Finally: The Summa Zoologica

Photo by Lachlan Gowen on Unsplash

The Summa Zoologica, Volume 2, translated from the Latin

It starts with Book 10, which is a discussion of how to learn about life. He advocates for a general knowledge to more specific knowledge approach. I think Vygotsky and his ladder of knowledge would approve.


Sometimes, the surprising part is what he got right. He understands the divided stomachs of ruminants and something about nerves. They knew octopuses were super smart. He’s not completely off base about everything.

The Big Lesson

What I really want to drive home is that Medieval scholars were not just parroting Aristotle or Galen. Far from it. And frankly, science is built on the work of former scientists. Albertus Magnus engages in the ideas of the ancient naturalists and reasons out, using logic, experimentation, and observation, which ancient got the closest to correct.



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Vivian Yongewa

Vivian Yongewa


Writes for content farms and fun. Has an AU historical mystery series on Kindle.