The fame of its medical university and its reputation for field botany attracted visitors from all over Europe to seventeenth-century Montpellier. It was there that Martin Lister first made the acquaintance of John Ray in 1665. Twenty years later, in London, they cooperated in the production of the ambitious and lavishly illustrated Historia Piscium based on the notes of the late Francis Willughby. Ray, Lister and others contributed additional material. In their own work on fishes, cetaceans and shellfish Ray and Lister were considerably indebted to the Libri de piscibus marinis of an earlier Montpellier professor, Guillaume Rondelet, whose Aristotelian/Galenic approach to the study of medicine and living things was distinguished by a quite exceptional level of knowledge about aquatic species, based on a secure grasp of the classical and contemporary literature, but above all on his own observations in rivers, lakes, lagoons and the open sea, and his domestication (and dissection) of marine species in ponds and aquaria at his country house. Rondelet's book proved useful to Ray and to Lister as a work of reference, as a stimulus for reflection on biological problems, as an aid to nomenclature, as a source of precise descriptions of species, in both words and pictures, as a model to be improved upon in taxonomy, as a warning against reliance on hearsay, and as a valuable account of observations and experiments. Ray used it in much the same way as he used the work of those sixteenth-century botanists who met with his approval. Several of these had been Rondelet's pupils.
The tercentenary of the death of Martin Lister (1639–1712; FRS 1671) has provided an occasion to look afresh at his work and at his association with other medical men, natural philosophers and natural historians of his day.1
A surprisingly large number of them, including Lister and John Ray (1627–1705; FRS 1667), spent time in Montpellier, drawn there by the fame of its medical university, its botanical garden and its reputation for the study and practice of field botany. Prominent among those thanked by Ray in 1686 for their help in making ready for the press the Ornithology and Historia Piscium of Francis Willughby (1635–72; FRS 1663) were Martin Lister, Tancred Robinson, Edward Browne and William Courten, all of them veterans of the Montpellier expatriate scene. Lister was so assiduous, over text and pictures, that he can almost be seen as a full associate with Ray in these projects, which Robinson encouraged Ray to complete. Robinson also spoke up among Fellows of the Royal Society in support of the enterprise. Browne, Robinson and Courten were among those who sponsored individual copper-plates.2 Courten also gave Ray and Lister access to his celebrated collections of shells and other naturalia upon which Lister based many of the entries in his Historiae Conchyliorum.
Martin Lister spent two years in Montpellier, from January 1664 to February 1666. It was there that he first made the acquaintance of John Ray, who spent several months there in 1665. For Lister, this opportunity to gain Ray's friendship turned out to be the beginning of a long and fruitful intellectual association, and one that would not have happened had not Lister already embarked (in Montpellier) on a serious programme of private reading on anatomy, physiology, materia medica, botany and natural history.
The Montpellier expatriate scene was so distinctive, and so influential in the lives of many of those who experienced it, that it merits a brief description and analysis here, as a prolegomenon to the main argument of this paper, which concerns the usefulness to Ray and to Lister of the work of an earlier Montpellier doctor, Guillaume Rondelet (1507–66), upon whose Libri de piscibus marinis (Lyon, 1554/5) they relied in their study of marine creatures of all kinds.
Montpellier as an intellectual experience for Ray and for Lister
Ray was already a mature scholar and a noted botanist before his arrival in Montpellier. His reading, his first-hand familiarity with living plants and animals, his ventures into comparative anatomy, and his natural-history travels all over the British Isles were all well established before 1660.3 In addition to this, the Montpellier visit came towards the end of a long tour of other university towns, in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. In Montpellier he devoted himself single-mindedly to well-informed and well-planned plant-hunting expeditions, selectively using the publications of Jean Bauhin and of Matthieu de L'Obel as field guides to the flora of Gallia Narbonensis, and making his own careful emendations. Ray was already an expert in such matters. Earlier, in England, he had learned how to bring precision to the identification of plant species. The broadening of his experience to include first-hand acquaintance with a Mediterranean flora, and the critical care with which he built up his knowledge, strengthened his later attempts to bring system and method to plant classification in general. For Ray, plant hunting in the area around Montpellier no doubt left durable memories, and filled out yet further his already extensive knowledge of the botanical geography of western Europe.
For Lister, only in his twenties, Montpellier had more diverse and unpredictable experiences to offer. Seventeenth-century English gentlemen, attracted to Montpellier by its reputation, may have been surprised to find how few and how peripheral Protestant scholars were in the university, and how uncertain was the security enjoyed by Huguenots under the increasingly fragile Edict of Nantes. As foreigners and Protestants, they were barred from formal matriculation in the University of Medicine and were therefore forbidden to attend its lectures or disputations. The only exceptions were the occasional official anatomy, more a public spectacle than a serious investigation, and the demonstrations of the official herbarist in the botanical garden, which non-members of the university could also watch at a distance.
Not surprisingly, given the unwelcoming behaviour of the university, and an uneasy atmosphere about religion, the Protestant expatriates talked mostly to each other. Some of them, no doubt, were content merely to enjoy Montpellier's balmy climate and to go with their compatriots on botanical picnics. It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that they all lived the idle life of tourists. In the lodgings of Robert Bruce, Earl of Ailesbury, Lister cooperated in dissections of animals led by the Danish anatomist Nicholas Stenson (Steno).4 This was no doubt an eye-opener. It is interesting to reflect, however, that had Lister spent the same two years in Oxford rather than in Montpellier, he would have seen incomparably more anatomy, and been party to many discussions on physiology (chemical, corpuscularian, experimental), which were among the most controversial and advanced in Europe.5
Despite their exclusion from the university proper, those Montpellier visitors who wanted to study medicine, pharmacy or natural history privately might manage to secure the guidance of one of the more assiduous, or better-disposed, or more impecunious, of the local teaching doctors or of a learned apothecary. The private lesson, for a fee, was a long Montpellier tradition, which persisted despite the university's sporadic attempts to eradicate it.6
It is not clear how much guidance of this kind, if any, Martin Lister had, but his hitherto eclectic reading suddenly took on the character of a planned introduction to natural history and to recent medicine, which suggests that he did have some help. In Montpellier, doctors, students and visitors alike were dependent for their reading on their own resources and on borrowing books from each other. With luck, a serious reader might gain access to the private library of a friendly teaching doctor, or have the chance to buy books locally. Martin Lister seems to have been the beneficiary of just such a patchwork of informal opportunities. Because he had the habit of recording in his travel notebook the titles of the books he read, it is possible to see his reading begin to change. A random mixture of light literature in French, with a sprinkling of schoolboy Latin authors, gave way in February 1664 to some serious medical reading, which began, suitably enough, with the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, and a Leyden Formulae remediorum published in 1646. Between April and September 1664 he read Thomas Willis, De fermentatione (London, 1659) and Francis Glisson, Anatomia hepatis (London, 1654), both innovative works of physiology. Next came the Observationes medicae et curationes insignes (Paris, 1646) of Lazare de Rivière, professor at Montpellier from 1622 to 1655. In February 1665, only a few months after its publication, he records having read Le Monde ou le Traité de la Lumière of Descartes. One might have supposed that he would then have gone on to read Marin Mersenne or Pierre Gassendi, but instead, from March to December 1665, he immersed himself in classic botanical works published in the sixteenth century, namely Dioscorides (in an unspecified edition), Amatus Lusitanus In Dioscorides Anazarbei de medica libros quinque enarrationes (Antwerp, 1536), one of Jean Ruel's many early sixteenth-century publications on materia medica (unnamed), Garcia de Orta, Aromatum, et simplicium aliquot medicamentorum apud Indos nascentium historia (first Latin printing 1567), Nicolas Monardes, De simplicibus medicamentis ex Occidentali India delatis, quorum in medicina vsus est (first Latin printing 1574). During the summer, the high season for botany, he continued to read Dioscorides and Theophrastus. In August he read the Historia naturalis of Pliny, and in the autumn Jean Bauhin's Historia Plantarum, some more Hippocrates, some Daniel Sennert, probably Epitome naturalis scientiae, the Compleat Chymicall Dispensary of Johann Schröder and—finally—the Libri de piscibus marinis of Guillaume Rondelet, which, along with the more modern work of Francesco Redi, was to have a profound effect on his later approach to natural history.7 Was the more old-fashioned part of Lister's reading programme made possible by the appearance on the local market of a clutch of books hitherto in the library of some Montpellier professor now deceased?8 Whatever the explanation, the result is not in doubt: Lister furnished himself with a classic grounding in botany, materia medica and natural history, of the kind that Francis Willughby had built up through assiduous study in Oxford libraries in 1660.9 In Ray, the oldest of the three, an absorbing passion for anatomy as well as for botany had developed along with his friendship with John Nidd and Walter Needham, in his early days at Trinity College, Cambridge, in the 1650s, culminating in several months of assiduous anatomical study in Padua in the winter of 1662–63.10
In 1658, 1660, 1661 and 1662 Ray, with various student companions (including Willughby), undertook extraordinarily arduous and enterprising journeys by land and sea in England, Wales, the Isle of Man and Scotland, visiting remote sites of compelling interest to natural history. They collected a mass of first-hand information in the form of notes, drawings and specimens of plants, birds and fishes, with places and dates meticulously recorded.11
However, none of these procedures of recognition, identification, classifying and recording would have been conceivable without the deep familiarity that they developed with the learned work of the past, especially with the printed herbals and zoological books of the sixteenth century. It is not surprising, therefore, that the most powerful effect that the Montpellier tradition had on Lister and on Ray came through the medium of a just such a book. Learned, but based above all on the author's first-hand field knowledge of the marine creatures about which he wrote, the Libri de piscibus marinis of the Montpellier professor Guillaume Rondelet had been published in Lyon in 1554/5. It was to prove indispensable to his seventeenth-century successors.
An arts graduate of Paris and a medical graduate of Montpellier, Guillaume Rondelet12 had been introduced early in his life to Aristotelian philosophy and to Galen's eclectic use of Aristotelian procedures. His close friendship with the learned Guillaume Pellicier, Bishop of Montpellier, gave him access to Pellicier's magnificent library and allowed him to accompany the bishop on sea-fishing trips and beachcombing expeditions. This would not have come about if Rondelet had not possessed considerable facility in Greek and Latin letters and an eager readiness to join with Pellicier in comparing the Historia naturalis of Pliny, the writings of Oppian and of Aelian and the anecdotes and word-play of the characters in The Banquet of Sophists of Athenaeus of Naucratis, with fishermen's tales about catches made in the sea-lagoons, and in the deeper waters of the Mediterranean off Languedoc and Provence.
In the gardens of his country house Rondelet constructed aquaria, vivaria and fishponds, fresh and salt, with flowing water supplied by an aqueduct.13 Here he kept, bred, observed and dissected fishes, crustaceans and reptiles, and showed himself to be a quirky and independent-minded designer of experiments.14
Rondelet spent most of his life in his native Montpellier, as an assiduous and celebrated teacher of medical students. He was a professor and Chancellor of the university and was among those who founded its anatomy theatre and its first physic garden. He was a well-known clinical practitioner, and an excellent observer at the bedside. He was also an assiduous collector of naturalia.15 He was committed to the centrality of anatomy and botany in natural philosophy, as well as to their indispensability for learned medicine. He was the first to lecture in Montpellier on Dioscorides, and on Galen's De usu partium.16 His travels in the entourage of the Cardinal François de Tournon provided him with valuable opportunities to meet avant-garde botanists such as Cesare Oddo and Luca Ghini, and to visit their physic gardens. In Rome, loaded down with dried plants, dried fish, handwritten notes and drawings, he met and conversed with many medical men and naturalists, including a fellow ichthyologist, Ippolito Salviani.17
The decision to bring all this material and all this experience into order and to prepare it for publication must have been taken when Rondelet was still in Tournon's employment. In fact Tournon seems to have subsidized the project.18
Rondelet's starting point for his great fish-book was his lifelong collection of field notes, drawings and specimens, rather than simply his erudite reading. His close observation of aquatic creatures facilitated and helped to standardize the field identification of marine and freshwater species. Identification required recognition, memory and discrimination: hands-on experience of objects came first, then depiction for the record, and only then a choice of words to describe, to analyse and to set in context. Rondelet's text is the result of years of examining, handling and dissecting actual animal bodies. His descriptions are full of references to muscularity, flaccidity, smoothness, roughness and scaliness. He occasionally shows interest in the cooking of fish, but only for antiquarian reasons and as an aspect of his treatment of the colour, texture, taste and smell of aquatic flesh. In the dedicatory letter he nods in the direction of materia medica and the utility of his work in that field, but in the body of the text there is no systematic attempt to pursue this theme, and there are few references to the use of fish products in remedies.
Rondelet's work was not, like Pierre Belon's (admittedly impressive) Histoire des estranges poissons maritimes (1551), put forward as an artfully designed and illustrated compilation of travellers' tales. Nor was it, like Salviani's Aquatilium animalium historia (1558), little more than an exhaustive tabular compendium of references to fishes in the works of the Latin and Greek classics (accompanied by handsome copper engravings). Nor was it, like Conrad Gessner's Historiae Animalium (1551) or Ulisse Aldrovandi's De piscibus Libri V et de cetis liber vnus (1613), a gigantic pandect compiled from the work of many scholars, forming part of an encyclopaedic enterprise designed to cover comprehensively all aspects of the natural world. For the first-hand identification of European aquatic species it was, quite simply, the best book in existence.19
How Ray and Lister used Rondelet's book
As a standard work of reference
For Ray when he was editing Willughby, Rondelet's book became the text of first recourse on aquatic creatures in general, as it may have been earlier for Willughby and as it was later to be for Lister on shellfish. The name of Rondelet appears on almost every page of the Historia Piscium, sometimes as many as five or six times. His text is cited on many species of fish and shellfish, especially but not exclusively Mediterranean ones.20
Rondelet's book is organized as a series of brief historiae of aquatic creatures: bony fishes (arranged by shape), cartilaginous fishes (subdivided into sharks and rays), cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises), amphibians, shellfish, lobsters and crabs, squids, jellyfish, sea-urchins, and miscellaneous other creatures, mostly bloodless, and many of them very small. It also has short articles on seals, beavers and turtles, and a handful of entries on creatures of dubious authenticity of which he has seen pictures and heard accounts, but which, he emphasizes, he has never seen. Freshwater fishes are given a section of their own.
More than 100 years later Ray and Lister also presented their ichthyology and their conchology in the form of descriptive historiae of individual species. In doing so they were, of course, not emulating Rondelet in something that was unique to him. Historiae of this kind were standard practice among sixteenth-century zoologists and botanists, and had been used before by Ray in his earlier botanical work. This approach entailed familiarity with the earlier literature, but more importantly it demanded all of the following: precise first-hand observation, accurate description, consistency in nomenclature, and pragmatic classification of aquatic creatures on the basis of the morphology of their external and internal parts. Fishing trips, visits to markets, careful inspection of specimens, and the regular practice of dissection were indispensable to such an approach. Anatomical features were regarded as both cause and effect of the animal's physiology, which in turn was both product and determiner of the respiration, nutrition, locomotion and reproduction appropriate to the habitat in which that genus or species lived. The logical difficulty implicit in it this form/function–function/form circle was, as far as I can see, explicitly resolved neither by Rondelet nor by Ray, perhaps because it was not perceived by them to be a problem, given that a teleological assumption about Creation underlay the work of each of them.
As a stimulus for reflection on biological problems
Many of Rondelet's most thought-provoking ideas and some of his best philosophical passages are to be found, however, not in the individual histories but in books I–IV, a general introductory section 52 chapters long. Here he sets out systematically (in Galenic style) matters anatomical and physiological common to all fishes, their ‘parts’—head, eyes, ears, mouth, jaws, teeth, scales, fins, and so on, and the ‘use’ of these, in nutrition, respiration, movement and generation. In a mode derived ultimately from Aristotle, but lacking that writer's underlying preoccupation with the formulation of logical categories21 he discusses the differentiae between species, which arise, he maintains, from their manner of life, the places where they live, and the kind of food on which they depend.
The resemblance between this part of Rondelet's book and Ray's early chapters is disconcertingly close, although Ray modernizes the discussion by inserting into it passing references to, or extensive quotation from, recent work such as Steno's Liber de Anatome Raiae.22 Ray also refers to Willis on the human brain,23 to the ‘luculentissima experimenta’ of Robert Boyle on the behaviour of air in water,24 and to Walter Needham, Disquisitio anatomica de formato foetu.25 Chapter viii on fish locomotion is entirely based on Giovanni Borelli's De motu animalium. In an interesting passage (which concludes ‘Haec me primum Gassendus docuit’) Ray describes the way in which fishes ‘when hunting prey or fleeing from their enemies, concentrate all their strength so that they can move as quickly as possible, by agitating their tails but drawing in their fins close to their bodies.’26 Chapter ix, on generation, goes right back to Aristotle, but also returns to Needham, to George Ent on the dogfish, and to Francesco Redi (described as ‘curiosissimus naturae indagator’) on the Torpedo. Some of this material may, of course, have been in Willughby's notes, but constructing in these early chapters a taut and sustained exposition using Rondelet as the base text, and bringing it all up to date with material from recent authors, was unmistakably the work of Ray.
In Lister's Historia conchyliorum, citings of Rondelet are still numerous but more terse. He is, however, interested in the anatomy of shellfish for much the same reasons as Rondelet had been. He has, of course, much new material to incorporate.
As a preliminary to the improvement of nomenclature
Nomenclature was an important issue that arose as soon as accurate identification of species was seen as desirable. For Ray such accuracy was the first step towards a reformed natural history in which the naturalist had restored ‘a proper connection between words and things’.27 It is therefore not surprising that he approved of the fact that Rondelet followed his contemporaries, including Paolo Giovio and Pierre Gilles d'Albi28 in regarding the establishment of a canon of ‘correct’ (or at least accepted) nomenclature as an urgent problem. In Rondelet's text each historia mentions some of the names given to that species in antiquity, and in different localities in his own day. Rondelet often cited Athenaeus, Aelian and Oppian because they, like Pliny, were indispensable sources of recondite lore about natural history, including the names given to fishes by earlier writers whose works were lost. This material had to be sifted to establish clear conventions about the naming of creatures. Accurate identification of species was facilitated if decisive choices were made, only a few of the available Greek, Latin and vernacular names being kept in currency. The selection and publishing of these data was intended to establish a consensus and to facilitate dialogue between scholars. Because Ray believed that an erroneous multiplication of so-called species had arisen partly because of the proliferation of names, he decided to omit virtually all reference to Athenaeus, Aelian, Oppian and Pliny. Including an assortment of names, ancient and modern, would serve only to confuse the issue: the aim was to select for each species a single, appropriate, name, which would then gain currency. In fact, Ray could entertain this hope only because of the hard work and discriminating selection of names performed by his sixteenth-century predecessors. Indeed, he adopted Rondelet's selected name for a fish on nearly every occasion.
As an accurate visual record
In Rondelet almost all the historiae are headed by a picture. These pictures were important to Rondelet, not only as valuable pieces of intellectual property29 but also as natural descriptions in their own right, and as vehicles for the translation of his observations into printed information accessible to a reader. Indeed, the pictures sometimes succeed in conveying information more memorably than the text.30
Between the 1550s and the 1670s woodcuts embodied within a page of printed text had almost entirely been superseded in learned folio publications by metal engravings, which required a different kind of press from that used for movable type and which were therefore presented as separate plates. As Laurent Pinon has pointed out, this had intellectual consequences.31 With the older practice, words and pictures formed a seamless narrative. With the new one the plates were usually presented all together at the end of the book, some distance from the words they were meant to illustrate. Even if they were, at some cost of time and labour, sold interleaved one by one among pages of text, the reader's experience would not have been the same as it had been in the days of integral woodcut illustrations.
Nevertheless, pictures were still important to most naturalists. Lister was in no doubt about the indispensability of accurate depiction. In working on the Historia Piscium he had difficulty in assembling illustrations that were sufficiently precise and accurate, but at the same time striking and elegant enough to tempt individual gentlemen into putting their names to meeting the cost of individual plates. Commissioning brand-new drawings and having these turned into engravings would have been prohibitively expensive. Lister and Ray had to fall back on sixteenth-century illustrations as sources for many of the images to be engraved for the new copper plates. Salviani's handsome, decorative and rather stylized pictures were chosen more often than Rondelet's decisive woodcuts of strongly individualized fishes, but where Salviani failed to produce an acceptable image Rondelet's were used, several to a plate, to show differentiation between closely similar species.32
Ray's attitude towards the indispensability of images was more cautious, even equivocal. He took illustrations seriously, conceding not only that they might provide an easy and pleasant way for the reader to ‘picture’ an object, where a verbal description might be more difficult to understand, but also that if they were true to life they could actually help us identify which features of a creature were the ‘characteristic marks’ that were an indication of its ‘nature’. He also well understood that handsome pictures were necessary if the Historia Piscium were to sell. Many of his own botanical publications were devoid of pictures, partly because his preference was for the greatest possible precision in the verbal descriptions of plants, but partly also because plates were so expensive.
Sachiko Kusukawa has usefully pointed out that Ray was a stickler for an exact match between picture and textual description and a sharp critic of inconsistency in such things, precisely because of his ‘concern to establish [the] characteristic marks of an entire species, not the accidental appearance of an odd individual.’33
On one occasion Ray criticizes Rondelet for peddling as authentic a dodgy drawing of species he has not seen. Rondelet has a short chapter on a fish found in the Indies, which is reputed to have a beak like a saw. He decides that it is probably the same as the Pristis of antiquity and shows a picture of it. Quite arbitrarily he makes it look like a porpoise, Physeter, and therefore consigns it to the cetaceans. Ray is merciless: the picture, he says, is fanciful, and drawn ‘ex conjectura’: ‘Ego, ut verum fatear, huic descriptioni Rondeletii non multum fido.’34
In 1669, when Ray and Willughby were visiting Wilkins, then Bishop of Chester, Ray dissected a porpoise washed up on a nearby beach. His careful, detailed record of this was published in Philosophical Transactions in 1671, the justification being that Ray had ‘Observ'd Some Things Omitted by Rondeletius in his Description of the Dolphin.’35 The account is impressive: it is almost as though he were attempting to set out a standard way of making such a report. The measurements given are more precise than any given by Rondelet anywhere. But many passages (duly acknowledged as such) are Rondelet almost verbatim. Ray differed from Rondelet hardly at all, and had little to add. The only point of disagreement is that the Chester porpoise had a tongue that was ‘tyed firmly down to the bottom of the mouth all along the middle, as Aristotle truly saith’, whereas Rondelet affirms ‘contrary to truth as I believe quod Dolphinus lingua est mobilis.’ Ray then weakens his own case by saying ‘unless perchance in this particular the Dolphin differs from the Porpess’ and by admitting that he, unlike Rondelet, had never dissected a dolphin. He also reports that he had failed to find in the dissected porpoise any ‘meatus auditorius’ like the one found by Rondelet in a dolphin, but that he had found in the porpoise brain ‘a bone answering to the Os petrosum, which certainly was for the use of hearing.’36
As a model to be improved upon for definition, classification and systematic method
Rondelet's pragmatic readiness to use the colloquial term ‘fishes’ for all kinds of aquatilia, blooded and bloodless, oviparous and viviparous, cetacean, cartilaginous, bony, with and without shells, was found by Ray to be irritating and unhelpful, despite the fact that Rondelet clearly did not regard it as a definition, could obviously tell the difference between genera, and had entitled the second, and more miscellaneous, section of his work not ‘Libri de piscibus’ but ‘Universae aquatilium historiae’.
At the very outset of the Historia Piscium Ray provides his own definition of ‘fish’ as excluding bloodless creatures such as molluscs, crustacea and shellfish, but including cetaceans (‘belluae marinae’) despite the fact that they breathe with lungs, give birth to a live foetus and have an internal structure like that of quadrupeds. Like Rondelet, therefore, he includes non-fishes such as dolphins, porpoises and whales because they cannot live long outside water, have a fish-like shape and a smooth hairless skin, lack feet, and swim with fins or flippers. Unlike Rondelet, he excludes the seal, the crocodile and the hippopotamus.
Even in the sixteenth century, classification raised important philosophical issues. As Ian Maclean has shown,37 the differentiae for genera and for species preferred by Aristotle in his books on animals could produce difficulties and anomalies for which sixteenth-century philosophers delighted in finding logical solutions. Rondelet seems not to have played this game. As far as aquatic creatures were concerned, he was content to adopt, more or less, the largely self-evident groupings found in Aristotle and in Galen, where a rough-and-ready kind of morphology prevailed, and where form was explained in terms of function. He used (as Ray was later to do) a cluster of criteria, such as whether or not they were blooded or bloodless, oviparous or viviparous, possessed of lungs or gills, bony or cartilaginous, with many fins or few, although he did not systematically subdivide each category so that each species could be fitted into a table, as Ray was later to do. Tables of this kind were perfectly familiar to Rondelet, as a didactic or mnemonic device in medicine, and in other branches of pedagogy, but he was not interested in using them for the classification of fishes. His approach was rather to point out that anatomical differences are guides to the way in which diet and environment help to determine the place of a given species in the natural order. His separation of freshwater fishes from sea fishes, however, is not a muddled excursus into classification by habitat, but merely a relic of some quite pragmatic ordering of his field notes. Taxonomy, in short, was not an overriding concern for Rondelet. He was much more interested in the way in which anatomy and physiology were interdependent, and by the unresolved puzzles with which the observer of living things is often faced.
In the seventeenth century it was hardly possible to avoid discussion of the principles on which taxonomies should be formed. For some natural philosophers and theologians this endeavour was only a minor part of a much more ambitious undertaking, namely to uncover the existence (concealed from sinful man since the Fall and the proliferation of tongues at Babel), of order in nature. For some but not all of them, this religious quest demanded the working out of a universal language that would be applicable to ‘all things and all notions’ (that is, to all physical phenomena and to all known ideas) and that would be so transparently appropriate to the things and notions described that the old faulty labels for things would be regarded as obsolete and would gradually melt away.
Among the diverse promoters in England of schemes for a universal language, perhaps the most blithely optimistic was John Wilkins, a prominent latitudinarian divine and a leading member of the coterie that had secured from King Charles II a charter and the right to style itself the Royal Society of London. As Rhodri Lewis has explained, the universal language project of Wilkins was not only epistemologically ambitious, it was profoundly religious in its purpose.38
Because both Ray and Willughby were known to be keen to establish method and order in natural history, it is not surprising that they were approached by Wilkins in 1668. He asked them to send him an account of the categories they used in marshalling their voluminous notes on plants, birds and fishes. Willughby obediently complied. Ray also initially agreed to cooperate and supplied some material that Wilkins promptly published in skimpy tabular form in his Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language (1668). Ray was appalled. At the outset he had been willing to cooperate because he had already been thinking hard about ways of identifying the ‘characteristic marks’ by which the true natures of creatures would be revealed and their place made clear in the natural order in which his faith in God's Providence led him to believe. For Ray this was more than an intellectual exercise. It was an imperative religious duty.
It was no wonder that he was horrified when he learned that Wilkins expected him to fit his ideas into a pattern already laid down, and which was moreover based on philosophical (and therefore religious) assumptions that he could not accept. All his painstaking inductive instincts were outraged. He decided to distance himself from the scheme set out in Wilkins's Essay. As early as May 1669, in a letter to Lister, Ray complained:
I was constrained, in arranging the Tables, not to follow the lead of nature, but to accommodate the plants to the author's prescribed system. This demanded that I should divide herbs into three squadrons as nearly equal as possible: then that I should split up each squadron into nine ‘differences’ as he called them, that is subordinate kinds, in such a way that the plants ordered under each ‘difference’ should not exceed a fixed number; finally that I should join pairs of plants together or arrange them in couples. What possible hope was there that a method of that sort would be satisfactory, and not manifestly imperfect and ridiculous? I frankly and openly admit that it was; for I care for truth more than for my own reputation.39
In another letter to Lister, in April 1670, Ray again expressed his scepticism about the practicability of using a universal language approach in constructing a taxonomy that was true to nature.40
As a warning against reliance upon hearsay
Ray's final classification of aquatic creatures (in the Synopsis methodica avium et piscium) looks quite similar to Rondelet's. This is not surprising, given Ray's lifelong practice (which Lister emulated) of building up his knowledge of plants and animals from his own meticulous observations and from his reading of the scholarly literature. Where the latter was concerned he was very discriminating, making it his scrupulous practice to rely upon evidence provided by others only when he had good reason to suppose that it was first-hand and not based on legend or hearsay.41
In Historia Piscium Ray expresses doubt42 about the reliability of Rondelet's report of a beached whale, whose mouth and intestines were said to contain nothing but mucus and spume. Ray, who seems to believe (mistakenly, as it happens) that all whales are carnivorous, is unwilling to credit this report. He prefers his own hearsay evidence derived from beachcombers who claim that the bellies of stranded whales are usually full of hundreds of small fishes.
Ray (and Lister also) had different, and apparently more exacting, standards of evidence than Rondelet, who included a ‘leonine monster’ and an anthropomorphic-looking ‘bishop-fish’ and ‘monk-fish’ in a category of declaredly dubious entries at the very end of his histories. It would be wrong, however, to see these as an indication of Rondelet's credulity. On careful reading, they can be seen to make play with the very criteria of credulity in second-hand accounts. Rondelet makes it clear that he himself has never seen anything like these creatures. They are included on the basis of no evidence other than ‘reliable’ hearsay and a picture. It is tempting to see the inclusion of the monk-fish and the bishop-fish histories (and the bishop-fish illustration with its rogueish smile) as tongue-in-cheek, or at the very least as reports that deliberately skirt the edge of reliable testimony. Of the leonine creature he says, ‘I have often doubted that it was a marine monster just like this that was taken at sea not long before the death of Pope Paul III, but as I was assured that this was the case, I have had a portrait made (from the painted picture that circulated).’ He continues, ‘The description I was given came from men of learning, worthy of trust, but I think that the painter added features of his own invention, which are not found in nature.’ It reminds him, he says, of the fanciful whales and other sea-creatures that one finds painted in the southern corners of maps and in Munster's Cosmography. The rest of the chapter reads like a deliberate parody of his ordinary descriptions. The creature is solemnly described as having ‘big ears of the kind marine animals lack, and scales on its legs like a tortoise, something never found in bony animals that breathe with lungs.’
The account of the ‘marine monster dressed like a monk’ is equally deadpan in its unusually circumstantial account of the creature being washed up by a storm on an outlandishly named beach in Norway, horrifying the onlookers with its rough and repellent humanoid face, bald pate and long fins like a monk's habit. A gentleman who claimed to have seen the creature presented one portrait of it to the Emperor Charles V, and another to Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre, who gave it to Rondelet. In Rome, Rondelet says, he saw another picture of the same creature, the same in every detail. Maybe it was a merman, or Triton, of the kind mentioned by Pliny, he speculates. Are we to take this as a serious statement, or as a joke? It is hard to be sure.
The ‘marine monster dressed like a bishop’ is said to have been fished up in Poland in 1531, pictured, and presented to the Polish King. Whatever was going on here, joking or not, Ray wanted no truck with it. He simply omitted all these funny creatures as incredible.
As a source of observations and experiments
In Historia Piscium Ray cites with approval Rondelet's recollection of walking at dusk by the river Allier in Auvergne, observing that the cries of turtles on the bank made the shad rise, and concluding that this behaviour showed that the fishes, lacking ears, must possess some other anatomical structures that allowed them to hear sounds from outside their watery bed.43 Ray clearly regarded Rondelet as an active and enquiring naturalist who deduced from anatomy new (and sometimes highly conjectural) conclusions about physiological processes. This approach had, in the course of the seventeenth century, become respectable among the most advanced anatomists such as Steno, Redi, Marcello Malpighi, Willis, Ent and Needham, all of whom were read and used by Ray and Lister.
It was indeed the case that Rondelet's observations sometimes led him into innovative (if inconclusive) speculation about biological issues on which there was no consensus, usually because neither Aristotle nor Galen provided an answer, and because not even the more adventurous of Rondelet's contemporaries, such as Girolamo Cardano or Joseph Justus Scaliger, had asked those particular questions, at least in print. A case in point concerns a talking bird: Rondelet (on his death-bed) wondered how it was that the presence of a voice-box in quadrupeds did not necessarily endow them with the power of speech, or even the capacity to imitate human discourse parrot-fashion, whereas this latter gift was given to some birds despite their apparently unsuitable anatomy.44
Rondelet also conducted experiments, for example about the relationship between air and water, and the process of respiration in fishes and in amphibians. In The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of the Creation Ray tells us:
fishes and other water animals cannot abide without the use of it [air]; for if you put fish into a vessel of a narrow mouth full of water they will live and swim there, not only days and months, but even years. But if with your hand or any other cover you stop the vessel so as wholly to exclude the air or interrupt its communication with the water, they will suddenly be suffocated; as Rondeletius affirmed he often experimented.'45
Ray uses this anecdote to demonstrate, reasonably enough, that air is indispensable to living creatures, even those that dwell in water. Less convincingly he goes on to state that this allows us to regard air as just the kind of spiritual substance whose existence is denied by the Peripatetics.46 In the same work Ray also compares the fine membranes that form the gills of fish to the fine blood vessels in the placenta of a foetal calf, using this analogy to state (extravagantly) that ‘the foetus in the womb doth live, as it were, the life of a fish.’ Boldly (with no logical warrant) he then proclaims ‘And here methinks appears a necessity of bringing in the agency of some superintendent intelligent being, be it a plastic nature, or what you will.’47 One wonders how many of his readers were convinced. One wonders also what Rondelet would have made of this excursion into comparative anatomy, let alone the way in which his experiment and his work on fish respiration were being used to bolster an argument in natural theology.48
Conclusion: some differences between Rondelet's world and that of Ray and Lister
For Rondelet the relationship between medicine and natural history was still very close. I do not mean by this to imply that his concern with plants and animals was a crudely instrumental one, that all he was looking for was additions and improvements to materia medica.49 Such improvements were a matter of central interest to him; in fact I suggest, rather, that his medical education had given him an open and enquiring attitude towards living things in general, a readiness to place them all on a single spectrum and to see interesting similarities between them. There was not much difference between his action in bringing the fresh warm afterbirth of one of his twin sons into the lecture theatre (behaviour that shocked the audience)50 and his cutting open a stranded shark to reveal and investigate the foetus within.51
It is perhaps a measure of the way in which the world of medicine had changed that neither Ray nor Lister remarked on Rondelet's profound intellectual debt to Galen, nor on the fact that his understanding of Aristotle seems largely to have been one in which Galen was the intermediary. In the sixteenth century, debate about Aristotle's categories still dominated logical discourse in natural philosophy, and Galen's work was still central to learned medicine. Pliny was widely read and respected. Points of difference between Aristotle and Plato were known and discussed. Hippocrates was regarded as indispensable in practical medicine, as was Dioscorides in materia medica. The atomism of Epicurus was known about in general terms, and was already feared as materialistic and atheistical, but its content and its implications were not yet scrutinized as searchingly nor discussed as widely as they were to be in the early decades of the seventeenth century. Anxiety about the incompatibility of Aristotle's physics and the Biblical version of Creation, still a live issue for Ray, was also voiced in Rondelet's day, and indeed had been a contentious matter ever since the introduction of Aristotelian teaching into the theology and philosophy of the Christian West. In Rondelet's youth it had still been possible (as it was to be once more in England after 1660) for debate to take place freely about whether or not the epistemology appropriate to matters of religious belief was identical with, or distinct and separate from, the epistemology appropriate to intellectual enquiry. During his later years, and for a century thereafter, such discussion (though it did not cease) was made dangerous by sectarian divisions, and by civil and international wars.
Developments in natural philosophy—Pyrrhonist, Paracelsian, Helmontian, Galilean, Baconian, Cartesian, Gassendist—had transformed the terms on which questions were posed about the natural world and had made it almost unavoidable for serious thinkers to define and to state their philosophical and religious position, something that Rondelet had been careful not to do except in the most bland and general terms.
Acceptance of Harvey's theory of the circulation of the blood had transformed both anatomy and physiology, as had the vogue for chemistry. Ray and Lister understood this well. Both were fascinated by investigations into bodily processes that posited the action of fermentation or that debated other changes involving heat, and the presence or absence of air. Ray paid tribute to these by inserting long extracts from such experimental work into his own pages. In Lister's case the concern with physiology ran deeper, revealed in the sustained work of an experimental kind that he carried out for himself.52
The microscope had not been available to Rondelet. He would certainly have relished the possibilities it opened up. When microscopy was used by such medically trained anatomists as Redi and Malpighi, the questions they raised had implications not only for an extension of precise description but also for new developments in the study of physiological processes in living things. This is what made their writings of direct interest and intellectual usefulness to Lister, although to a smaller extent to Ray. At home with the use of the microscope himself, and fascinated by the lives of very small creatures, Lister was fortunate in having daughters with the talent and the motivation to use magnifying glasses and microscopes in preparing the illustrations for his Historiae Conchyliorum.
One rather surprising difference was the ease with which Rondelet secured the publication in Lyon in 1554 of a large folio with hundreds of illustrations, compared with the difficulties experienced by Ray and his collaborators in London in 1686. This was partly the result of problems specific to the Historia Piscium project, but it may also reflect some longer-term changes in the European market for learned books in Latin.53
Despite such changes, many aspects of natural history remained much the same. There was still felt to be a need for constant improvement and adjustment in the description of plants and animals, and for the allocation of newly discovered specimens to an appropriate genus and species. For a surprisingly long time, the nomenclature and the taxonomic categories that had been worked out before 1630 proved useful to those natural historians like Ray, who were capable of selecting among them with fastidious discrimination, and modifying them in the light of their own observations. Ray's botanical works used Clusius and Jean Bauhin (and to a smaller extent L'Obel) in a mode strikingly similar to the way in which he used Rondelet in ichthyology; it is perhaps no coincidence that all three of these botanists had been Rondelet's pupils and that their mode of describing appealed strongly to Ray.54
There is no doubt that Rondelet's work had been useful to his seventeenth-century successors. They certainly did not regard it as obsolete. Brian Ogilvie55 has drawn attention to the fact that Ray, in an appendix to the Historia Piscium, announced that he himself intended to go on working in the field, even though he did not think that he would add many new marine species because Rondelet, Gessner and others had been so thorough in this respect.56 His own role, he judged, would be to improve the accuracy of the descriptions and to organize the material more methodically.57 Between 1688 and 1696 he completed and published a whole succession of editions of his Synopsis methodica stirpium Britannicarum, the culmination of his life's work in botany, an immensely detailed classification of many thousands of plant species. Between 1693 and his death in 1705 he also completed and published his Synopsis methodica animalium quadrupedem et serpentini generis and completed his Synopsis methodica avium et piscium, which was published after his death. Neither of these was as full as his magisterial work on botany, but both were fully consonant with his religious belief that the Creator had furnished all creatures with characteristic marks that, once recognized, allowed mankind to discern their true natures, and so to regain some of that insight into, and kinship with, the rest of nature, lost at the Fall. In these, as in his earlier works, Ray (and Lister in a wider and more adventurous range of writings) followed the same faithful adherence to first-hand observation, precise description, consistent nomenclature, anatomical investigation and respect for the diversity of species that they had learned from their reading of the sixteenth-century masters, including Rondelet.
I am grateful to the referees of this paper for their constructive criticisms and for directing my attention to some relevant recent publications.
↵1 Lister studies have recently been transformed by Anna-Marie Roos, whose Web of nature: Martin Lister (1639–1712), the first arachnologist (Brill, Leiden, 2011) is a wide-ranging historical evaluation of his life and work.
↵2 Sachiko Kusukawa, ‘The Historia Piscium (1686)’, Notes Rec. R. Soc. Lond. 54, 179–197 (2000).
↵3 Charles Raven, John Ray: naturalist: his life and works (Cambridge University Press, 1942), pp. 43–131.
↵4 Bodleian MS Lister 5, fos 224v –226v; Roos, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 67–68.
↵5 Robert G. Frank Jr, Harvey and the Oxford physiologists: a study of scientific ideas (University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1980), pp. 57–62 and passim.
↵6 Louis Dulieu, La médecine à Montpellier, vol. 3(i) (Les Presses Universelles, Avignon, 1981), pp. 106–107, speaks of a pattern of ‘enseignement parallèle’.
↵7 Bodleian MS Lister 19, fos 44–49; Roos, op. cit. (note 1), pp. 60–62.
↵8 There were several such deaths in 1664–65. Dulieu, op. cit. (note 6), vol. 3(ii), pp. 727–804.
↵9 Raven, op. cit. (note 3), pp. 115–116.
↵10 Ibid., pp. 46–50 and 133.
↵11 Ibid., pp. 111–131.
↵12 There has been no full study of Rondelet's life and work relating his religious views, his philosophical standpoint, his medicine and his natural history to one another, and to their historical context. I am engaged upon such a study. Rondelet's ichthyological work has been discussed by several scholars including E. W. Gudger, ‘The five great naturalists of the sixteenth century: Belon, Rondelet, Salviani, Gesner and Aldrovandi: a chapter in the history of ichthyology’, Isis 22, 21–40 (1934), Paul Delaunay, La zoologie au XVIe siècle (Hermann, Paris, 1962; new edition, 1997), Laurent Pinon, Livres de zoologie de la Renaissance, une anthologie (Klincksieck, Paris, 1995) and Gillian Lewis, ‘Clusius in Montpellier, 1551–1554: a humanist education completed?’, in Carolus Clusius. Towards a cultural history of a Renaissance naturalist (ed. Florike Egmond, Paul Hoftijzer and Robet Visser), pp. 65–98 (Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen, Amsterdam, 2007). The most recent evaluation by present-day scientists is that of François Meunier and Jean-Loup D'Hondt in their introduction to the facsimile edition (Éditions du CTHS (CTHS-Sciences:2), Paris, 2002) of the French version of Rondelet's book, L'Histoire Entière des Poissons.
↵13 Gulielmi Rondeletii Vita, mors, et epitaphiae, in Laurent Joubert, Operum Latinorum, tomus primus (Lyon, 1579), Lib. IX, pp. 185–192.
↵14 Ray uses one of these experiments in his discussion of air in The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of the Creation (facsimile edition, The Ray Society, London, 2006), pp. 65–66.
↵15 In 1599 Thomas Platter visited Laurent Joubert's collection of curiosities (which had originally been Rondelet's) and saw there whale ribs, sea-turtles, a ‘sea-calf’ (seal), a crocodile, various fishes including a great ray, shells, ‘monsters’ (deformed freaks), gemstones and meteorites. In 1613 this collection was bought for the university by Richer de Belleval, first keeper of the botanic garden. Jean-Étienne Strobelberger, who visited it in 1615, described it as ‘Une important collection de poissons variés recueillis et désséchés par G. Rondelet du temps où il écrivait son histoire des poissons’: Dulieu, op. cit. (note 6), vol. 3(i), p. 401. Rondelet, in the preface to his book, thanked the Lyonnais antiquarian Guillaume Du Choul for giving him access to the shells in his collection. The almost exact parallel with Lister's use of the shells in Courten's collection, 140 years later, is a striking indication of how important such collections have been in the history of natural history.
↵16 Archives de la Faculté de Médecine de Montpellier, S 5 Liber Lectionum, fos 31v and 35r.
↵17 Joubert, op. cit. (note 13).
↵18 Gulielmus Rondeletius, Libri de piscibus marinis (Lugd. 1554), dedicatory letter.
↵19 Nor is it entirely obsolete among specialists in the twenty-first century; Meunier and D'Hondt, op. cit. (note 12), p. 24, note 10: ‘L'ouvrage de Guillaume Rondelet est toujours assez régulièrement consulté, à la bibliothèque du laboratoire d'ichthyologie générale et appliquée du Muséum [d'Histoire Naturelle].’
↵20 His work is almost always invoked directly from the Libri de piscibus marinis rather than indirectly through Gessner's Historiae animalium (1551), which embodied, with the author's permission, more or less all of Rondelet's text and pictures, cut up and rearranged alphabetically.
↵21 D. M. Balme, ‘Aristotle's use of differentiae in zoology’, in Articles on Aristotle, vol. 1 (Science) (ed. Jonathan Barnes and Richard Sorabji), pp. 183–193 (London, Duckworth, 1975).
↵22 Francis Willughby, Historia Piscium (1686), Lib. I, cap. ii, pp. 4–5.
↵23 Ibid., Lib. I, cap. iii, pp. 5–6.
↵24 Ibid., Lib. I, cap. iii, p. 8.
↵25 Ibid., Lib. I, cap. v, p. 13.
↵26 Ibid., Lib. I, cap. ii, pp. 4–5.
↵27 Kusukawa, op. cit. (note 2), p. 184.
↵28 Pierre Gilles, De nominibus gallicis et latinis piscium massiliensium (Lyon, 1533); Paolo Giovio, De romanis piscibus (Rome, 1554).
↵29 The Privilège in the Libri de piscibus marinis emphasized how much work and expense had gone into the pictures and forbade their reproduction by others without the author's permission.
↵30 As Gessner understood. Nomenclator aquatilium animantium, Icones animalium aquatilium (Zurich, 1560) was a complete compendium of the pictures from Belon, Salviani and Rondelet on ‘fishes’ with a drastically shortened version of their texts. Pinon, op. cit. (note 12), pp. 98–99.
↵31 Pinon, op. cit. (note 12), p. 30.
↵32 For example, Tabulae B.8, 9, C.1.i, 1.iv, D.2, 3, 4, 5, F.7, i–viii, G.7, i–viii, H.6, I.4, J.25, M.1, N.1 and 10, O.1, i, R.4, S.1, 7 and 15, V.1 and 3, X.5 and 14 are all copied from Rondelet. They depict many bony fishes but also sharks, rays and the sea-horse. For a full discussion of the origins of the illustrations in the Historia Piscium, see Kusukawa, op. cit. (note 2), pp. 182–186.
↵33 Kusukawa, op. cit. (note 2), p. 183.
↵34 Historia Piscium, Lib. I, cap. 7, p. 42.
↵35 ‘An Account of the Dissection of a Porpess … by the Learned Mr. John Ray, Having therein Observ'd Some Things Omitted by Rondeletius’, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 6, 2274–2279 (1671).
↵36 Ibid., p. 2278.
↵37 Ian Maclean, ‘White crows, graying hair, and eyelashes: problems for natural historians in the reception of Aristotelian logic and biology from Pomponazzi to Bacon’, in Historia: empiricism and erudition in early modern Europe (ed. Gianna Pomata and Nancy G. Siraisi), pp. 147–179 (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2005).
↵38 Rhodri Lewis, Logic, mind and nature. artificial languages in England from Bacon to Locke (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 183–184.
↵39 English translation cited here from Raven, op. cit. (note 3), p. 182; Latin original in Lankester, Correspondence of John Ray (Ray Society, London, 1848), pp. 41–42.
↵40 Letter of Ray to Lister, 28 April 1670; see Dr [William] Derham, Philosophical Letters of John Ray (London, 1718), pp. 62–63, or Lankester, op. cit. (note 39), pp. 55–56.
↵41 Brian W. Ogilvie, The science of describing. Natural history in Renaissance Europe (Chicago University Press, 2006), p. 264, says of Ray: ‘In all cases, he refused to include anything that “eyewitness and trustworthy” writers had not corroborated. He broke the chain of citation and commentary that had characterized Gessner's and Aldrovandi's natural histories of animals.’
↵42 Historia Piscium, Lib. II, cap. v, p. 38.
↵43 Historia Piscium, Lib. I, cap. iii, pp. 6–7. Whether or not the shad were rising to snap at flies rather than to respond to the singing of turtles is beside the point; Ray did not choose to raise this doubt.
↵44 Claude Formy, Gulielmi Rondeletii fvnestvs morbvs et mors, in Joubert, op. cit. (note 13), p. 194.
↵45 John Ray, op. cit. (note 14), pp. 65–66.
↵46 Ibid., pp. 76–78.
↵47 Ibid., pp. 70–71.
↵48 This was not the first time that Rondelet's work had been used for religious purposes in a way that he might not have liked, and that perhaps rested on a misunderstanding of the relationship between his religious and his philosophical beliefs. Raphaële Garrod, in ‘On fish: natural history as spiritual materia medica: Calvinist pastoralism in Pierre Viret's Instruction Chrestienne (1564)’, Perspect. Sci. 20, 227–245 (2012), raises many relevant issues. She thinks (as do I) that the reformer Pierre Viret may have ascribed to Rondelet religious opinions that he did not in fact hold. The question of Rondelet's beliefs is touched upon by Ian Maclean in Logic, signs and nature in the Renaissance (Cambridge University Press, 2002), pp. 89–90. Brian Ogilvie, in ‘Natural history, ethics and physico-theology’, in Pomata and Siraisi (eds), op. cit. (note 37), pp. 75–104, reveals important differences among advocates of ‘natural theology’.
↵49 Beyond the fish-book, which has surprisingly little reference to the question, improvements in materia medica were certainly of great interest to Rondelet,. They informed his professional dealings with apothecaries in Montpellier and they were an important concern in much of his botanical work. The general issue of the relationship between materia medica and natural history is fruitfully explored by Alix Cooper in Inventing the indigenous: local knowledge and natural history in early modern Europe (Cambridge University Press, 2007).
↵50 Joubert, op. cit. (note 13), p. 187.
↵51 Guillaume Rondelet, Libri de piscibus marinis, Lib. XIII, cap. III, p. 515.
↵52 Roos, op. cit. (note 1), passim.
↵53 Ian Maclean, Scholarship, commerce, religion. The learned book in the age of confessions, 1560–1630 (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 2012), pp. 211–234.
↵54 Karen Maier Reeds, Botany in medieval and Renaissance universities (Garland Publishing, New York, 1991), pp. 55–90.
↵55 Brian W. Ogilvie, op. cit. (note 41), p. 264.
↵56 Unlike Clusius a century earlier, and Hans Sloane in his own day, Ray may have underestimated the volume and the diversity of new information about non-European species that naturalists would have to deal with in future years.
↵57 John Ray, ‘Appendix ad Historiam naturalem Piscium’ (separately paginated), in Historia Piscium, pp. 29–30.
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