Pliny the Elder (born Gaius Plinius Secundus, AD 23 – 79) was a Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and friend of the emperor Vespasian.
Spending most of his spare time studying, writing, and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia (Natural History), which became an editorial model for encyclopedias. His nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus:
For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading; above measure blessed those on whom both gifts have been conferred. In the latter number will be my uncle, by virtue of his own and of your compositions.
Pliny the Younger refers to Tacitus’s reliance upon his uncle’s book, the History of the German Wars. Pliny the Elder died in AD 79, while attempting the rescue, by ship, of a friend and his family, in Stabiae, from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which already had destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the volcano’s eruption did not allow his ship to leave port, and Pliny probably died during that event.
More info at: Pliny the Elder – Wikipedia
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus
Novum Comum (Como),>
August 25, AD 79>
Pliny the Younger >
(nephew, later adopted son)
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. Continue reading
The History of Northwest Water Travel is now documented by a collection of some 600 canoes in a Canoe Museum. Continue reading