Poseidon in a coastal landscape, 1725.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Matthys Pool showing Poseidon, the god of the sea, seated on a giant shell wth his trident beside him. He is surrounded by sea creatures which have been stranded by the low tide. This illustration was used as the frontispiece of Count Luigi Ferdinando Marsili's (1658-1730) 'Histoire Physique de la Mer', (Physical History of the Sea), which was the first oceonography book ever written, published in Amsterdam in 1725. Marsili was a scientist and patron of the arts, who travelled throughout Europe. In 1722-23 he met Newton, Halley, Sloane, and the physician Herman Boehaave (1668-1738) who helped him publish this book and also wrote a preface for it.