The first German natural science book, Das Buch der Natur, was produced by Konrad von Megenberg in around 1350. It wasn't completely original, having relied to some extent upon a 13th century latin manuscript Liber de Natura Rerum by Thomas of Cantimpré.
von Megenberg's 400+ page work was divided into sections describing the known natural world, including mankind, botany, animals and plants, sea creatures, metals and gemstones, water and astrology/astronomy (although I didn't notice anything particular relating to this last section in the present manuscript - but then again, the above rainbows around the town/earth might qualify). Oh...also monsters. All of them.
The work was apparently successful as it was transcribed numerous times and was eventually printed and served as a source text for a couple of centuries. The above images come from a highly illustrated manuscript from the 15th century which was probably specially made for a noble subscriber.
Monday, February 20, 2006
Posted by peacay at 8:39 pm