DVT 143, 141
Literární žánr snu jako myšlenkový experiment raně novověké vědy
Genre of literary dream as an intellectual experiment of Early Modern
The genre of literary dream is known from antiquity. Already in the ancient world literary dreams not only carried moral lessons, but also proposed a contemporary image of universe. A study of this genre is important for understanding the interpretation and propagation of cosmological ideas in antiquity and also in the early modern literary dreams of Johannes Kepler, Libert Froidmont, Athanasius Kircher, and others. Many of them reflected ancient sources as well as their reasons for choosing dream as a genre to explain cosmological ideas and describe their radically new image of the universe.
Keywords: Dream ● literary voyages to the universe ● early modern ● epistemic genre ● Athanasius Kircher
Summary: The article proposes the thesis that this genre was used not as a cover or defence manoeuvre from censorship but rather as a suitable instrument for presenting a comprehensible introduction to unlikely hypotheses or mind experiments. Unlike Descartes’ dreams of the same period, early modern literary dreams about the journey to the universe do not analyse the dream by itself, or the process of dreaming, or difference between dream and reality but rather the content of the dream – universe and its order. The unproblematic conception of reality is thus the main difference between cosmological dreams and Descartes’ dreams of the same period.
DVT 143, 152
Orbis Naturalis Pictus: ilustrování přírody, zobrazování podivuhodného.
Orbis Naturalis Pictus: Illustration of nature, viewing of the marvellous.
This paper deals with the problem of early modern natural history illustration. It concentrates on the ways scientific illustrations are legitimized and changes in its forms. Particular attention is paid to illustrations of exotic specimens, originating from the New World, and also to their reception in the Czech lands in the early modern era.
Keywords: Early modern ● natural history illustration ● New World ● exotic specimens ● Fernández de Oviedo ● Spain ● Czech lands ● Thaddeus Hajek of Hajek ● Adam Huber ● Mattioli
Summary: The paper showed how the illustration became part of the scientific discourse in the 16th century and how it had to defend its position. Particular attention is paid to illustrations of exotic specimens, originating from the New World, which became an indispensable means to understand the radical otherness of the local nature and which contributed to the formation of early modern empirical science. The article also discusses Czech early modern natural history illustration, specifically analyzing Hajek’s and Huber’s edition of Mattioli’s herbarium. The non-scientific context of the images of “exotic” nature, often enriched with symbolic references and meanings, is also mentioned.
DVT 143, 176
České překlady Albrantova (Albrechtova) koňského lékařství
Alena M. Černá
Czech Translations of Albrant’s (Albrecht’s) Horse Medicine.
We have several manuscripts and old prints coming down to us from the 15th–18th centuries concerning treatment of horse ailments. The Czech editions have their origins in a German treatise on horse medicine authored by the horse dealer and equerry Albrant (often named Albrecht in Czech texts). As the years went by, the text were transformed and enlarged. This article is supported by research into eight Czech editions of Albrant’s medicine. Drawing upon the 19th-century scholarly literature and ample quotes on horse medicine, it describes specific horse diseases and their treatment.
Keywords: history of veterinary medicine ● master Albrant (Albrecht) ● Old Czech literature
There are several manuscripts and old prints that have come down to us from
the 15th–18th centuries concerning the treatment of horse ailments. The Czech
editions have their origins in a German treatise on horse medicine authored by
the horse dealer and equerry Albrant (often named Albrecht). As years went by,
they were transformed and enlarged. This article is supported by a research
into the Czech editions of Albrant’s medicine. Drawing upon the 19th-century
scholarly literature and ample quotes on horse medicine, it describes specific
horse diseases and their treatment. The material base comprises eight Czech
editions of Albrant’s medicine (the National Library of the Czech Republic XI
C 2 and XVII E 42, the National Museum Library IV H 28, I H 29 and I F 10),
a humanist printing from 1527, and two undated baroque printings from the
second half of the 18th century. The content of individual editions gradually
increased in size. While the oldest National Library print provides up to 30
instructions on how to treat horse ailments and in the edition in the National
Museum Library the number is about 40, in the humanist printings we already
find 110 procedures, and in the baroque printings there are over 140. Besides
the treatments, these texts contain also some secondary advice on horse health
– for example how to judge a horse’s health from its appearance and behaviour,
and how to train a horse for a race. We found also some sporadic advice on
treatment of humans and farming. The texts clearly show that a majority of
issues involved the locomotive organs of the horse, of which the hoof received
a particularly frequent treatment (vyplecení, próboj, zájem, záskoka, etc.). Another
area of concern was the horse skin with the occurrence of various types of
rash, tumours, warbles, and also parasites (prhněly, sadmo, špáty, halguf, živý vlas,
rúpi, etc.). There also occurred problems with digestion (žábry, žlázy, etc.) and
excretion (sračka, etc.). On the basis of the texts analysis we can clearly see
how the fundamentals of Albrant’s medicine were enlarged not only by new
treatments of familiar ailments, but also by identification of new problems and
their treatment – which testifies to increasing human knowledge in this field.
At the same time, however, the later texts also clearly show how the original,
rational treatment drawing on empirical observation was multiplied by including
folk treatment procedures, frequently based on superstition. These often made
use of, for instance, animal parts, excrements, etc. In the later texts one also
finds a number of charms and cures.
Translated by Jana Klapilová
DVT 143, 198
Neodarwinismus a August Weismann
Uwe Hossfeld, Michal V. Šimůnek & Ulrich Kutschera
Neo-Darwinism and August Weismann.
The article commemorates the centenary of the death of August Weismann (1834–1914), a German zoologist who in the second half of the 19 th century contributed significantly to the development of the theory of evolution (which he called the ‘transmutation hypothesis’) and the theory of selection. The article also describes some 19th century ways of understanding neo-Darwinism and Weismann’s contribution to its general acceptance, which was fundamentally linked to a new formulation of the theory of heredity (which used the notion of heredity of germ plasm/ Keimplasma) and a radical departure from Lamarckism.
Keywords: evolution ● neodarwinismus ● Weismann
Summary: Weismann grasped the crucial importance of natural selection in the evolution of organisms better than most of his contemporaries. He realized that the issue of hereditary variability is a central and as yet unanswered question that would decide between the various proposed mechanisms of evolution. By suggesting that variability arises through recombination, he partly answered the question. After the establishment of genetics after 1900 and the development of a theory of mutations, missing elements were just added into a pre-existing conception, which also explained the causality of evolution. The departure from Lamarckism started in the 19 th century with Weismann but the process was completed only in the mid-1930s. This was because on the one hand, positive, experimental evidence of Lamarckian effects was missing but on the other hand, hereditary changes (mutations) described by classical genetics turned out to be independent of organisms’ adaptive requirements. Last but not least, there was the issue of gradualism in evolution, which in the earliest stage of Mendelism seemed incompatible with the existence of discontinuous mutations. Gradualism in evolution seemed to support the existence of Lamarckian factors that could be explained within the framework of a mutation theory. Eventually, Lamarckism came to be seen as not directly refuted but rather superfluous and unproven (Levit et al. 2005, 2008; Junker and Hoßfeld 2009).