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Un-Natural History, or Myths of Ancient Science
Edmund Goldsmid
Edinburgh: 1886
 

"Being a Collection of Curious Tracts on the Basilisk, Unicorn, Phoenix, Behemoth or Leviathan, Dragon, Giant Spider, Tarantula, Chameleons, Satyrs, Homines Caudati, &c. Now first translated from the Latin and edited, with notes and illustrations"

"It has seemed to me that the following tracts, on myths so strange, yet so widely credited in ancient times, could not fail to prove interesting, especially as the tracts themselves, written in the 17th century by German savants, and printed (very badly, by the way) at Wittemberg, Frankfort-on-Oder, &c., are quite unknown, not only in this country, but even in the land of their production. ... The myths treated of in the following treatises are: the Basilisk, Unicorn, Phoenix, Behemoth, Dragon, Giant Spider, Tarantula, Chameleons, Satyrs, Tailed Men, and the Shining Lilies of Palestine. ... George Caspard Kirchmayer, the author of the first six tracts, was born at Uffeinheim, in Franconia, in 1635. He became Professor at Wittemberg, and was a Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Vienna. ...The six Treatises here translated and printed, under the collective title of Hexas disputationum Zoologicaram, at Wittemberg, in 1661. ... Hermann Grübe was born at Lübeck, in 1633. He studied at Leyden, and became Professor of Medicine at Frankfort. He is said to have published several medical works, none of which are now ever read. His treatise, De Ictu Tarantulae, here translated, is, I believe, quite unknown to Bibliographers. It is a small tract of some 90 pages, published at Frankfort in 1679... Martin Schoochius was born at Utrecht in 1614. After studying at that University he became successively Professor of Languages, of Eloquence and History, of Physic, of Logic, and of Practical Philosophy at Utrecht, Deventer, Groningen, and lastly at Frankfort-on-Oder, where he died in 1669. ... The treatise which is here translated seems utterly unknown to all Bibliographers. It is a small 4to, abominably printed on atrocious paper, and bears the imprint of Frankfort-on-Oder, 1680. The only copy I know of is the one in my possession. ... To me these learned and eccentric tracts have ever been extremely interesting. I trust they may prove so to my readers, and I have tried to increase their value by tracing out in the notes the various allusions of the text, and amplifying from such sources as I have had at my disposal, the subjects suggested rather than dwelt upon by these sage and quaint old writers of the 17th century." - introduction

Language: English


 
 
  
 
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