Conrad Gessner’s Private Library by Urs B. Leu, Raffael Keller, Sandra Weidmann

By Urs B. Leu, Raffael Keller, Sandra Weidmann

The Swiss health care professional and polymath Conrad Gessner (1516-1565) was once some of the most widespread scientists of the early sleek interval and wrote various vital works. over the past 20 years have been stumbled on approximately four hundred titles from his inner most library. they offer a fascinating perception into his pursuits and his resources. This current publication includes not just an advent and a list of those books, but in addition inventories of the misplaced works in addition to the nonetheless extant and misplaced manuscripts possessed via Gessner. They open the door to Gessner's learn and to the highbrow international of a desirable Renaissance student.

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Peter Frei: Conradus Clauserus Tigurinus (ca. 1515–1567): Pfarrer, Schulmann, Gelehrter. Neujahrsblatt der Gelehrten Gesellschaft in Zürich, Bd. 160, p. 19; Hans Rudolf Lavater, Die Froschauer Bibel 1531—Das Buch der Zürcher Kirche, in: Die Zürcher Bibel von 1531 [Facsimile edition], Zürich 1983, p. 1390. indd 2 4/15/2008 4:12:50 PM libraries in 16th-century zürich 3 Given these figures it is not difficult to understand why scholars borrowed works from the libraries of their friends and other scholars.

So Gessner and his colleagues had a lot to do, frequently exchanging in their letters botanical news and thereby supported scientific progress, as is clear from a letter Gessner wrote to Leonhart Fuchs on October 18, 1556: For there are infinite kinds of plants, a great part of which must be unknown to any one person on account of the differences between regions. But if every person offers his observations in the public good, there is hope that at some time it will come about that from them all a single perfectly complete work will be produced by someone who will add the final touch.

Theol. Rainer Henrich, editor of the Bullinger-Correspondence at the Schweizerisches Institut für Reformationsgeschichte in Zürich, for this information. indd 4 4/15/2008 4:12:50 PM CHAPTER TWO THE HISTORY OF GESSNER’S LIBRARY Gessner died of the plague on December 13th 1565. His estate went to Caspar Wolf (1525–1601), who succeeded him as town physician. 3 Unfortunately, it was too difficult and time-consuming for Wolf to revise and edit Gessner’s unfinished studies. Between 1566 and 1587 he published several of Gessner’s works, among them the “Epistolae medicinales” (Zürich 1577) and the “Physicarum meditationum annotationum et scholiorum libri”, containing the lectures on Natural History held at the Schola Tigurina in Zürich (Zürich 1586).

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