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Monday, April 20, 2015

Un(s)even: Ethology

(by Selkis; cropped)

A very modern point of interest in Tasso's Il Mondo Creato is ethology, the study of animal behavior. Descriptions are mostly based on literary sources, like in the Middle Ages, but meanwhile the sources have changed thanks to the rediscovery of classical texts. Moreover, as is typical of the Renaissance authors' multidisciplinary approach, this new scientific viewpoint adds to the older allegorical/symbolical interpretations without replacing them. Tasso also pioneered the now widespread passion for ecology, with a surprisingly keen look at geology and endangered species.

Just curiosity: The name "Tasso" might mean either "beaver" or "yew," but actually refers to the latter.