Printed text shows a large, coiled snake with some Latin text visible.
Printed text shows Latin text with a decorated letter at the top of the page.
Printed text shows two plants along half a page with text in Latin.
Printed text shows two armadillos along with some text in Latin.

Historia naturæ

Joannes Eusebius Nieremberg

On the first scientific mission in the Americas (1570-7), Francisco Hernández de Toledo was able to describe thousands of Mexican plants. Many European scholars used his manuscript annotations, that were kept in the Escorial, for their own editions. The Natural History of the jesuit polymath Nieremberg was the first to describe Hernándes knowledge of the flora and fauna of North and South America in a methodical way. Some of the woodblocks made by the Antwerp artist Christoffel Jegher are the first known illustrations of their species, including the manatee and opossum. Other important studies based on the scientific mission of Hernández are Quatro libros. De la naturaleza, y virtudes de las plantas, y animales (Mexico, 1615) and the Nova plantarum, animalium et mineralium Mexicanorum historia (Rome, 1651).





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