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Pseudodoxia Epidemica

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 02, 2009

A full version of Sir Thomas Browne’s Pseudodoxia Epidemica is available online. First published in 1646, the book refutes errors and superstitions common to the 17th century. For instance:

That Crystall is nothing else but Ice strongly congealed.
That a Diamond is made soft, or broke by the blood of a Goate.
That a Bever to escape the Hunter bites off his testicles or stones.
Concerning the beginning of the world, that the time thereof is not precisely knowne, as commonly it is presumed.

(thx, julian)