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Natural History from Greeks to Medieval Europe Minoan fresco on Crete 1500 BC.

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Presentation on theme: "Natural History from Greeks to Medieval Europe Minoan fresco on Crete 1500 BC."— Presentation transcript:

1 Natural History from Greeks to Medieval Europe Minoan fresco on Crete 1500 BC

2 For next Tuesday Watch 49 minute video linked on Wiki space Homework assignment will be sent by tomorrow on email

3 Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC) -was a student of Plato (Greek philosopher) taught Alexander the Great.

4 Geocentric Universe Aristotle ( Greek, 384-322 BC )

5 Aristotle on the Soul?


7 When the crocodile yawns, the trochilus flies into his mouth and cleans his teeth. The trochilus gets his food thereby, and the crocodile gets ease and comfort; it makes no attempt to injure its little friend, but, when it wants it to go, it shakes its neck in warning, lest it should accidentally bite the bird.

8 Matt The woodpecker …pecks at the bark of trees to drive out from under it maggots and gnats; when they emerge, it licks them up with its tongue, which is large and flat. It can run up and down a tree in any way, even with the head downwards, like the gecko-lizard. For secure hold upon a tree, its claws are better adapted than those of the daw; it makes its way by sticking these claws into the bark.

9 Other contributions to zoology

10 Greek, Roman and Medieval Depictions of Nature

11 Aquatic Animals Fish and Dolphins Minoan fresco on Crete 1500 BC

12 Before 79 AD Pompeii


14 Rome 3 rd to 4 th C from Flavian Amphitheater 16 th C Roman Fountain

15 1200 Canterbury Psalter

16 13 th C Basilica San Marco, Venice

17 Medieval Books of Nature Herbals Bestiaries

18 Dioscorides (Greek circa 40— 90 AD) wrote herbal used for centuries This copy from 625

19 Plants, both wild and cultivated, played important roles in medicine and magic

20 Herbals in Arabic, Greek and Latin were created for hundreds of years

21 14 th Century Italian Herbal Plant used for sutures and to stop bleeding Illustrated Herbals used to identify plants and their uses

22 Leonhart Fuchs published a famous “herbal” in 1542

23 Herbarum Vivae Eicones of Brunfels 1530

24 Harley Bestiary at British Library c. 1230. The one who is on duty holds a stone up with one claw; if the watcher falls asleep the stone will fall and wake him. Medieval Bestiaries

25 Aberdeen Bestiary English c. 1200

26 Pre-Renaissance Images Bestiaries Pliny the ElderPliny the Elder (Natural History, Book 10, 86): “The salamander is a shaped like a lizard, but is covered with spots.lizard A salamander is so cold that it puts out fire on contact. It vomits from its mouth a milky liquid; if this liquid touches any part of the human body it causes all the hair to fall off, and the skin to change color and break out in a rash. Salamanders only appear when it rains and disappear in fine weather.”

27 Harley Bestiary 1230-1240

28 The whale remains floating at the surface for long periods and sailors, thinking the whale to be an island, land there and build a fire to cook their food. After a time the heat penetrates the whale's thick skin, and it dives to cool itself. The ship is dragged down with it and the sailors drown. When the whale is hungry it opens its mouth and emits a sweet odor, which attracts small fish. The fish swim into the whale's mouth, which closes on them. Allegory/Moral The whale who deceives sailors and drags them down to their deaths signifies the devil, who deceives those he drags down to hell. Those of weak faith who give in to the sweet odor of worldly desires will be swallowed up by the devil.

29 Renaissance Natural History- more later

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