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His short treatise, De arte natandi, was written in Latin and contained over 40 woodcut illustrations depicting various methods of swimming, including the breaststroke, backstroke and crawl.
Digby regarded the breaststroke as the most useful form of swimming.
In 1595, Christopher Middleton wrote "A short introduction for to learne to swimme", that was the first published guide recording drawings and examples of different swimming styles.
In 1696, the French author Melchisédech Thévenot wrote The Art of Swimming, describing a breaststroke very similar to the modern breaststroke.
Written references date back to ancient times, with the earliest as early as 2000 BC.This book was translated into English and became the standard reference of swimming for many years to come.In 1793, Guts Muths from Schnepfenthal, Germany, wrote Gymnastik für die Jugend (Exercise for youth), including a significant portion about swimming.Leonardo da Vinci made early sketches of lifebelts.In 1539, Nikolaus Wynmann, a German professor of languages, wrote the first swimming book Colymbetes. The book contained a good methodical approach to learning breaststroke, and mentioned swimming aids such as air filled cow bladders, reed bundles, and cork belts. John's College, Cambridge and was interested in the scientific method.