Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522 -1605) was an Italian naturalist that Lineu, among others, considered the “father” of Natural History, due to the great impulse he gave to this field.
Graduated in Medicine and Philosophy, he later became professor of Logic and was also the first professor of Natural Sciences in Bologna (Lectura philosophiae naturalis ordinaria de fossilibus, plantis et animalibus).
From the second half of 16th century, he organised several trips in Italy to gather, collect and catalogue plant specimens, creating one of the most remarkable “cabinets of curiosities” of that time – these were rooms where various objects and artifacts were gathered, as well as plant or animal specimens, collected on scientific voyages and often preserved because of their exotic character, rarity, or simply because they were not yet classified. In a way, they were the predecessors of modern museums, although the methods of collection, treatment and classification employed are not currently considered truly scientific.
Aldrovandi’s Natural History brings together, over several volumes, an extensive series of observations of what was collected, some of which are of scientific nature, while others reveal a more fanciful character, which should not be surprising. Another reason for great interest: the illustrations by various artists, such as Jacopo or Francesco Ligozzi, of remarkable quality.
It was not easy for Aldrovandi to publish his work, for most of the volumes were published posthumously.
ALDROVANDI, Ulisse, 1522-1605
Ulyssis Aldrovandi... historiam naturalem in Gymnasio Bononiensi prositensis Ornithologiae hoc est de avibus historiae libri XII : cum indice septendecim linguarum copiosissimo. - Bononiae : sumptibus M. Antonij Berniae : apud Nicolaum Tebaldinum, 1637-1646. –
3 vol. : il. ; 36 cm. - Text illustrated
Library classification-CDI da FMUL: RES. 1644 A
Library and Information Area