Buch der Natur [Book of Nature]


Pictures from the Buch der Natur, or Book of nature, by Konrad von Megenberg; this edition was made by Johann Bämler and is dated 20th August (St. Bartholomew’s Day) 1481.

The book is online at the Library of Congress; I have taken only a few of the page images bearing interesting pictures, and cleaned them up a little.

The images are in the public domain. Please link back to me if you use them.

[picture: Page 67. Heaven and Earth.]

Page 67. Heaven and Earth.

Heaven, Earth, and intermediate spheres (or layers) of the skies. The moon looks depressed. [more...] [$]

[picture: Page 113. Four Footed Beasts.]

Page 113. Four Footed Beasts.

Cow and camel, Elk and Elephant (or is that a unicorn on the right?), lion and horse, rabbit and hound! [more...] [$]

[picture: Page 151. Birds of the Air.]

Page 151. Birds of the Air.

Eagle and duck, peacock and rooster, jackdaw and goose! (what else?)

The page has only this illustration, no text. [$]

[picture: Strange and Fantastical Creatures]

Strange and Fantastical Creatures

I cannot read the text (it’s in mediæval German), so these descriptions are arbitrary; I’d welcome better descriptions. [more...] [$]

[picture: Winged Mermaid from p. 199 recto]

Winged Mermaid from p. 199 recto

A fifteenth-century drawing of a mermaid with wings (and breast) taken from fol. 199r of a (somewhat dubious) textbook on natural history. [more...] [$]

[picture: Page 395.  Herodotus people]

Page 395. Herodotus people

A fire in the background, with smoke; a woman in mediaeval dress drinks a cup of coffee froma styofoam cup; nine naked people wander around. These are the people described by the “historian” Herodotus, such asthe people withfeet pointing backwards, or with six arms, or two heads, or no head or [...] [more...] [$]

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