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State Library of NSW
Stories of dragons and serpents have appeared throughout history. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote in the fifth century BC: ‘The form of the serpent is like that of the water-snake; but he has wings without feathers, and as like as possible to the wings of a bat.’ In medieval times, Vikings placed dragon heads on the front of their ships to frighten sea monsters. Serpentum et draconum historiae was written by Italian naturalist Ulysses Aldrovandus (1522–1605). Aldrovandus collected thousands of animals and plants during his travels around Italy, and produced a major work on mammals, birds, fish, trees and minerals. He was careful to state that he could not vouch personally for everything he reported. Bound volume donated by Nelson Moore Richardson, 1926RICHARDSON/ F289