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ARTEDI, PETRUS (AND CAROLUS LINNAEUS (CARL LINNÉ)). - THE FOUNDING WORK OF MODERN ICHTHYOLOGY.

Ichthyologia sive Opera Omnia de Piscibus scilisit Bibliotheca Ichthyologica. Philosophia Ichthyologicaa. genera Piscium. Synonymia specierum. Descriptiones specierum. Omnia in hoc Genere perfectiora; quam antea ulla. Posthuma Vindicavit, Recognovit, Coaptavit & Edidit Carolus Linnaeus. (Pars I-V, Complete).

lyn47818

Lugduni Batavorum (Leiden), Conradum Wishoff, 1738. 8vo. Later boards, spine gilt, titlelabel with gilt lettering. Spine slightly rubbed. (24),66,(2);(4),92;(1 blank);(8),84,(4);(4),112,(2);(2),118,(22) pp. Part 4 misbound after part 5 (but not the titlepage). Very light browning to a few leaves, otherwise an uncommen clean copy, printed on good paper. ¶ First edition of this rare, important and early contribution to the taxonomy of fishes, generally considered the FOUNDING WORK OF ICHTHYOLOGY.

"Artedi’s major work, was published three years after his death by his friend Carl Linnaeus. The work shaped ichthyological research for centuries. Artedi was also the first scientist to use Latin names in binary form, genus and species name. Later, Linnaeus condensed the species epithet to a single word and the principles of modern taxonomy were born." (Petrus Artedi Tricentennial 13-14 September 2005).

Linnaeus and Artedi were friends at Uppsala University, but they were also competitors. They together formed a team which only could be compared to the team of the English Willoughby and Ray, and their objective was to replace the work of the two famous Englishmen. Artedi, beeing in Amsterdam to describe the fish collection of the rich pharmacist Albertus Seba, and Linnaeus met here. A few days after their meeting, Artedi drowned during the night between September 27 and 28, 1735. Two and a half years later, Linnaeus edited Artedi's ichthyological manuscript and published it. To the book Linnaeus added the life of Artedi and he wrote a short indtroduction to the chapters.

"On the night of 27 September 1735 suddenly ended the life of one of the most significant founders of the science of systematic biology when Petrus Artedi, Angermannius, drowned in a canal in Amsterdam. At the age of 30, he was still not a man of fame, and did not leave wife, children or portrait. Only manuscripts, the ichthyological ones edited and published by Carl Linnaeus in 1738.
Since 1738 every scrap of information about Artedi has been carefully collected and arranged by ichthyologists and historians of science into a puzzle still full of lacunae. The big questions have been – who was this person? What would he have become had he lived on? Was Linnaeus really the genius, or was it Artedi? After all, Linnaeus is the baroque idol of the cultural wannabe élite. But in a scientific context he is but one in a web of masterminds continuously occupied with reconstructing the history of life on Earth." (Theodore W. Pietsch "The Curious Life of Peter Artedi", 2010).

Soulsby: 3563 - Hulth: 1738.- Casey A. Wood p. 204.

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