Nr. 20 (1999)

Editorial: a plea for a Studium Generale, including veterinary history, in the veterinary curriculum

The narrower and broader concepts of veterinary history are outlined. The history of the veterinary sciences and the veterinary profession is defined as the narrower concept, whereas the broader concept encompasses changes of human-animal relationship through time and the cultural aspects of domestic animals as well.

A plea is held for bringing together in an organizational framework the study and teaching of those aspects of veterinary medicine that are of a humanistic nature. Elements already, but disconnectedly, offered in the curriculum in Utrecht, are philosophy of science, veterinary ethics, societal facets of veterinary medicine, veterinary history and veterinary legislation. Brought into an organized pattern this complex of disciplines could fill the need of a Studium generale in order to counterbalance the one-sidedness of professional training.

A. Mathijsen

Horse-riding schools in Utrecht and Leyden in the 18th century, next to the adventurous life of Gaspard Saunier, riding master of Leyden University from 1717 to 1737

Although students had opportunities for taking lessons in horse-riding already in the 17th century, the universities of Utrecht and Leyden upgraded their facilities nearly at the same time in the beginning of the 18th century. In Leyden the first official riding master was appointed by the university in 1704 and in Utrecht in the same year an academy linked to the university, was set up to teach horse riding, fencing, dancing and fortification. Although this academy was rather short-living, horse-riding in a university setting was continued till the beginning of the 19th century. In the rivalry between the universities to attract foreign noblemen these facilities fulfilled a certain role.

The best known of the riding masters of those days is the French equerry Gaspard Saunier (1683-1748), because he published three books, one on horse diseases and horse anatomy, and two on horsemanship. The first mentioned one is often criticized, a.o. because of the figures plagiarized after Ruini. He came to The Netherlands in 1709 after an adventurous life, mostly in the service of the armies under Louis XIV. His biography as told by a friend, Bruzen de la Martinière, and published in one of his posthumous works, is translated into Dutch and commented upon. His career may be called typical for a horseman of his days.

Tj. Pos

C.S.Th. van Gink (1890-1968), a central figure in the world of poultry sport

Van Gink defended, during more than half a century, the interests of the amateurs of poultry as a journalist, organizer, teacher, breeder and competition judge, in The Netherlands and abroad. He gained worldwide fame for his drawings and paintings of poultry. His pendrawings and aquarels are certainly unique from a technical and artistic point of view.

His biography is presented, together with the bibliography of his non-periodical publications. The remains of his library, 1100 items, are kept in the Utrecht Veterinary Library.

A. Mathijsen

Letters from The Netherlands to prof. Bernhard Bang

From the extensive correspondence left by B. Bang and preserved in Danish archives, eight letters dated between 1894 and 1901, and written by five Dutch veterinarians and one medical doctor, are summarized or transcribed. Their contents are mostly concerned with the fight against bovine tuberculosis. The discussions in the Netherlands Veterinary Association on the first legislation to fight bovine tuberculosis are mentioned. A short outline of Bang's merits for veterinary medicine are given on the basis of the laudatio at the occasion of the honorary doctorate bestowed on Bang by the Veterinary College of Utrecht in 1921.