Natural History

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, 1991 - History - 399 pages
18 Reviews
Pliny’s Natural History is an astonishingly ambitious work that ranges from astronomy to art and from geography to zoology. Mingling acute observation with often wild speculation, it offers a fascinating view of the world as it was understood in the first century AD, whether describing the danger of diving for sponges, the first water-clock, or the use of asses’ milk to remove wrinkles. Pliny himself died while investigating the volcanic eruption that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79, and the natural curiosity that brought about his death is also very much evident in the Natural History – a book that proved highly influential right up until the Renaissance and that his nephew, Pliny the younger, described ‘as full of variety as nature itself’.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

Pliny was a "scientist" of his day. Although recording natural phenomena - he tied watching the destruction of Pompeii from a ship in its harbor - he also recorded the weird beliefs of the day, such ... Read full review

Review: Natural History: A Selection

User Review  - Floortje Zwigtman - Goodreads

Entertaining Roman wisdom, a pleasantly sceptic world view. To be read in small instalments, and re-read at leisure. Read full review

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About the author (1991)

Gaius Plinius Secundus (23 - 79AD), better known as Pliny the Elder, studied botany and philosophy in Rome before serving in the military. He was later Porcurator in Gallia, whilst continuing to accumulate knowledge on everything from grammar to the history of the German wars. He created the first known encyclopedia.

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