The works of Adriaen Coenen (1514 - 1587)


Coenen's handwritten and illustrated books are of great cultural value and is full of texts from many different sources. For marine ecologists his own observations on fishes, fisheries and trade in the 16th century form the most valuable part. A contemporary 16th century account on the abundance of fish and on fisheries that took part, that's unique. A paper revealing this content, written by me with the help of fishery biologist Adriaan Rijnsdorp, appeared in press in 2015:

Bennema, F.P., Rijnsdorp, A.D., Fish abundance, fisheries, fish trade and consumption in sixteenth-century Netherlands as described by Adriaen Coenen. Fisheries Research 161 (2015) 384-399.

Earlier I dived into Coenen's sources about marine species which resulted in the scheme beneath. More info on Coenen's and other historic books may be found in the Timeline of marine biology before Linnaeus .

 Aristotle*  Lineage of Coenens sources
In his rich illustrated books Coenen combined early scientific knowledge with medieval fantasies in a most natural way.
Although he knew a great number of species he copied the greatest part of his texts and illustrations from other authors.
 3xx BC    
 xx   Adriaen Coenen 1581 and 1587     
 Pierre Belon*
 Guillaume Rondelet*

Olaus Magnus
 Conrad Gesner



 * = works based on own observations.  W = number of illustrations in Walvisboeck  V = number of illustrations in Visboeck     

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