Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The Giraffe in History and Art

Berthold Laufer - The Giraffe in History and Art (1928)

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An animal as unusual as the giraffe certainly makes an impression - this booklet compiles accounts from ancient Egypt, the Middle East, the classical Greeks and Romans, up to the Renaissance and 19th century.  As might be expected many early descriptions were quite inaccurate even though there were living examples to see (the first one in Rome seems to have been in 47 BC).  German-born anthropologist Laufer taught at Columbia and spent the last part of his career at Chicago's Field Museum (who published this).  His bibliography includes several promising titles.