1491 Sea Hares from Hortus Sanitatis

1491 Sea Hares from Hortus Sanitatis

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: 1491 Woodblock illustration of Sea Hares from Ortus (Hortus) sanitatis - translated from the latin as "Garden of Health". During the middle ages all manner of land animals were thought to have their own scaled and finned equivalents in the seas. There were even sea monks and bishops! The Hortus was the first printed natural history encyclopaedia and was published by Jacob Meydenbach in Mainz, Germany in 1491. He describes plants and animals (both real and mythical) together with minerals and various trades, with their medicinal value and method of preparation.

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Keywords: 15th century, animal, caxton, colour, encyclopedia, herbal, hortus, illustration, incunabla, marine, meydenbach, middle ages, monster, mythical, ortus, print, printed, sanitas, sanitatis, sea, woodcut

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