PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sea Bishop from Guillaume Rondelet's Libri de Piscibus Marinis (Book of Marine Fishes), publishedin 1554. Later hand colouring. Rondelet included the sea Bishop as different from the Sea Monk (see picture in this collection). The sea Bishop Rondelet asserts was found in Poland in 1531. Brought to the king, it made signs that it wanted to return to the sea - and taken to the shore it threw itself into the water. Rondelet includes it in the spirit of good early Renaissance science - to document it but not confirm its existence. He writes "I am knowingly omitting many things told me about this monster which I beleive to be false. This is the vanity of men, that they embellish a thing which is itself amazing and go beyond the truth. I can neither confirm or deny".
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