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Francesco Cupani
CUPANI, Francesco.

CUPANI, Francesco.
(1657 - 1710/11)

(Born: Mirto, Messina, Sicily, 21 January 1657; Died: Mirto, Messina, Sicily, 19 January 1710/11) Italian botanist.

Cupani studied medicine and became a Franciscan. He dedicated himself to the study of natural history, and most especially botany. In particular he studied the Sicilian flora and was the friend and student of Silvio Boccone, who was a pioneer naturalist in Sicily. Due to a huge correspondence among his contemporaries, Cupani became very famous throughout all of Europe. He founded a botanical garden `Garden of Misilmeri' in 1692 where native and exotic plants were cultivated.

Biographical references: Catalogue of Portraits of Naturalists: 329 [1 portrait listed].

1. Latin, 1713.
Panphyton siculum; sive, Historia naturalis de animalibus, stirpibus et fossilibus, quae in Sicilia vel in circuitu ejus inveniuntur. Opus posthumum ad motum Fr. Cupani imaginibus aeneis circiter septingentis e vero tractis. Panormi, Ex typographia regia Antonini Epiro, 1713.

2°: 84l., showing 168 plates numbered 1-168. Title pages appear only as a manuscript leaf. There may be other text leaves that are not always present.

Very rare. Although principally a botanical work this postumonous publication is a generously illustrated natural history of the author's native Sicily. It illustrates the plants, animals, and minerals of that island. There is little or no text as the work was still in preparation when Cupani died. Never the less, the Panphyton Siculum contains the first descriptions of several plant species new to science.

Facsimile reprint, 2003: Panphyton siculum. Edizione a cura di Carlo Pastena, Angela Anselmo, Maria Carmela Zimmardi. Palermo, Regione siciliana, Assessorato dei beni culturali ed ambientali e della pubblica istruzione, Dipartimento dei beni culturali ed ambientali e dell'educazione permanente, Biblioteca centrale della Regione siciliana, 2003. 3 vols., illus.

Bibliographical references: BL [447.i.11.]. BMC: 1, 406. Nissen (BBI): no. 443. Pritzel, Thesaurus Literaturę Botanicę, 1871-3: no. 1995. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London: Nov. 1917-June 1918, p. 8. Stafleu & Cowan, Taxonomic Literature, 1976-88: ??.

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