Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Turn and Face the Strange

image from Reuff's De conceptu, 1580History is pretty strange, and human curiosity even stranger. One of our favorite genres is monstrosities. People hear "monster" and immediately think of horror film beasts or Frankenstein's creation, but the Latin root of the word is monstrare, or "to show." For centuries, monstrosities were seen as a window into the wonders of God's creation, not to be feared, but to be understood to better comprehend the divine.

This 16th-century obstetrics manual, Jacob Rueff's De conceptu et generatione hominis (Frankfurt, 1580), has a whole section celebrating the history of anatomical abnormalities--some witnessed, others read about in the histories.
image from Reuff's De conceptu, 1580
Come on in and experience the strange, and marvel over what they show us by asking for Rare RG91.R9.

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