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By Mary Beagon

As an in depth research of the human animal, defined through its writer because the raison d'etre of nature, booklet Seven of the elder Pliny's usual heritage is essential to the knowledge of the paintings as a complete. furthermore, in spite of the fact that, it presents beneficial perception into the extreme complicated of principles and ideology present in Pliny's period, lots of that have resonances for different eras and cultures. the current examine encompasses a mammoth advent reading the historical past to Pliny's lifestyles, notion, and writing, including a latest English translation, and a close remark which emphasizes the significance of ebook Seven as very likely the main attention-grabbing cultural checklist surviving from early imperial Rome.

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Extra resources for The Elder Pliny on the Human Animal: Natural History Book 7 (Clarendon Ancient History)

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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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