Hand-coloured woodcut from the 'Origin of Things' section of the 'Margarita Philosophica' ('The Philosophical Pearl'), by Gregor Reisch (c 1467-1525). First printed in 1503, this book was once considered the 'tree of all knowledge'. It was intended as a text book for scholars and is divided into twelve 'books', each dealing with the science of one of the following: grammar, dialectics, rhetoric, arithmetic, music, geometry, astronomy, natural philosophy (physics), origin of natural objects (natural history), psychology, logic and ethics. Its illustrations, which are of great scientific and historical interest, are some of the earliest known of the various subjects.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library