Pliny the Elder’s encyclopedia of the physical world, was called Historia naturalis (Natural History), completed some time in Rome circa 77 CE and was widely influential up to the end of what is known as the medieval period. Pliny’s work, was divided into 37 “books” (not really into volumes) indiscriminately mixed accurate contemporary knowledge about the sciences, agriculture, medicine, and the arts with numerous myths, fallacies, and fantasies. Many of the myths, fallacies, and fantasies of which were accepted without question by later scholars and some still persist to the present day. The errors within Natural History were first detailed in 1492 by Niccolo Leoniceno, an Italian.
Pliny the Elder
- Pliny the Elder | Roman scholar | Britannica.com – Encyclopedia …
Pliny the Elder, Latin in full Gaius Plinius Secundus, (born ad 23, Novum Comum, Transpadane Gaul [now in Italy]—died Aug. 24, 79, Stabiae, near Mt. Vesuvius), Roman savant and author of the celebrated Natural History, an encyclopaedic work of uneven accuracy that was an authority on scientific matters up to the Middle Ages.
- Pliny the Elder’s Natural History: The Empire in the Encyclopedia …
The most important surviving encyclopaedia from the ancient world, Pliny the Elder’s Natural History is unparalleled as a guide to the cultural meanings of everyday things in 1st-century Rome.
- Pliny the Elder, Natural History – Livius
There is no book so bad that some good can not be got out of it,” Pliny the Elder used to say, and he read everything that he could obtain.
- Pliny the Elder’s Natural History: The Empire in the Encyclopedia
Without question, in their own quiet way the newly attested Dii Itinerarii (or Itineris)1 must have viewed the writing of this fine book with favor.