The Art of Falconry, by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen

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De Arte Venandi cum Avibus was written shortly before the year 1250 by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, King of Sicily and Jerusalem, in whose court, with its remarkably cosmopolitan and highly intellectual life, may be found the real beginning of the Italian Renaissance. In spite of its title, it is far more than a dissertation on hunting. There is a lengthy introduction dealing with the anatomy of birds, an intensely interesting description of avian habits, and the excursions of migratory birds. Indeed, this ancient book has long been recognized as the first zoological treatise written in the critical spirit of modern science. The sumptuous volume now in hand is, however, the first translation into English of the complete text, originally divided into a prologue and size books. Together, the translators and editors, have at last made available this classic work and have adorned it with notes, comments, bibliographies, and glossary. They have produced a work of great value to zoologists-especially the ornithologist-and also to everyone interested in the history of science and in medieval art and letters.