Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge

I had a lecture on taxonomy yesterday. This is the most interesting (and amusing) piece of information I gleaned from the lecture. It's an early method of classification found in an ancient Chinese encylopedia called the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge and described in The Analytical Language of John Wilkins.

These are the 14 groups of animals:
  1. those that belong to the Emperor
  2. embalmed ones
  3. those that are trained
  4. suckling pigs
  5. mermaids
  6. fabulous ones
  7. stray dogs
  8. those included in the present classification
  9. those that tremble as if they were mad
  10. innumerable ones
  11. those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush
  12. others
  13. those that have just broken a flower vase
  14. those that from a long way off look like flies


Stepheny Weaver said...


I thought I was on your blog roll!? Maybe it is just not showing up on my computer...? I'm sure it was a mistake, you may add me if you'd like. :)


Suzanne said...

Hi Stepheny :)

You are on my blog roll but it only displays the 5 on my list that have most recently been updated. So you'll have to make sure you blog loads to appear on my list! ;)