By Jean Anker (auth.)
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Additional resources for Bird Books and Bird Art: An Outline of the Literary History and Iconography of Descriptive Ornithology
Dating from the close of the 17th century there is a manuscript entitled 'Dyvr her i Norden' written by the clergyman Peder Syv, well-known for his publication of Danish proverbs. It has later been published by Svend Dahl (703; 704) and includes the names of a number of Danish birds with short notes based partly on the author's own observations. European birds and animals were not the only subjects to be observed and written of; the remote regions of the other continents which Europeans had visited also furnished zoological matter for literary works.
In 'Liber quintus. Qui agit de avibus' over 120 birds are mentioned, some of them being depicted in the 55 figures found in this part executed from drawings by the author (PI. I, Fig. 8). The abovementioned Piso later published a work illustrated with woodcuts 'De Indire utriusque re naturali et medica', etc. (Amstelredami 1658, folio), of which he himself wrote the principal part 'Historire naturalis & medicx Indire occidentalis libri quinque'. Birds are dealt with on pp. 79-96 and - some few fOnTIs-on pp.
However, it was not only the strange creatures of distant climes which tempted writers to describe them in texts and pictures; the fauna of the European countries was now also taken up for treatment in works abundantly supplied with plates. So extensive a subject as the natural history of the Danube was thus treated by a remarkable personality, Luigi Ferd. Marsigli, an Italian count born at Bologna. After a military career, which ended with his degradation from the rank of general, he took up scientific work, which he had pursued in his youth.