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'.
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser 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
Other editions - View all
Africa Alexander animals Apelles Aristotle Asia Athens authorities battle bees believe birds body bronze Caesar Campania Cato cinnabar Claudius colour consulship copper creatures death denarii doctors drink earth Egypt elephants especially example eyes famous feet fire fish fluorspar Gaius Gallia Narbonensis Gaul gods gold Greece Greek grow Hipparchus honey human India invented iron island Italy Jupiter killed kind King known land late Emperor Augustus live Lucius magic man’s marble Marcus Agrippa Marcus Varro medicine men’s miles mineral moon mountains Natural History Nero Nero’s Nile olive painting Parthia pearls perfume plants Pliny Pliny the Elder Pliny’s poison Pompey pounds produced Ptolemy Pythagoras Quintus reason records region River rock-crystal Roman Rome round salt sculptors sesterces ships Sicily Sicyon silver snakes Spain statue stone Temple Theophrastus things Tiberius trees variety Varro vines whole wild wine wreath