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(1698 – 1764)

(Born: Aarhus, Denmark, 24 August 1698; Died: Bergen, Norway, 20 December 1764) Norwegian theologian.

Pontoppidan studied divinity at the University of Copenhagen, and for some time acted as a travelling tutor. In 1735 he became one of the chaplains of the king. In 1738 he was made professor extraordinary of theology at Copenhagen, and in 1745 bishop of Bergen, Norway.

Biographical references: Dansk Biografisk Haandleksikon: 3, 123, portrait. Dansk Biografisk Lexikon. DBA: I 971, 427-460. Jöcher, Gelehrten-Lexikon, 1750-51. Poggendorff: 2, col. 500. SBA: Scandinavian Biographical Archive: A-255, 418-451; A-256, 1-24; A-256, 144. WBI. Worm, Forsøg til et Lexicon over Danske, 1771-84.

Norges Naturlige Historie, 1752

1. Danish, 1752-3 [First edition].
Det første Forsøg | paa | Norges Naturlige Historie, | førestillende | Dette Kongeriges Luft, Grund, Fielde, Vande, Vaexter, | Metaller, Mineralier, Steen-Arter, Dyr, Fugle, | Fiske og omsider Indbyggernes Naturel, samt | Saedvaner og Levemaade | [rule] | [...2 lines of text...] | af | Erich Pontoppidan Dr. | [ line of titles...] | [vignette] | Kiøbenhavn, 1752. | Tryki i de Berlingske arvingers bogtrykkerie, ved Ludolph Henrich Lillie.

2 vols. [Vol 1: 1752] 4°: [56], 338 p., 16 leaves of plates (13 folded). [Vol 2: 1753] 4°: [25], 464, [23] p., [14] leaves of plates (12 folded). Volume two published: Kiøbenhavn, udi det Kongelige Wäysenhuses bogtrykkerie, trykt af Gottmann Friderich Kisel, l753. Includes bibliographical references and indexes. Page size: 204 x 164 mm.

Very scarce. This central topographical work is considered to be the first natural history of Norway. Pontoppidan's work both contains folklore, important informations on flora and fauna, and curious descriptions of strange species, such as the sea-worm. Views of both Bergen and Drammen are among the 30 engravings, the latter is the earliest known view of Drammen.

Facsimile reprint, 1977: Norges Naturlige Historie 1752-53. 2 vols. [54], 338 p.; [22], 464, [23] p.

Bibliographical references: BL [461.c.28.]. LKG: XIV 709.

German editions

2. German, 1753-4 [First edition].
Erich Pontoppidans ... Versuch einer naturlichen Historie von Norwegen, worinnen die Luft, Grund und Boden, Gewasser, Gewachse, Metalle, Mineralien, Steinarten, Thiere, Vogel, Fische und endlich das Naturel, wie auch die Gewohnheiten und Lebensarten der Einwohner dieses Konigreichs beschrieben werden aus dem Danischen ubers. von Johann Adolph Scheiben. Kopenhagen, bey F. C. Mumme, 1753-1754.

2 parts. [Part 1] 8°: 53, [10], 367 p. [Part 2] 8°: 56 (i.e., 54), 536 p., 30 engraved plates (20 folding).

Rare. Translation by Johann Adolph Scheibe [1708-1776] of Det Forste Forsog paa Norges Naturlige Historie (Kiobenhaven, 1753).

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIV 710a.

3. German, 1769 [2nd edition].
Versuch einer naturlichen Historie von Norwegen. Aus dem Dänishen übersetzt von J.A. Scheibe. Kopenhagen, 1769.

2 parts. [Part 1: 1769] 4°: ?? p. [Part 2: 1754] 4°: ?? p.

Very scarce. Translation by Johann Adolph Scheibe [??-??] of Det Forste Forsog paa Norges Naturlige Historie (Kiobenhavn, 1752-3) and editied by Franz Christian Mumme [??-??].

Bibliographical references: BL [235.e.21.].

English edition

4. English, 1755 [English transl.].
The | Natural History | Of | Norway: | Containing, | A particular and accurate account of the Temperature of the Air, the | different Soils, Waters, Vegetables, Metals, Minerals, Stones, Beasts, | Birds, and Fishes together with the Dispositions, Customs, and | Manner of Living of the Inhabitants interspersed with Physiological | Notes from Eminent Writers, and Transactions of Academics. | In Two Parts. | Translated from the Danish Original of the | Right Revd. Erich Pontoppidan, | [...2 lines of titles and memberships...] | Illustrated with Copper Plates and a General Map of Norway. | [rule] | [ornament] | [double rule] | London: | Printed for A. Linde, Bookseller to Her Royal Highness the Princess Dowgger | of Wales, in Catherine Street in the Strand. | [rule] | MDCCLV.

2 parts in one volume. 2°: π2 b-f2 B-Ggg2; π2 b2 B-Hhhh2; 271l.; [i]-xxiii, [1], [1]-206 p., one folding engraved map (69x54 cm.), plates 1-14.; [i]-vii, [1], [1]-291, [13] p., plates 15-28. Page size: 363 x 232 mm.

Contents: [Part 1] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; iii-xx, "The Author's Preface."; [xxi]-xxiii, "A List of the Authors quoted in this Work."; [1 pg], "The Contents."; [Large folding map].; [1]-206/(=B-Ggg2v), Text part one.;

[Part 2] [i-ii], Title page, verso blank.; iii-vii, "The Author's Preface | To The | Second Part."-dated 24 April 1753.; [1 pg], "The | Contents | To Part II."; [1]-291/(=B-Eeee2v), Text part two.; [1 pg], "Directions for the Binder in placing the Plates."; [11 pgs/=Ffff1r-Hhhh2r], "General Index."; [1 pg], Blank.

Scarce. The classic work on the natural history of Norway. The fine plates show plants, minerals, views, animals, among which is an early engraving of a sea serpent, etc.First edition in English of the first comprehensive survey of the natural history of Norway. The original Danish edition was published in Copenhagen in 1752/53; this English translation is the first to contain a map. The plates depict plants, animals, and minerals, as well as several excellent views. There is much on the customs of the people, and an account of a famous sea serpent, with a plate picturing it. Nissen 522; Wood 522.

Bibliographical references: BL [459.c.3.]. Hoover Collection: no. 654. LKG: XIV 710a. Nissen (ZBI): no. 3224. Wood, Literature of Vertebrate Zoology, 1931: p. 522.

5. German, 1757.
Bedenken uber die naturl. Ursache der vielen und starken Erdbeben. Kopenhagen, 1757.

8°: Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIII 269***.

6. German, 1758.
Abhandlung. von der Neuigkeit der Welt. A.d. Dan. von C.G. Mengel. Kopenhagen und Leipzig, 1758.

8°: Very scarce.

Bibliographical references: LKG: XIII 102.

7. German, 1765 [German transl.].
Erich Pontoppidans, ... Kurzgefaszte nachrichten, die naturhistorie Dannemark betreffend. Aus dem Danischen uberseszt ... Kopenhagen, Hamburg, Verlegts Gabriel Christian Rothens Wittwe, und Prosst, und Michael Christian Bock, 1765.

8°: 232 p. illus., XVII plates (folding).

Plates: Plates are signed "I. Haas sc.".

Very scarce. No more of this translation was published. It is a German translation of the first volume of the author's Danske Atlas, where in nine plates depict geological matter among which are petrefactions and fossil shells from the Cabinets of Charlottenburg, Moltke, and Pontoppidan, and the six other plates show fishes, birds and insects.

Bibliographical references: BL [150.f.14.]. LKG: XIV 14e. Nissen (ZBI): no. 3221.