Historie – Otázky – Problémy

Literary inspiration of several natural descriptions in the travel book by Kryštof Harant of Polžice and Bezdružice


Abstract: Kryštof Harant, as a widely-read scholar of his time, embellished his travel book Putování aneb Cesty… do země Svaté (Pilgrimage… to the Holy Land, 1608) with numerous extracts from classical literature. The article uses a selection of examples from zoology (nightjar – Caprimulgus europaeus; ostrich – Struthio camelus; onokrotal – white pelican, Pelecanus onocrotalus; mythical unicorn – monoceros; mythical dragon; snake species called ‚tyrus‘; Egyptian cobra – Naia haie; crocodile – Crocodilus niloticus; trochilus – house wren, Troglodytes troglodytes; ichneumon; dolphin – Delphinus delphis; river horse – gray hippopotamus, Hippopotamus amphibius) to illustrate the long literary tradition and path leading from Antiquity via the Middle Ages up to Harant’s own descriptions at the beginning of the 17th century (Aristotle, Pliny, Vulgata, Solinus, bestiaries /e.g. Theobaldus, Oxford Ashmole 1511/, Isidorus Hispalensis, Hildegard von Bingen, Thomas Cantimpratensis, Bartholomaeus Anglicus, Vincentius Bellovacensis, Albertus Magnus, Claretus de Solencia /Bohemarius and Glossarius/, Paulerinus /Správovna and Liber viginti arcium/ etc.).

 Key words: Kryštof Harant, history of natural science, history of zoology, literary history, middle Latin texts, manuscript miniatures

 PhDr. Alena Hadravová, CSc., vědecká pracovnice Kabinetu dějin vědy Ústavu pro soudobé dějiny AV ČR, v. v. i. ( hadravova@usd.cas.cz)