The Natural History of Pliny, Volume 1

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An account of the observations that have been made on the heavens by different individuals
On the recurrence of the eclipses of the sun and the moon
Of the motion of the moon 12 Of the motions of the planets and the general laws of their aspects more löfty and
Why the same stars appear at some times more lofty and at other times more near
Why the same stars have different motions
General laws of the planets
The reason why the stars are of different colours 17 Of the motion of the sun and the cause of the irregularity the days
Why thunder is ascribed to Jupiter
Of the distances of the stars 20 Of the harmony of the stars
Of the dimensions of the world
Of the stars which appear suddenly or of comets
Their nature situation and species
The doctrine of Hipparchus about the stars
Trabes Calestes Chasma Cæli 27 Of the colours of the sky and of celestial flame
Of celestial coronæ
Of sudden circles 30 Of unusually long eclipses of the sun 31 Many suns
Many moons 33 Daylight in the night 34 Burning shields 35 An ominous appearance in the heavens that was seen once
Of stars which move about in various directions 37 Of the stars which are named Castor and Pollux
Of the air and on the cause of the showers of stones
Of the stated seasons
Of the rising of the dogstar
Of the regular influence of the different seasons 42 Of uncertain states of the weather 43 Of thunder and lightning
The origin of winds
Various observations respecting winds
The different kinds of winds
The periods of the winds
Nature of the winds
Ecnephias and Typhon
Tornadoes blasting winds whirlwinds and other wonder ful kinds of tempests 51 Of thunder in what countries it does not fall and for what reason
Of the different kinds of lightning and their wonderful effects
The Etrurian and the Roman observations on these points
Of conjuring up thunder
General laws of lightning
Objects which are never struck
Showers of milk blood flesh iron wool and baked tiles
Rattling of arms and the sound of trumpets heard in the sky 59 Of stones that have fallen from the clouds The opinion of Anaxagoras respecting them
The rainbow
The nature of hail snow hoar mist dew the forms of clouds 62 The peculiarities of the weather in different places
Nature of the earth
Of the form of the earth 65 Whether there be antipodes
How the water is connected with the earth Of the naviga tion of the sea and the rivers
Whether the ocean surrounds the earth
What part of the earth is inhabited
dows fall in opposite directions
In what places the sea has receded
Where the tides rise and fall in an unusual manner
The wonders of fire and water united
The harmonical proportion of the universe
Of Spain generally
Of Bætica
Of Nearer Spain
Of the province of Gallia Narbonensis
Of Italy
Of the ninth region of Italy
The seventh region of Italy
The first region of Italy the Tiber Rome

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Page 24 - But there are others who reject this principle and assign events to the influence of the stars, and to the laws of our nativity ; they suppose that God, once for all, issues his decrees and never afterwards interferes. This opinion begins to gain ground, and both the learned and the uniearned vulgar are falling into it.
Page 112 - I certainly conceive the winds to be the cause of earthquakes; for the earth never trembles except when the sea is quite calm, and when the heavens are so tranquil that the birds cannot maintain their flight, all the air which should support them being withdrawn; nor does it ever happen until after great winds, the gust being pent up, as it were, in the fissures and concealed hollows. For the trembling of the earth resembles thunder in the clouds; nor does the yawning of the earth differ from the...
Page 181 - ... chosen by the providence of the Gods to render even heaven itself more glorious, to unite the scattered empires of the earth, to bestow a polish upon men's manners, to unite the discordant and uncouth dialects of so many...
Page 124 - Much has been said about the nature of waters; but the most wonderful circumstance is the alternate flowing and ebbing of the tides, which exists, indeed, under various forms, but is caused by the sun and the moon." The tide flows twice and ebbs twice between each two risings of the moon, always in the space of twenty-four hours. First, the moon rising with the stars swells out the tide, and after some time, having gained the summit of the heavens, she declines from the meridian and sets, and the...
Page 23 - Among these discordant opinions mankind have discovered for themselves a kind of intermediate deity, by which our scepticism concerning God is still increased. For all over the world, in all places, and at all times, Fortune is the only god whom every one invokes ; she alone is spoken of, she alone is accused and is supposed to be guilty ; she alone is in our thoughts, is praised and blamed, and is loaded with reproaches ; wavering as she is, conceived by the generality of mankind to be blind, wandering,...
Page 23 - But it is ridiculous to suppose, that the great head of all things, whatever it be, pays any regard to human affairs. Can we believe, or rather can there be any doubt, that it is not polluted by such a disagreeable and complicated office? It is not easy to determine which opinion would be most for the advantage of mankind, since we observe some who have no respect for the gods, and others who carry it to a scandalous excess. They are slaves to foreign ceremonies ; they carry on their fingers the...
Page ix - ... phenomenon. The cloud was to be seen gradually rising upwards ; though, from the great distance, it was uncertain from which of the mountains it arose ; it was afterwards, however, ascertained to be Vesuvius. In appearance and shape it strongly resembled a tree ; perhaps it was more like a pine than anything else, with a stem of enormous length reaching upwards to the heavens, and then spreading out in a number of branches in every direction. I have little doubt that either it had been carried...
Page 21 - Reward, indicates still greater folly. Human nature, weak and frail as it is, mindful of its own infirmity, has made these divisions, so that every one might have recourse to that which he supposed himself to stand more particularly in need of. Hence we find different names employed by different nations; the inferior deities are arranged in classes, and diseases and plagues are deified, in consequence of our anxious wish to propitiate them. It was from this cause that a temple was dedicated to Fever,...
Page viii - AD) at about the seventh hour (1 PM), my mother, observing the appearance of a cloud of unusual size and shape, mentioned it to him. After reclining in the sun, he had taken his old bath; he had then again lain down, and after a slight repast, applied himself to his studies.
Page 5 - It is, indeed, no easy task to give novelty to what is old, and authority to what is new ; brightness to what is become tarnished, and light to what is obscure ; to render what is slighted acceptable, and what is doubtful worthy of our confidence ; to give to all a natural manner, and to each its peculiar nature. It is sufficiently honourable and glorious to have been willing even to make the attempt, although it should prove unsuccessful.

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