Large 4to. [28.5 x 20.5], xvii pp., (1) f., 25 pp., (1) f., 4 numbered engraved plates, including large engraving of a lynx on title, bound with later wrappers. Light waterstaining in lower corner of title page and some leaves, light toning in title-page upper corner. Generally good, with clear impressions of the plates.
Scarce first edition of this work describing various species of marine life found in the Adriatic, illustrated with four plates of unusually high quality coming from a regional press, of interest for the continuing life of the Kircherian tradition in the study of Natural History in opposition to the taxonomic innovations of Linnaeus, with which the author was well-acquainted. Battarra is mainly interested in close description of anatomical features, and takes a reactionary Kircherian view about the wonders of nature rather than following Linnaean taxonomy-Linnaeus himself had treated some of the species described. Battarra had edited the previous year a revision of Bonanni’s Museum Kircherianum, in which the principle of “Wonders” rules.
Battara was professor of philosophy at Rimini from 1741-89, producing a number of studies of regional biology, most successfully in mycology. His work Fungorum agri Ariminensis historia (1755), which argued against the theory that fungi were spontaneously generated and classified approximately three hundred types of fungus according to their outward appearance, was well known--the later botanist Christian Hendrik Persoon (1761-1836) even named a genus of fungus, Battarea, after him.
Note: OCLC records are misleading as to the number of plates; some records indicate five, whereas there are clearly four—the fifth counted could only be the title-page illustration of the lynx flanked by an owl and various fungi. The text clearly indicates the presence of only four accompanying plates, and Harvard’s copy, digitized by Google, confirms this.
* Stearn, 1992, p. 35; Pritzel 491.