Hamburg: Bibliopolio Heringiano, 1624, 87 p., VII pl., illus., in-4°.] We must be careful not to confound this physician, as it happens sometime, with Victorien Schoenfeld, a physician in Bautzen who died in 1591 [M. de St.-Agy].

83 [Paul Neucrantz (born 27 October 1605, Rostock; died 24 May 1671, Lübeck), a physician at Lübeck, author of De harengo exercitatio medica in qua principis piscium exquisitissima bonitas summaque gloria asserta et vindicata, Lübeck: Joachimi Wildii, 1654, 83 + [5] p., in-4°.]

84 [Thomas Moufet, see Lesson 4, notes 43 and 71.]

85 [Jonston, see Lesson 6, note 113.]

86 [Redi, see Lesson 12, note 80.]

87 [Goedart, see note 50, above.]

88 [Metamorphosis et historia naturalis insectorum, Middelburg: Jacobum Fierensium, 1662, [32] + 236 p., color pls, in-8°; the French edition cited by Cuvier is entitled Métamorphoses naturelles, ou Histoire des insectes, observée trèsexactement suivant leur nature & leur proprietez, avec les figures en taille-douce gravées d’aprés nature, Amsterdam: George Gallet, 1700, 3 vols.]

89 [Anna Maria Sibylla Merian, see Lesson 6, note 117.]

90 [Johann Andreas] Graf was a skilled painter [and architect] from Nuremberg; but after several years of marriage, he had to flee after being involved in bad business; this is why Maria Sibylla kept her maiden name Merian [see Lesson 6, note 117] [M. de St.-Agy].

91 [Erucarum ortus, alimentum et paradoxa metamorphosis, Amsterdam: Joannes Oosterwijk, 1718, [5] leaves + 64 p., pls, portr., in-4°; an earlier edition was published in German: Der Raupen Wunderbare Verwandelung und Sonderbare Blumen-Nahrung (The Miraculous Transformation and Unusual Flower-Food of Caterpillars), Nuremberg: Johann Andreas Graffen, two volumes, 1679 and 1683 ([3] + 102+ [4] p., 50 pls; [3] + 100+ [2] p., 50 pls), in-4°.]

92 [Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Amsterdam: Joannes Oosterwijk, 1719, 1 vol. ([8] + [73] leaves of copper pls), illus., in-folio.]

93 [Historia insectorum generalis, see Lesson 16, note 52.]

94 [Histoire générale des insectes. Où l’on expose clairement la manière lente & presqu’insensible de l’accroissement de leurs membres, & ou l’on découvre évidemment l’erreur où l’on tombe d’ordinaire au sujet de leur prétendue transformation, Utrecht: Guillaume de Walcheren, 1682, [8] + 215 + [1] p., [14] leaves of pls, in-4°.]

95 [François Salerne (born c. 1705, Lisieux; died 29 May 1760, Orleans), a French physician and naturalist, author of L’histoire naturelle, éclaircie dans une de ses parties principales, l’ornithologie, qui traite des oiseaux de terre, de mer et de riviere, tant de nos climats que des pays étrangers, Paris: Chez Debure père, Libraire, 1767 [not 1750 as indicated by Cuvier], xii + [4] + 464 p., [31] leaves of col. pls, in-4°.]

96 [Johann Leonhard Frisch (born 19 March 1666, Sulzbach; died 21 March 1743, Berlin), a German linguist, entomologist, ornithologist, and well-known Berlin engraver, author of Beschreibung von allerley Insecten in DeutschLand, nebst nützlichen Anmerckungen und nöthigen Abbildungen von diesem kriechenden und fliegenden inländischen Gewürme, zur Bestätigung und Fortsetzung der gründlichen Entdeckung, so einige von der Natur dieser Creaturen herausgegeben, und zur Ergäntzung und Verbesserung der andern; Cuvier cites a 1760 edition, but it was published much earlier, from 1730 to 1738, in 13 parts, Berlin: Christian Friedrich Nicolai, with 38 pls. representing 300 insects, in-4°.]

97 [Lister, see Lesson 16, note 47.]

98 [Historiae sive synopsis methodicae conchyliorum quorum omnium pictura, ad vivum delineata, exhibetur, in five parts, London: sumptibus authoris, 1685-1692, 6 pts in 2 vols, ca. 400 p., 1059 pls, ills, in-folio; the first organized systematic publication on shells.]

99 [Historiae sive synopsis methodicae conchyliorum et tabularum anatomicarum edition altero, recensuit et indicibus auxit, Oxford: Gulielmus Huddesford, 1770, IV p. + 1059 pl. grav. + 6-8 p. + 22 pl. grav. + 77 p., in-folio.]

100 [Buonanni, see Lesson 12, note 26.]

101 [Recreatio mentis et oculi, in observatione animalium testaceorum curiosis naturae inspectoribus, Rome: Carlo Francesco Varesi, 1684, [15] + 270 + [10] p. + [137] leaves of pls, in-4°.]

Table des illustrations

Légende Museum WormianumPlate from Worm’s Museum wormianum. Seu historia rerum… (1655) Cliché Bibliothèque centrale, MNHN.
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