Travels, or Observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant
Thomas Shaw. Travels, or Observations relating to several parts of Barbary and the Levant. Oxford: Printed at the Theatre, 1738.
Thomas Shaw (1694-1751), an early eighteenth-century travel writer, documented his experiences in the Levant, Sinai, Cyprus, and, indeed, most of North Africa. While working as a chaplain in Algiers from 1720 to 1733, he explored widely and made numerous observations on architecture, antiquities, geography, geology, and natural history.
Shaw’s observations of natural history may be the most significant of his contributions. Johann Jakob Dillenius, a botanist at Oxford, prepared the catalog of Shaw’s plants (over 600 of which are listed at the end of the Travels) and some of Shaw’s specimens were included in Dillenius’s Historia Muscorum. Both Dillenius and Shaw entertained Carl Linnaeus when he visited Oxford in 1736; Shaw was an early admirer of Linnaeus’s Systema naturae.
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