Introduction : Pour une histoire des animaux aquatiques des mers septentrionales

Thierry BUQUET, Brigitte GAUVIN, Catherine JACQUEMARD & Marie-Agnès LUCAS-AVENEL

fr Anthropozoologica 53 (2) - Pages 43-51

Published on 30 January 2018

This article is a part of the thematic issue Animaux aquatiques et monstres des mers septentrionales (imaginer, connaître, exploiter, de l’Antiquité à 1600)

Introduction. For a history of aquatic animals of the northern seas.

From May, 31st to June 3rd, 2017, an international conference was held at the Cerisy-la-Salle International Cultural Center, entitled “Aquatic animals and Monsters of the Northern Seas (Imagination, knowledge, exploitation, from Antiquity to 1600)”, organized by the Centre Michel de Boüard – Craham (UMR 6273, Université de Caen Normandie – CNRS). The introduction to the proceedings of this conference presents first the scientific context, and the research programs Dyrin (history of the Nordic fauna in the Middle Ages) and Ichtya (history of knowledge on fish from Antiquity to the Renaissance) in which the organizers of the conference are involved. A quick summary presents the state of art about studies on the history of northern animals, where the bibliography is still scarce, far from covering all possible topics, notably that of the European perception of the Scandinavian fauna. Then we summarize the state of knowledge on the history of ancient, medieval and renaissance ichtyological knowledge, with a specific focus on the habitat of marine species, the naming of fishes and marine mammals and their use in human nutrition. Finally, we present the various papers published in the volume, grouped under the topics developed during the conference (identification, naming and classification; animal products, fishing, trade and food; literature, representations, imagin­ation and allegories).


Ichthyology, fish, history of zoology, aquatic animals, marine monsters, North, arctic and subarctic fauna.

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