Protogaea, an ambitious account of terrestrial history, was central to the development of the earth sciences in the eighteenth century and provides key philosophical insights into the unity of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s thought and writings. In the book, Leibniz offers observations about the formation of the earth, the actions of fire and water, the genesis of rocks and minerals, the origins of salts and springs, the formation of fossils, and their identification as the remains of living organisms. Protogaea also includes a series of engraved plates depicting the remains of animals—in particular the famous reconstruction of a “fossil unicorn”—together with a cross section of the cave in which some fossil objects were discovered.
Though the works of Leibniz have been widely translated, Protogaea has languished in its original Latin for centuries. Now Claudine Cohen and Andre Wakefield offer the first English translation of this central text in natural philosophy and natural history. Written between 1691 and 1693, and first published after Leibniz’s death in 1749, Protogaea reemerges in this bilingual edition with an introduction that carefully situates the work within its historical context.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
iii Different opinions concerning the creation of the globe
iv Sea salt fires and cycles of precipitation
v The many changes in our globe after its initial creation
vi What was the source of the water that covered the earth? And where did it go?
vii Bructerus and the origin of springs
viii Deposits of metal in the earth and a description of veins
ix The generation of minerals explained through chemistry
xxix In which a certain lazy ingenuity which invents things alien to truth is rejected
xxx Where can the Lüneburg glossopetrae be found?
xxxi Glossopetrae are sharks teeth
xxxii The medical use of glossopetrae
xxxiii Belemnites osteocolla shellfilled stones and fossil ivory
xxxiv Bones jaws skulls and teeth found in our region
xxxv The unicorns horn and an enormous animal unearthed in Quedlinburg
xxxvi Sharzfeld Cave and the bones that have been found in it
x Products common to laboratories and mines
xi The generation of precious stones natural and artifi cial
xii Natural sublimations and the preparation of sal ammoniac
xiii It is through fire that metals appear in their proper forms
xv Some bodies coalesce in the waters
xvii Some things arise from the combined action of heat and water
xviii Where do the shapes of various fi sh imprinted on slates come from?
xix Earthquakes volcanoes and other things show that there is fire inside our globe
xx The forms of fish imprinted on slate come from real fish and are not games of nature
xxi The different layers of the earth their locations and the origin of salts and salt waters
xxii The origin of mountains and hills explained through waters winds and earthquakes
xxiii Marine shells are found throughout our region and elsewhere
xxiv The various kinds of shells were not created inside the stone as is evident from their forms and positions
xxv The excavated shells and bones of marine animals can be identified as the parts of real animals
xxvii Glossopetrae asterias trochites etc are the remains of marine animals and not games of nature
xxviii But it is wrong to include the polygonal shapes that can be found in crystals among these
xxxvii The Baumann Cave and its contents
xxxviii On the nature of amber especially the kind found in our region
xxxix Changes wrought by rivers and the vestiges of upheavals in our region
xl The struggle between sea and land
xli Sea and marsh once covered Venice and Este
xlii The marvelous fountains of Modena
xliii How Modenas fountains are produced
xliv The layers of earth in Rosdorf near Göttingen
xlv On buried trees and petrified wood
xlvi Peat and its origin
xlvii On trees buried underground
Text from Friedrich Lachmunds Oryktographia Hildesheimensis 1669
Other editions - View all
adhuc Agricola aliquando Ammon’s animalia animalis animals appeared apud aqua aquarum argilla atque autem Baumann Cave belemnites bones called clay conchite crust deinde dentes Descartes earth Einbeck Eisleben engraving enim etiam ﬁg ﬁguras ﬁlled ﬁnally ﬁnds ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁsh ﬁve ﬂoods ﬂow formation fossil fossil objects fuisse globe glossopetrae Hannover Harz Hildesheim horn igne ipsa Itaque kind Lachmund lapide lapidem layers Leibniz liquid loco Louis Bourguet Lower Saxony Lüneburg material metal metallica mineral mines modum mountains nature Neque nihil nunc olim origin Oryktographia passim peat petriﬁed plate postremo prope Protogaea quae quaedam quam quas Quedlinburg quibus quod quoque region rerum rock saepe sal ammoniac salt saxo Scharzfeld Scheidt’s 1749 edition schist shapes sharks shells sibi sive species Steno stone sunt tamen tantum teeth telluris terrae things Torfa tractu trochites Valerius Cordus veins velut vestigia vocant