Men and Animal Care in the manuscripts of the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana


edited by Donatella Lippi

exhibition catalogue: Florence, Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, 14 April-14 June 2014

In the successful series of outstanding exhibitions in the series entitled ‘The Library on Display’ the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana offers priceless codices, rare printed works and unique objects that document the presence of animals in the manuscripts that are part of the collection and the evolution of the art of veterinary medicine. There are 36 manuscripts and 2 printed works on display. Most of the manuscripts are part of the Plutei, representing the initial collection of the Medici family’s library. However, there are also works from the library’s other collections, such as the Ashburnham, Gaddi and D’Elci, which contain unique treasures. There exhibition also features animal artefacts from the Museum of Natural History and original antique veterinary instruments. The modern era is sketched out by the presence of the most famous veterinary treatises from the 19th and 20th centuries. Like the exhibition, the catalogue documents fundamental works in the history of veterinary medicine, paying special attention to classical and medieval sources. It is a journey through the Latin authors of fables, the medieval bestiaries and texts from both Eastern and Western tradition, recording the presence of fantastical animals, and works ranging from classical Greece to the European Renaissance on the specific subject of caring for animals. The codices and printed volumes on display boast fascinating miniatures and illustrations that ‘photograph’ technical know-how, treatment practices and surgery from antiquity to the Enlightenment.


Digital version available on

ita >
eng >

Eur 15,00

Weight 0,4 kg
Dimensions 14 × 20 cm





50 in colour


English, Italian


978-88-7461-226-0 (ita), 978-88-7461-227-7 (eng)

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