Ichthyology in Context (1500–1880)


Ichthyology in Context (1500–1880) provides a broad spectre of early modern manifestations of human fascination with fish – “fish” understood in the early modern sense of the term, as aquatilia: all aquatic animals, including sea mammals and crustaceans. It addresses the period’s quickly growing knowledge about fish in its multiple, varied and rapidly changing interaction with culture. This topic is approached from various disciplines: history of science, cultural history, history of collections, historical ecology, art history, literary studies, and lexicology. Attention is given to the problematic questions of visual and textual representation of fish, and pre- and post-Linnean classification and taxonomy. This book also explores the transnational exchange of ichthyological knowledge and items in and outside Europe.

Contributors: Cristina Brito, Tobias Bulang, João Paulo S. Cabral, Florike Egmond, Dorothee Fischer, Holger Funk, Dirk Geirnaert, Philippe Glardon, Justin R. Hanisch, Bernardo Jerosch Herold, Rob Lenders, Alan Moss, Doreen Mueller, Johannes Müller, Martien J.P. van Oijen, Pietro Daniel Omodeo, Anne M. Overduin-de Vries, Theodore W. Pietsch, Cynthia Pyle, Marlise Rijks, Paul J. Smith, Ronny Spaans, Robbert Striekwold, Melinda Susanto, Didi van Trijp, Sabina Tsapaeva, and Ching-Ling Wang.
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Paul J. Smith is Emeritus Professor of French Literature at Leiden University. His research focuses on 16th- and 17th-century French literature, its reception in the Netherlands, French and Dutch fable and emblem books, literary rhetoric and early modern natural history.

Florike Egmond is a historian affiliated with Leiden University. She has published widely on the early modern history of natural history, especially its social networks, information exchanges and visual culture, including Eye for Detail: Images of Plants and Animals in Art and Science (Reaktion 2017).
List of Figures
Notes on the Editors
Notes on the Contributors

1 Introduction: Towards a Cultural History of Early Modern Ichthyology (1500–1880)
Paul J. Smith

Part 1: Beginnings

2 Fish Images True to Life and a 16th-Century Controversy between Rondelet and Salviani. Essay and Documentation of the Sources
Holger Funk

3 Beginnings of Ichthyological Natural History: Formal and Structural Questions
Philippe Glardon

4 The Many Names of Fish: Scientific and Poetic Fish Nomenclature in the Writings of Johann Fischart and Conrad Gessner
Tobias Bulang

5 Aquatilia of Portugal in 1555–1556 According to Leonhardt Thurneysser zum Thurn
Bernardo Jerosch Herold and João Paulo S. Cabral

Part 2: Depicting

6 Looking beyond the Margins of Print: Depicting Water Creatures in Europe, c.1500–1620
Florike Egmond

7 Ichthyology and Related Topics in MS Urb. lat. 276 (13th–17th Centuries)
Cynthia M. Pyle

8 A Taste for Fish: Paintings of Aquatic Animals in the Low Countries (1560–1729)
Marlise Rijks

9 Fishing in the Past: Biodiversity, Art History, and Citizen Science – Preliminary Results
Anne M. Overduin-de Vries and Paul J. Smith

Part 3: Fish and Society in Europe

10 Piscatorial Elements in 16th-Century Literature in Bruges: Fantasy Scenes and Compassionate Eulogies
Dirk Geirnaert

11 What Are the Fish Silent about? Selected Historical Facts on the Use of Fish in Medieval Medicine
 A Qualitative Study Based on Sources from The Middle Low German Dictionary Archive
Sabina Tsapaeva

12 The Invisible Fisherman: The Economy of Water Knowledge in Early Modern Venice
Pietro Daniel Omodeo

13 ‘Um Grande Peixe, Dona Baleia da Costa’: The Whale in Portuguese Early Modern Natural History
Cristina Brito

14 ‘My Eyes Have Never Yet Beheld Him.’ Demythologising Arctic Sea Monsters in the Poetry of the Norwegian Priest and Fish Merchant Petter Dass (1647–1707)
Ronny Spaans

15 The Historical Truth behind the “Salmon-Servant” Myth
Rob Lenders

16 Public Opinion on Seals in Dutch Newspapers 1725–1900
Paul J. Smith

Part 4: Ichthyological Knowledge from Afar

17 The Travelling Nautilus: Spaces of Circulation from the Indian Ocean to Britain
Melinda Susanto

18 François de Meyer’s Fish Travelogue (1698)
Paul J. Smith, Didi van Trijp and Alan Moss

19 The Afterlives of Fish Far from Home: (Mis)Representations in the Iconography of Preserved and Printed Pufferfish in 18th-Century Germany
Dorothee Fischer

20 Louis Renard (1678/1679–1746) and His Poissons, ecrevisses et crabes (1719): 300 Years of One of Natural History’s most Curious Colour Plate Books
Theodore W. Pietsch and Justin R. Hanisch

21 Distance, Geography, and Anecdote in M.E. Bloch’s Natural History of Fishes
Johannes Müller

22 Between Science and Art: On Painted Natural Illustrations of Fish in China
Ching-Ling Wang

23 Early “Dutch” Contributions to Japanese Ichthyology
Martien J.P. van Oijen

24 Packaging Knowledge about Whales in Early Modern Japan
Doreen Mueller

25 Images, Specimens, and Species: Hermann Schlegel on the Various Ways of Depicting a Fish
Robbert Striekwold

Index Nominum
Index of Aquatic Animals
All interested in the history of ichthyology, the interrelation between early modern natural history and visual and literary culture, and the transnational exchanges of knowledge and naturalia as objects in and outside Europe. Keywords: ichthyology, history of natural science, early modern natural history, Gessner, painting, poetry, classification, taxonomy, Japan, China, historical ecology, collections.
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