Pliny the Elder


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Related to Pliny the Elder: Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Elder Gaius Plinius Secundus
BirthplaceComum (Como), Liguria, Roman Empire
Died
Occupation
Lawyer, author, natural philosopher, military commander, provincial governor
EducationRhetoric, grammar

Pliny the Elder

(Caius Plinius Secundus) (plĭ`nē), c.A.D. 23–A.D. 79, Roman naturalist, b. Cisalpine Gaul. He was a friend and fellow soldier of VespasianVespasian
(Titus Flavius Vespasianus) , A.D. 9–A.D. 79, Roman emperor (A.D. 69–A.D. 79), founder of the Flavian dynasty. The son of a poor family, he made his way in the army by sheer ability.
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, and he dedicated his great work to TitusTitus
(Titus Flavius Sabinus Vespasianus) , A.D. 39–A.D. 81, Roman emperor (A.D. 79–A.D. 81). Son of Emperor Vespasian, Titus was closely associated with his father in military campaigns, and after A.D. 71 he acted as coruler with the emperor.
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. He died of asphyxiation in the neighborhood of VesuviusVesuvius
, Ital. Vesuvio, active volcano, S Italy, on the eastern shore of the Bay of Naples, SE of Naples. The only other active volcano on the European mainland is the Campi Flegrei (se Phlegraean Fields) caldera on the Gulf of Pozzuoli to the east.
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, having gone to investigate the eruption. His one surviving work is an encyclopedia of natural science (Historia naturalis). It is divided into 37 books and, after a preface, deals with the nature of the physical universe; geography; anthropology; zoology; botany, including the medicinal uses of plants; curatives derived from the animal world; and mineralogy, including an account of the uses of pigments and a history of the fine arts. Pliny's industry was immense and his knowledge of sources extensive, but his information is mostly secondhand and useless as science.

Bibliography

See Selections from the History of the World, ed. by P. Turner (1962).

His nephew and ward, Pliny the Younger (Caius Plinius Caecilius Secundus), A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113, was an orator and a statesman. He was quaestor (A.D. 89), tribune (A.D. 91), and praetor (A.D. 93) and subsequently held treasury posts. He was consul (A.D. 100) and died in his proconsular province of Pontus-Bithynia. His fame rests on his letters, written probably for publication, which are an excellent mirror of Roman life.

Bibliography

See his Letters and Panegyricus, tr. by B. Radice (2 vol., 1969); studies by S. E. Stout (1954) and A. N. Sherwin-White (1966).

Pliny the Elder

 

(Gaius Plinius Secundus; also Gaius Plinius Major). Born A.D. 23 or 24 in Novum Comum (now Como); died A.D. 79. Roman writer, scholar, and public figure. Uncle and adoptive father of Pliny the Younger.

Pliny the Elder served in the Roman provinces of Germany, Gaul, Spain, and Africa. At the time of his death during the eruption of Vesuvius, he was commanding the fleet at Misenum. Pliny’s Natural History (37 books), an encyclopedia of antiquity’s knowledge in the natural sciences, combines information on astronomy, physical geography, meteorology, ethnology, anthropology, zoology, botany, agriculture, forestry, medicine, mineralogy, and metallurgy with fantastic stories, fables, superstitions, and anecdotes. Until the end of the 17th century the Natural History was considered an important source of information about nature. Pliny’s historical works have not survived, but they were used by Tacitus. In the German Wars (20 books), Pliny recounted the history of the Roman conquests along the Rhine and Danube. The Continuation of the History of Aufidius Bassus (31 books) was an account of the events of A.D. 41–71 (the reigns of Claudius and Nero and the civil war after Nero’s death). The Life of Pomponius Secundus (two books) was a biography of Pliny’s patron and military commander.

WORKS

Naturalis historiae, libri 37, vols. 1–6. Leipzig, 1870–98.
In Russian translation:
Katon, Varron, Kolumella, Plinii: O sel’skom khoziaistve. Moscow, 1957.

REFERENCES

Lunkevich, V. V. Ot Geraklita do Darvina, 2nd ed., vol. 1. Moscow, 1960.
Dannemann, F. Plinius und seine Naturgeschichte in Hirer Bedeutung für die Gegenwart. Jena, 1921.
References in periodicals archive ?
Still, the most interesting example of the special appearance of the king bee is found in Pliny the Elder, who believed that he could be recognised by a spot on his head, which looked very much like a diadem.
Work with the social-studies teachers to design an interdisciplinary unit on the art and culture of ancient Rome, using the Art Print to introduce students to the writings of Pliny the Elder.
The phrase was quickly and enthusiastically adopted worldwide to the point where it began to sound as if it had been first coined by Aesop, Aristotle or Pliny the Elder.
While the author has attempted to cover the topic of migration thoroughly, I found it disturbing that Pliny the Elder garnered a citation in the index, whereas world-renowned migratory sites such as Point Pelee (Ontario), Whitefish Point (Michigan), Cape May (New Jersey), Malmo (Sweden), and Istanbul (Turkey), among others were lacking.
Curran synthesizes the state of knowledge (or misinformation) that these sources provide about Egyptian antiquity through the analysis of works of Herodotus, Plato, Diodorus Siculus, Euhemerus of Messina, Strabo, Pliny the Elder, Plutarch, and Apuleius, as well as the Neoplatonists Plotinus, Porphyry, and Iamblichus.
Lewis Macondo George Macdonald Maple White Land Gabriel Garcia Marquez Noble's Isle Andre Maurois Oldwivesfabledom Herman Melville Pellucidar Sir Thomas More Penguin Island William Morris Phantastico Plato Philistia Pliny the Elder Protocosmo Edgar Allan Poe Satinland Francois Rabelais Shangri-La Sir Walter Raleigh Standard Island Salman Rushdie Titipu Robert Louis Stevenson Upmeads Jonathan Swift Utopia Alfred, Lord Tennyson Vanity Fair J.
BOYLSTON - The commemoration ceremony at a bench in a place called "Pliny's Allee" - as in the Roman scholar Pliny the Elder - is a tipoff, as is the lecture by Carla Capaldo, an expert on Italian food and wine.
As early as the first century CE, Roman encylopedist Pliny the Elder posited that warm climates had produced blacks, who were timid and thus unable to govern themselves.
The best quality frankincense became known as "the silver incense"; Pliny the Elder.
Ronda, whose name roughly translates as Rocky, dates back centuries, even earning itself honourable mentions from Pliny the Elder.
Louis writes detailed descriptions of seedy clubs in Crescent City (New Orleans), of bootlegging, of levee construction, of Carville leper colony and the philosophy of Pliny the Elder.
In the first century AD Pliny the elder makes a tantalising comment on a people called the Homeritae who had a capital called 'Saphhar' in Arabia Felix.