De Animalibus Insectis. Libri septem.

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Bononiae, apud C. Ferronium, 1638. Folio (352 x 223mm). pp. (14), 767, (1), (44), with engraved title and about 700 woodcuts. Contemporary vellum, spine in 7 compartments (head of spine worn).

the first work of literature dealing with insects

Due to the binder's mistake the title-page of Aldrovandi's work on fishes instead of the one on insects is bound in. The first edition was published in 1602. 'The first work of literature dealing with insects, thus finally establishing entomology, and especially systematic entomology as a science' (Smith, R.F. History of Entomology, p. 85). Aldrovandi's complete natural history works consist of 11 works, he spent 45 years amassing the material. The volumes on birds and the present volume on insects were completed by himself, the others by his pupils. The woodcuts of the insects are of great beauty and accuracy. "Although Aldrovandi is not identified with any revolutionary discoveries, his work as a teacher and as the author of volumes that constitute an irreplaceable cultural patrimony earns him a place among the fathers of modern science" (D.S.B. I, p. 110).

Nissen ZBI, 67.