The Earliest Zoography of Slovenian Fauna: Comments by Pietro Andrea Matthioli on Dioscorides’ Pharmacological Work Περὶ ὕλης ἰατρικῆς


  • Boštjan Kiauta Universiteit Utrecht; SAZU



Matthioli, Zoography of Slovenian Fauna


Matthioli’s monumental work, Commentarii in sex libros Pedacii Dioscoridis Anazarbei de Medica materia […], has so far remained unnoticed by Slovenian zoologists. Subsequent to the Italian, non-illustrated edition of 1544, several dozens of richly illustrated Latin, French, German and Czech editions were published. The work includes the descriptions and illustrations of a great number of pharmacologically applicable vertebrate-, insect-, other arthropod- and amerian species from the Slovenian territories of Carniola and Istria, brought together by the author during his service years in Gorica/Gorizia (1541–1555), and represents the first zoography of the Slovenian fauna. A brief description of the structure of the work is provided, along with references to it in various publications on the history of entomology. A note on some important Renaissance insect collections is added and a list is given of Matthioli’s 12 arthropod taxa listed by I. A. Scopoli (Entomologia carniolica, Vindobonae: Trattener, 1763). The translation of most of Matthioli’s other animal appellations into modern taxonomic nomenclature is still lacking, therefore the faunistic importance of the work cannot be fully assessed as yet.


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