image MS_131_82
Image number: RS.16410
Credit: ©The Royal Society

Ancient lyre and a tortoise




Unknown, Artist

Object type

Archive reference number

Manuscript page number




height (paper): 300mm
width (paper): 192mm


Content object


An ancient lyre copied from Marin Mersenne's Harmonie Universelle (1636), and a tortoise copied from Jan Jonston's Historiae Naturalis de Quadrupedibus Libri [1652?], in order to explain an obscure passage in Horace's Odes.


at the top: '(16)'. Above the drawing of the Lyra: Fig. 1a Lyra sive Testudo Antiqua; above the drawing of the tortoise: Fig. 2a Testudo Aquatica Johnstoni
Transcribed by the Making Visible project

Object history

T. Molyneux, 'Some Thoughts concerning the Ancient Greek and Roman Lyre, and an Explanation of an Obscure Passage in One of Horace's Odes', Phil. Trans., no. 282 (1702), p. 1275 explains that the first figure was copied from Marin Mersenne's De instrumentis [i.e. Harmonie Universelle], book 1, p. 7 (which in turn was copied from a gem) and the second figure from Jan Jonston, De animalibus, tab. 18, de quadripedibus [i.e. Historia Naturalis de Quadrupedibus Libri].

Related Fellows

Thomas Molyneux (1661-1733, Irish), Physician