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Early Modern Instruments of 'Inventio': The Case of Ulisse Aldrovandi

Ulisse Aldrovandi´s Pandechion epistemonicon.

Project by Dr. Fabian Krämer

This project centres on a very salient single source: Ulisse Aldrovandi’s Pandechion epistemonicon.

Aldrovandi (1522–1605) was the first professor of natural history at the University of Bologna. The Pandechion, his vast commonplace book extant in his hometown, can provide us with important insights into the ways in which humanist naturalists of the Renaissance organized the titbits of knowledge that constituted, as it were, the building blocks for their printed works. It offers us a unique glimpse at the intermediate steps that lead from the observations made in the field or museum – or indeed the titbits of knowledge culled from the literature in the studio – up to the printed scholarly text, in this case Aldrovandi’s famous printed encyclopedia of natural history.


This project was carried out in close cooperation with Helmut Zedelmaier (LMU).


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