collections

The History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents (1658)

A selection of woodcuts from a book entitled The History of Four-Footed Beasts and Serpents, published in 1658. Most of this three-volume compilation is comprised of the zoological works of the English clergyman Edward Topsell who published several books on religion and other matters during his lifetime. A whole host of animals are represented in Topsell’s illustrations, all of which which came directly from earlier works by the Swiss physician, naturalist, and author Konrad Gesner. Amongst the usual suspects there are also more unusual mythical specimens, such as the “Hydra,” with two claws, a curled serpent’s tail, and seven small mammalian heads; the “Lamia,” with a cat-like body, hooves on the hind feet, claws on the front, and a human woman’s face and hair; and the “Mantichora,” with a lion’s body and mane, a man’s face and head of hair, and a grotesquely smiling mouth.

University of Houston Digital Library
Underlying Work: PD Worldwide | Digital Copy: No Additional Rights
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Beaver
Ape
Bear
Badger
Scythian Wolf
Hydra
Bear Ape Arctopithecus
Winged Dragon
Arabian or Egyptian Land Crocodile
Boa
Sagoin, called Galeopithecus
Unicorn
A wilde beaste in the New Found World called SU
Squirrel
Spinga or Sphinx
Dormouse
The mole or want
Satyre
Lion
Lamia
Ichneumon
Mantichora
Cepus or Martime monkey
Aegopithecus
Man Ape
Porcuspine or Porcupine
Camelopardals
Prasyan Apes
Cat
Another Monster