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Emperor Friedrich II – De Arte venandi cum avibus
An imperial book on the art of falconry
Rome, Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana, Cod. Vat. Ms. Pat. Lat. 1071, Southern Italy, around 1260

CODICES SELECTI, Vol. XVI

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Further Pictures

 

Available as Vol. 9 of the series "Glanzlichter der Buchkunst"

The hunt with falcons can be traced to India well before the birth of Christ. In Europe, it experienced its greatest popularity in the Middle Ages. The falcon-book of Emperor Friedrich II is regarded as a precious document of this time. Its own written text is now lost, however the eldest transcription of the work is from a remaining codex also held in the Vatican. It was completed for Friedrich's son, Emperor Manfred, in 1258.
This important, scientifically oriented work also contains information on the management, education and application of the hunt-falcons, in addition to an introduction into general ornithology. While it corresponds to scenic and architectural scenery in the contemporary style, the over 900 bird-pictures represent a novelty. A variety of wildlife, until then unknown, are illustrated including a number of different types of birds. The wonderful pictures of birds in flight can only have been drawn from nature.

   
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