Notes on Gessner’s Giraffe. Bible, Sources and Iconography.
In Leu, U. B. & Optiz, P.: Conrad Gessner. Die Renaissance der Wissenschaften. De Gruyter Oldenbourg; De Gruyter, pp.557-579, 2019, 978-3-11-049696-3. 10.1515/9783110499056-030. hal-02139257
The chapter on giraffe given by Conrad Gessner in his Historia animalium1 is an important step in the long-term history of this animal, from Antiquity to pre-modern times.2 The aim of this paper is not to give an in-depth review of Gessner’s chapter on the giraffe, but it will stress three topics: the specific problem of the presence of the giraffe in the Bible; some aspects of Gessner’s textual sources, with a special focus on medieval authors, and the illustrations of the giraffe in the printed editions of Gessner’s Historia animalium.