De Plantis libri XVI.


Verlag: Florence, Giorgio Marescotti, 1583, 1583
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Bibliografische Details

Titel: De Plantis libri XVI.

Verlag: Florence, Giorgio Marescotti, 1583

Erscheinungsdatum: 1583


4to (213 x 145 mm), pp [xl] 621 [11], with woodcut printer's device on title and colophon; prelims with some spotting, some occasional marginal spotting elsewhere, a very good copy in nineteenth-century marbled boards, rubbed, in a black morocco box. £60,000First edition, an important annotated copy, of the foundation text of scientific botany and the first articulation of the modern concept of species. This copy belonged to Joachim Camerarius the younger and has his extensive annotations throughout; subsequently, it belonged to two other prominent botanists (see below).This work is one of the most revolutionary texts of biology in the sixteenth century. 'With the knowledge of new fauna and flora coming into Europe from the New World and the East, and the creation of many new botanical gardens, the need was felt for a more scientific classification of plants. With Andreas Caesalpino a new era begins. He was professor of materia medica and director of the botanical garden at Pisa and later professor in Rome and physician to Pope Clement VIII. His book "On Plants" was the first attempt to classify plants in a systematic manner based on a comparative study of forms' (PMM).De plantis 'has the most unassuming title that ever adorned the initial page of a very great book; that could give no hint of its incalculable importance, or of its great destiny, as marking the beginning of the epoch of Systematic Botany' (Greene, Landmarks of botanical history II p 808).'Whereas other sixteenth-century botanists were content simply to compile vast haphazard catalogues of plants, Cesalpino was the first to devise a rational classification system based upon plant morphology, the principles of which he set forth in the first book of De plantis. He insisted that distinctions among species should be made only according to similarity or dissimilarity of forms, and that "accidental" attributes, such as medicinal use and habitat, must not be considered; in doing so, he elevated botany to the level of an independent science' (Norman catalogue).Cesalpino's 'ideas governed the development of botany in the 17th century and [his] influence extended into the 18th. He was perhaps the first great theorist in botany. The doctrine of metamorphosis, later expounded by Linnaeus and Goethe and through them leaving a heavy imprint on modern botany, was a part of Cesalpino's philosophy. He was the first to describe in accurate detail the parts of flowers, seeds and fruits, and based his analytic classification on these parts. He was perhaps the first to wrestle in print with the concept of species; and his solution, like those of many modern botanists, was based on the capacity of a group to reproduce its kind' (Introduction to the Hunt Catalogue of Botanical Books pp xxvii-xxviii, although not in the Hunt collection).Provenance: Joachim Camerarius jr (1534-1598), with signature on title (Joach. J.F. Camerario, i.e. Joachim son of Joachim [the elder] Camerarius) and extensive marginal annotations. Camerarius was a Nuremberg physician, botanist and horticulturist. He studied medicine at the University of Padua, and received his doctorate from Bologna in 1562. In Nuremberg, he developed a wide circle of botanical colleagues, corresponding with l'Écluse, Bauhin, Gesner, et al. He designed the botanic garden for the Bishop of Eichstadt, immortalised in Besler's Hortus Eystettensis (1612). He was the author of Hortus medicus et philosophicus (Frankfurt, 1598), and important editions of Mattioli's commentaries on Dioscorides. His marginal annotations and underlinings cover almost every page. The volume subsequently belonged to Georg Wolfgang Franz Panzer (1755-1829), a noted botanist and entomologist, according to a manuscript note by Martius on the front free endleaf. Martius' note, which also records the Camerarius provenance, goes on to state that the volume was purchased from the sale of his library by the great botanical explorer of Brazil, Carl Friedrich Philipp von. Buchnummer des Verkäufers 3229

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