As you head to the seashore or lakeside this summer, take a moment to consider the contributions of Ippolito Salviani to natural history. Salviani’s book on aquatic animals, Aquatilium animalium historiae (The history more »
For many Americans, mid-summer is best spent by the shore; beaches and lakes are traditionally packed this time of year. And if you’re lucky, that little time by the water will involve a glimpse at some aquatic life — a sand crab, a sea star, perhaps a fish or two. If your summer sightings have inspired an interest in fish (or perhaps you want to save yourself the sunscreen and view some wildlife from the comfort of your computer screen), one of our favorite sources of undersea imagery is the ichthyology work of Marcus Elieser Bloch (1723-1799).
The Joseph F. Cullman 3rd Library recently acquired Ippolito Salviani’s Aquatilium animalium historiae (Rome, 1554), a classic, foundational work on fishes. The book is one of three 16th-century works that established ichthyology as a modern science. The Libraries holds the other two – Belon’s De aquatilibus (1553, a Latin translation of his Histoire de la nature des estranges poissons marins, 1551) and Rondelet’s Libri de piscibus marinis (1554) – and has now completed the trio. The Aquatilium animalium historiae is a tremendous asset for the National Museum of Natural History’s curators in the Division of Fishes, who advised on the purchase.