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125: see J. André, R. Bloch, A. Rouveret, Pline l’Ancien, Histoire Naturelle livre 36 (Paris, 1981), 212–13; and Healy (1999), 177–8. 22  cataloguing the totality of nature by enumerating his facts and sources (HN pref. 17), listing his authorities, and providing more internal referencing than any other ancient author resulted, according to one modern scholar,⁶⁴ in ‘the most complete image of ancient common wisdom’. The desire to categorize everything into a unifying totality reflects, on one level, an interest in compilation which went back to the Peripatetics and Hellenistic culture⁶⁵ and was a feature of the scholarly activities of Pliny’s own era.

Cf. the metaphor of the ruler/statesman at the helm of the ship of state: Cicero, Rab. Perd. 26, Sest. 20, Div. 2. 3, Rosc. Am. 131, and esp. Rep. 2. 29, rector et gubernator civitatis, ‘ruler and helmsman of the state’. For Seneca (Hippol. 903), the divine ruler of the cosmos is poli gubernator, ‘helmsman of the heavens’. ⁸⁹ Tac. Hist. 3. 24; cf. 2. 74, 85. The eastern cult of Sol Invictus seems not to have become established at Rome before the 2nd cent. , but it appears that it was already entering Roman consciousness via the legions: see Halsberghe (1972), 37.

His lost works on Rome’s customs and traditions. See Wallace-Hadrill (1983), 132–3. ⁴⁶ Beagon, ‘Plinio, la tradizione enciclopedica e i mirabilia’, in Storia della Scienza, i: La Scienza Antica (Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, Rome, 2001), 735–45. ⁴⁷ Suet. Vesp. 8, cf. Tac. Hist. 4. 40. 3), but he was also responsible for eleven books, now lost, entitled Libri Actorum and three books of Epistulae, drawn from ancient documents and speeches (Tac. Dial. 37). Finally, the frequently elaborate rhetorical style of Pliny’s Latin is the product of an era which saw the appointment of Quintilian as Vespasian’s professor of Latin literature.

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