Natural History: Books XX-XXIII
PLINY, the Elder, Gaius Plinius Secundus (AD 23-79), a Roman of equestrian rank of Transpadane Gaul (N. Italy), was uncle of Pliny the letter writer. He pursued a career partly military in Germany, partly administrative in Gaul and Spain under the emperor Vespasian, and became prefect of the fleet at Misenum. He died in the eruption of Vesuvius when he went to get a closer view and to rescue friends. Tireless worker, reader, and writer, he was author of works now lost; but his great Natural History in 37 books with its vast collection of facts (and alleged facts) survives -- a mine of information despite its uncritical character. The contents of the books are as follows. Book 1: table of contents of the others and of authorities ; 2: mathematical and metrological survey of the universe; 3-6: Geography and ehtnography of the known world; 7: anthropology and physiology of man; 8-11: zoology; 12-19: botany, agriculture, and horticulture; 20-27: plant products as used in medicine; 28-32: medical zoology; 33-37: minerals (and medicine), the fine arts, and gemstones.
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INTRODUCTION jx NATURAL HISTORY BOOK XX
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