Biography of Ignacio Jordan de Asso del Rio (s. XVIII)

Jurisconsult and Spanish naturalist of the 18th century. He/She was born in Zaragoza in 1742, and also died in Zaragoza in 1814. He/She stood out for his studies on botany, zoology, mineralogy, Agronomy and history of science.

The interest of this famous jurist and historian by the Sciences of nature proved stimulated when, in 1776, took charge of the Spanish Consulate in Amsterdam and engaged in direct relationship with the naturalists resident there. In 1778, Asso was the first botanical excursion. He/She toured the South of Aragon, where it collected more than one thousand species of Botany and presented the results of their study in the book Synopsis stirpium Aragoniae (1779) indigerarium. Two years later he/she traveled the Guara mountain and the mountains of Jaca, collecting materials that summed up in a kind of Appendix to the previous work, titled Mantissa (1781). On a third voyage, which was made in 1783 by the Aragonese Pyrenees, it dealt mainly minerals of the area, as well as their fossils or "petrificata". His new book, Introductio in Orytographiam, et Zoologiam Aragoniae (1784) is remembered above all for his paleontological descriptions.

Asso developed an intense activity in the economic society of friends of the country of Zaragoza. Gave this institution of naturalist collections and formed part of the Commission to form a botanic garden. Within the framework of the society, published a study about the lobster and how to combat it (1785) and made some experiences about the culture and performance of different kinds of wheat (1785).

On the other hand, published in the annals of Science (1801-1802), a Spanish version of the observations of Pehr Löffling on the natural history, Spanish and American, which directly translated from Swedish, depending on the edition of Linnaeus. He/She was also an early grower of historical studies of science in Spain. In his epistolary collection of great Spanish historical figures (1793), included letters from several Spanish naturalists of the 16th century. In 1801 he/she published a discourse on the Spanish natualistas, which summarized a letter more wide on the same topic that was handwritten.

He also wrote a large number of works on different branches of science, such as the old fuero of Castile, don Alfonso XI system of laws, institutions of the civil law of Castilla and speech on the lobster and means to exterminate it.



Synopsis stirpium indigenarum Aragonide, s.i., Marseille, 1779. Mantissa stirpium indigenarum Aragoniae, Amsterdam, Sommer, 1781. Introductio Oryctographiam, et Zoologiam Aragoniae, Amsterdam, Sommer, 1784. Discourse on the lobster and the means to exterminate them, s.i., 1785 (rééd. in Madrid, R. Vergés, 1826). Hispaniensium atque exterorum Epistolae, cum praefatione et notis, Typ. Regia, 1793. Relationship of agriculture experiments made in Zaragoza in the year 1797..., Zaragoza, M. Miedes, 1797.Speech on Spanish naturalists"in annals of science, 3 (1801), 170-179.


COLMEIRO, M: the Botany and the botanical of the Hispano-lusitana Peninsula. Bibliographic and biographical studies, Madrid, M. Rivadeneyra, 1858, pp. 115, 170-171.PAU, Carlos: "Asso as a botanist" in Linnaeus in Spain, Zaragoza, 1907, pp. 141-160.REDO, José G.: "Asso as geographer" in Linnaeus in Spain, Zaragoza, 1907, pp. 161-164.