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Cuvier’s History of the Natural Sciences

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Georges Cuvier

5. Pliny, his Contemporaries & Followers / Pline, ses contemporaines & ses partisans

13. Pliny and His Natural History

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1The sciences, which could not be furthered during the disastrous reigns of the first empe the reign of Vespasian. This emperor backed the sciences with all his power; he instituted schools where the sciences were taught at the same time as philosophy. The desire for learning wasrors, finally began to be honored at Rome under still too feeble to hope that the schools could sustain themselves; Vespasian helped to propagate them with the state’s resources; for the first time, under his reign, professors were paid a salary by the public treasury.

  • 1 [Pliny the Elder, Latin in full Gaius Plinius Secundus (born A.D. 23, Novum Comum, Transpadane Gau (...)

2Pliny,1 Vespasian’s favored friend, wrote at this time his Natural History, a work no less famous among the Latins than Aristotle’s is among the Greeks.

  • 2 [Gaius Valerius Catullus (born c. 84 B.C., Verona, Cisalpine Gaul; died c. 54 B.C., Rome), Roman p (...)
  • 3 [Saint Jerome, Latin in full Eusebius Hieronymus, pseudonym Sophronius (born c. 347, Stridon, Dalm (...)
  • 4 [Suetonius, in full Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (born c. A.D. 69, probably Rome; died after 122), (...)

3Pliny was born in A.D. 23, the ninth year of the reign of Tiberius. Two cities, Verona and Como, claim the honor of being the birthplace of this great naturalist. Many authors consider a phrase in which Pliny describes Catullus2 as conterraneus as decisive in favor of Verona; but the word conterraneus means from the same province rather than the same city. Moreover, unvarying tradition from ancient times, recorded by St. Jerome (in the chronicle of Eusebius)3 and in the life of Pliny attributed to Suetonius,4 and which is of undoubted high antiquity, notes the birth of Pliny the Younger at Como; the vast possessions of his uncle in the environs of this city, and which later became the property of his nephew; and finally, the numerous ancient inscriptions found a short distance from this city relating to the members of the Plinia family – all these things prove beyond a doubt the existence of this family at Como, the high position it held in the province through the first century A.D., and the birth of Pliny the Elder at the city of Como or in a nearby domain.

  • 5 [Lollia Paulina (died A.D. 49), a noble Roman woman who lived in the first century, who became qui (...)

4Pliny traveled to Rome when he was quite young, during the reign of Tiberius. He also visited when Caligula was in power and Tiberius had retired to the island of Capri. His details about the gems of Lollia Paulina,5 who was empress for a moment, caused people to say he was admitted in his youth to the court of Caligula; but perhaps he had only seen Lollia on a public occasion or on her travels to the environs of Rome. Under the reign of Claudius, Pliny attended a public combat between Roman troops and a monstrous fish (a cetacean) that had happened to be captured in the port of Ostia. But it seems that during these various excursions he remained unknown to the three emperors whom we have just named, as well as to Nero.

  • 6 [Apion (born c. 20 B.C. at the Siwa Oasis, died c. A.D. 45), Graeco-Egyptian grammarian, sophist, (...)
  • 7 [Lucius Pomponius Secundus was a Roman patrician who rose through the cursus honorum under a numbe (...)
  • 8 [Balm, any of several fragrant herbs of the mint family, particularly Melissa officinalis, also ca (...)

5After having been to school to the philosopher Apion,6 who flourished at Rome during Caligula’s reign, Pliny traveled to Africa, and was thus able to write about that country from his own observations. He then took up the profession of a soldier and even reached a rather high rank in the cavalry. Under Lucius Pomponius7 he commanded a legion in Germany, and at the same time exploring that country, was able to gather various facts about the North Sea. In his spare time he composed several works unrelated to natural history and which have not come down to us: such are an Account of the wars in Germany, the Life of Pomponius Secundus, a treatise on military art entitled On hurling by the horseman, several Essays on grammar, and a work on the Wars of Judaea. It is even claimed that he himself had been present in these wars, since he gives details on the many productions of Judea, and particularly on the balm-tree;8 but these details are so deprived of accuracy that they themselves give the lie to the origin claimed for them.

  • 9 [Vaucluse, a département in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, southeastern France. The fountain o (...)
  • 10 [For Pliny’s Natural history, see note 1, above.]

6Returning to Rome at the age of 30, Pliny litigated many cases in court under the reign of Claudius. He does not seem to have been employed under Nero; but towards the end of the latter’s reign, he traveled to Spain, and to Narbonnese Gaul, which he described very well, in particular the fountain of Vaucluse.9 Finally, under Vespasian, he spent his free time writing his Natural history, comprising 37 volumes, the material for which he had doubtless been collecting over a long period of time.10 It is the only one of his works that is extant, but at least it is complete, except for copyist’s errors. It seems that Pliny worked on this book during a great part of his life, especially during his retirement at Rome during the wars in Judea. He dedicated his history to Titus, who was not yet emperor, and his dedication is remarkable for its tone of familiarity and even facetiousness, which is proof of an intimate friendship between himself and the emperor and the emperor’s son. Also, it is known that every morning, throughout the time of the Judean war, Pliny was admitted before sunrise to the emperor’s presence, who would consult him on public affairs.

  • 11 [Misenum, ancient port of Campania, Italy, located about 3 miles (5 km) south of Baiae at the west (...)
  • 12 [Resina, now Ercolano, town, Napoli provincia, Campania regione, southern Italy. It lies at the we (...)

7When Titus succeeded his father, Pliny was named to command the fleet at Misenum,11 which was sent round the Mediterranean to destroy pirates, and it was during this command that he perished near Naples, having approached too close in order to observe the fearful eruption of Vesuvius that buried Pompeii and Herculaneum, in A.D. 79. Pliny was in Misenum at the time; he was told that an extraordinary phenomenon was visible on the horizon, like a cloud in the shape of a pyramid-like tree; he had himself transported towards the place whence this vapor arose, and disembarked at Resina.12 From there he observed the phenomenon from close by, made note of its main characteristics, and retreated. The eruption no longer showed any sign of danger; he fell peacefully asleep. But he was soon warned that rocks and cinders were raining on the house where he was lying, that the courtyard was already filled with material thrown by Vesuvius; he arose and went out, shielding himself from the falling rocks with pillows or cushions. He thus arrived safe and sound upon the beach where he intended to board his ship again. But the sea was so rough he could not trust it; he was obliged to stay on the beach, and there he died, probably asphyxiated by cinders and sulphurous fumes, and a victim of his passion for natural history. He was only 56 years old.

  • 13 [Pliny the Younger, Latin in full Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (born A.D. 61 or 62, Comum, Ita (...)
  • 14 [Largius (or Lartius) Licinius, a contemporary of the elder Pliny, a praetor in Spain, and subsequ (...)

8He was certainly one of the most hard-working men who ever lived. His nephew, Pliny the Younger,13 in a letter he wrote to Tacitus, gives astonishing details on the subject; he says that he was always reading or having himself read to, or writing or dictating. In the morning, in the evening, in the bath, on excursions, he was constantly accompanied by a reader and a secretary. There has come down to us 160 large volumes excerpted by him from writers he had read. These excerpts were highly esteemed by his contemporaries, for after Pliny’s death, Largius Licinius14 offered his nephew four hundred thousand sesterces for them.

9Considered as naturalist, Pliny is far from having the genius of Aristotle, whom he often copied but does not seem to have always comprehended. Although writing in a more enlightened time than that of many of the ancient naturalists, he repeated uncritically all the absurd fables he found in their writings, as well as all those that were believed in his own time. It even appears that he had a special predilection for the fabulous. In addition, his work lacks order, method. Each science, considered separately, is totally bereft of any classification, except perhaps geography. Pliny must be considered an extraordinary compiler rather than a first-rate scholar. His work is a veritable Encyclopedia, as he himself calls it; to compose it, he consulted more than two thousand different works, and he cites the names of 480 authors, only forty of whom are extant. Without him, a multitude of diverse ideas, contained in books now lost, would not have come down to us. Also, many Latin terms are found only in his History, and without the history it would have been impossible to reconstruct the Latin language. From this immense work one may judge of the wealth of the ancient libraries and the scientific treasures that were lost to us through the invasions and depredations of barbarian hordes!

10The first book of Pliny’s history, in which it may be seen that he is a pantheist since he recognizes no God other than the world, is devoted to astronomy and meteorology. Some words about cosmogony or cosmography precede a dissertation on the elements, on God, and on the stars; next comes a theory about eclipses, about the scintillation of stars and lightning; after which he returns to the stars and wonders about their distances, thus constantly mixing two sciences that are distinct from and foreign to one another.

11In the four books that follow, the author takes up geography. Europe, Africa, and Asia form natural divisions; but after reviewing the several countries of southern Europe in the order of Spain, Italy, and Greece, Pliny returns by way of the islands in the Aegean Sea, through Sarmatia, Scythia, Germany and the islands in the seas of Germany and Gaul, to Gaul and thence to eastern Spain and Lusitania. During the author’s time, such a periplus of Europe could offer many advantages, but was there not a better order to follow? Finally, Pliny commits many errors of double usage: he often repeats, without noticing it, the same names altered by misspellings; he frequently contradicts himself because he is copying authors whose reasonings are based on opposed systems.

12In the seventh volume begins natural history per se; that is, the body of knowledge that we designate today by that name. Zoology is presented first and takes us up through the eleventh book. Pliny commences by enumerating the varieties of the human species, and he adopts uncritically all the fables invented by the ancient travelers, who were much less truthful even than modern ones. He reports that there exist men without a mouth, others with the feet of an ostrich, and yet others whose ears are so voluminous that one ear may serve for a mattress and the other for a cover. His stories are merely a repetition of the fables of Ctesias and Agatharchides.

  • 15 [Decemvir (Latin: “ten men”), in ancient Rome, any official commission of 10. The designation is m (...)
  • 16 [Clepsydra, also called water clock, an ancient device for measuring time by the gradual flow of w (...)
  • 17 [Peter Artedi, his father a pastor, was born in the parish of Anunds in Angermanland in 1705. Dest (...)
  • 18 [Conrad Gessner, Conrad also spelled Konrad (born 26 March 1516, Zürich; died 13 December 1565, Zü (...)

13The seventh volume ends with a quite curious story of the invention of the arts. One sees in it how tardy Rome was in this regard. At the time of the decemvirs,15 Rome did not yet possess any instrument for measuring time. Each day, when the sun appeared between two columns, a lictor would call out in the senate that it was noon; but when a cloud obscured the sun, it also robbed the Romans of their means of knowing the hour. It was not until a hundred years later that the clepsydra,16 invented by Scipio Nasica, came into use at Rome, the year 595 after the founding of the city. Zoology per se, which begins in the eighth volume, is divided into two unequal parts; one part contains the enumeration and description of animals, the other, composing only a half-volume (eleventh book, from the forty-fourth to the one hundred and nineteenth number), is a true comparative anatomy or general zoology: but the subdivision of the first part into terrestrial and aquatic animals and animals that live in the air is insufficient; there needed to be a corresponding distribution for insects, which fill the first part of the eleventh book. You can guess the result of the arbitrary distribution adopted by Pliny: mammals and reptiles on the ground; mammals and birds in the air; mammals, fishes, crustaceans, annelids, reptiles, and zoophytes in the water. But scarcely a third were known by names of modern origin, and scarcely were the names that existed properly applied. For the orders, the families, the classes –in short, all the large sections of a kingdom– cannot be well defined until, through the philosophical determination of the importance of characteristics, one arrives at a good taxonomy. Hence, lobsters were called fishes, anguilliforms were taken for serpents or hydras, and the bat and the dragon were classified as birds. Only the cetaceans and amphibians give rise less often to such gross errors, and although occasionally the dolphins and whales are, as in Artedi17 and in Gessner,18 large fishes, Pliny usually calls them monsters (belluae).

14However, it is essential to note here that our author is merely fulfilling the role of compiler and abridger and is not responsible for all the mistakes found in his work, and that only a part of them are attributable to him. Everyone knows perfectly well which part. Nothing is easier than seeing which factitious order or what disorder is found in the naturalists consulted by Pliny, and which disorder has no other cause than his ignorance or precipitancy.

  • 19 [Martichore or manticore, a mythical animal first mentioned by Ctesias; see Lesson 6, note 37.]
  • 20 [Catoblepas: this is perhaps the gnu or connochaetes, also called the wildebeest, either of two Af (...)
  • 21 [Monoceros is the narwhal (Monodon monoceros), a small whale belonging to the family Monodontidae, (...)
  • 22 [The original winged horse was Pegasus, in Greek mythology, a winged horse that sprang from the bl (...)

15But how has he carried out his role of abridger, compiler, and translator, as regards details, facts, and individual descriptions? It must be said flatly that Pliny is far from being irreproachable in this function. His choice of authors is not always felicitous, and he often prefers a ridiculous or childish explanation to a more reasonable one, a bizarre story to the simple truth. Thus the martichore,19 the catoblepas20 with the fatal glance, the monoceros,21 the winged horses22 are placed with honor next to the lion and the elephant. He speaks with complacency of a species of hyena that calls woodcutters by name in order to devour them, and he retails a thousand fables about the lynx. He copies Ctesias as readily as he does Aristotle, and takes great care not to suspect any symbolic meaning in the animals seen by Ctesias in the hieroglyphs at Persepolis. And oftentimes, he seems to have read at random anything presented to him without informing himself as to what was excellent in a field of knowledge, nor was he acquainted with recently published works; for he states as authoritative and accepted in his time absurdities thrashed to bits a century earlier by knowledgeable men in Alexandria and Greece. Then, since he usually has not seen what he is describing, he alters the sense, thinking only to modify the wording, and he becomes unintelligible or incorrect. Such errors are even more frequent when he translates from Greek into Latin, and especially when it is a matter of designating natural species: for the Greek word designating an animal in Aristotle he substitutes in his text a word that in Latin designates quite another. Finally, not only is the nomenclature of animals incomplete, but what is most important, the descriptions or rather signs or marks that he gives are nearly always insufficient for recognizing the animals and recovering their names, unless the names have been preserved by tradition; and it often happens that the names are not accompanied by the characteristics, which makes any determination impossible.

  • 23 [Juvenal, Latin in full Decimus Junius Juvenalis (born c. A.D. 55-60, Aquinum, Italy; died probabl (...)
  • 24 [Marcus Atilius Regulus (fl. third century B.C.), Roman general and statesman whose career, greatl (...)
  • 25 [Bagrada, the Latin name for Wadi Majardah, main river of Tunisia. It rises in northeastern Algeri (...)

16In the ninth book, one of the richest and most worthwhile, Pliny concentrates on aquatic animals. It appears that in the writing of it he profited from the accounts of several Greek or Roman voyagers. He presents interesting details about whales and the great cetaceans of the North Sea and the Mediterranean. One can see that in his time these animals entered the Gulf of Gascogne [the Bay of Biscay] and that the Basques appear to be the first to fish for them. When the whales, harassed by man, took refuge in the north, it was this people who pursued them, and many areas around Newfoundland bear the names of Basque localities, notably those around Bayonne. Also, the history of the science permits us to trace from century to century the whales as they flee before the onslaught of fishermen. In Juvenal’s23 time, as we can see in one of the poet’s lines, the whales were no longer found except along the coasts of England. In a paragraph on serpents Pliny reports that a boa snake was captured by Regulus24 near the river Bagrada.25

17In the same book, he indicates the places where pearls were fished for in his time, and the places where the most valuable ones came from. On this occasion he speaks of the two famous pearls belonging to Cleopatra, appraised then at ten million sesterces. He also describes the various sorts of purple and the best procedures for dyeing wool in that color.

  • 26 [Phoenix, in ancient Egypt and in classical antiquity, a fabulous bird associated with the worship (...)
  • 27 [Tragopan, a kind of pheasant (genus Tragopan) found in Asia, species of which are among the world (...)
  • 28 [Johann Friedrich Gmelin (born 1748, Tübingen; died in 1804) of the same family as the explorers o (...)

18Pliny’s tenth book is devoted to birds. It contains some interesting things and various curious anecdotes. He gives a description of the phoenix, a miraculous animal to which the ancients attributed the property of rising from its own ashes, but which is simply the hieroglyphic symbol of the sun.26 He says that a phoenix was brought to Rome and displayed in the general assembly during the vote of censure of the emperor Claudius, in the year 800 of Rome [A.D. 47], and that the image of it still existed in his own time. But the description he gives is sufficient to show that the bird seen at Rome was a golden pheasant brought from Colchis. Pliny also speaks of a bird called the tragopan,27 larger than the eagle, having two curved horns on the sides of its head and rust-colored plumage with purple head. For a long time, this bird was ranked among the fabulous animals; but today we are disabused in this regard and we know that the bird of which Pliny writes is the Penelope satyra of Gmelin,28 the horned pheasant of Buffon, which lives in the mountains of northern India. Pliny says that it comes from Ethiopia, but India and Ethiopia were often confused as to their productions.

19In this same book, Pliny mentions the birds of ill omen, and he reports on this occasion that the augurs had fallen into such ignorance that they themselves no longer knew what birds they ought to be using.

20He places the peacock among the domestic birds used for the table, and he speaks of goose-livers as if they were quite common. Clearly, the Romans were no less advanced than we are in this part of the gastronomic science.

21The first half of the eleventh book of Pliny’s history treats of insects. The author begins with a description of the labors of the bees and their governance. Like the rest of the ancients, he calls the queen bee the king and he thinks that if the whole bee species were destroyed, it could be regenerated with the entrails of a recently killed ox, buried in decomposing matter.

  • 29 [Elagabalus, byname Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, original name Varius Avitus Bassian (...)

22In this same book are found the earliest correct ideas about silk. Pliny states that this substance was brought from a very distant country (probably from China). At first it was rare at Rome and only women made use of it. Men did not wear silk garments until the reign of Elagabalus.29 Furthermore, Pliny tells us that at Rome there were several kinds of silk: the details he goes into tell us that people harvested silk produced by insects other than the insect that lives in the mulberry tree. We recognize some of these insects, but it would be interesting to know the others in order to ascertain the quality of their silk.

23In the second half of the eleventh book, Pliny, as we have said, gives a comparative anatomy or general zoology. But it is quite inexact: Pliny affirms, for example, that men have more teeth than women. Everyone knows that is not so.

24The books that follow, up to and including the nineteenth, deal with botany. The apparent order of this science was able to satisfy an era when classifications based on insignificant details or on certain extrinsic circumstances of place or use could only be artificial and sterile for science; but today we cannot accept a distribution of the plant kingdom into trees classed as exotic and perfumed, garden trees, forest trees, fruit-trees, trees that are sown; into grains, flax, legumes. Nor does Pliny present anything connected or complete about the life, the structure, or the tending of plants. Also, his descriptions or rather his information is almost always insufficient for recognition and for assigning names. Finally, he abounds with useless repetitions.

  • 30 [Plane tree, any of the ten species of the genus Platanus, the only genus of the family Platanacea (...)
  • 31 [Diomedes, in Greek legend, one of the most respected leaders in the Trojan War. His famous exploi (...)
  • 32 [Dionysius the Elder (born c. 430 B.C.; died 367), the great Tyrant of Syracuse from 405 who, by h (...)

25Pliny speaks first about the plane tree,30 which was exported over the Ionian Sea to Diomedes’s island for decorating that hero’s tomb,31 and was then brought to Sicily. He says that Dionysius the Elder32 made it the marvel of his palace, and that these trees were so highly prized that they were watered with unmixed wine.

26Pliny mentions ten kinds of gum.

27He gives details on the various procedures used by the ancients in preparing papyrus, which was much lighter in weight than parchment, and he indicates the plant from which the best papyrus was made.

28In discussing the grapevine he describes the processes by which wine was made and enumerates fifty kinds of hard wines, of which thirty-eight came from across the sea, from both Greece and Asia and even from Egypt; for in Pliny’s time the environs of Alexandria, where no vine grows today, produced a highly esteemed wine. He names eighteen kinds of soft, or unfermented, wine, and sixty-six kinds of artificial wine.

29In the fifteenth book, Pliny numbers fifteen kinds of olive-trees that provided oils of various qualities, and indicates the means of giving them particular flavors. He designates thirty kinds of apple-trees, six peach-trees, twelve plum-trees, forty-one pear-trees, twenty-nine fig-trees, and eleven walnut-trees – in short, a greater number than is known in our own day; eighteen kinds of chestnut-trees, nine cherry-trees; and, finally, thirteen kinds of laurel.

30In book 16, in which the author discusses trees of the forest, or wild trees, he names thirteen kinds of oak and gives some details on the parasitic productions of that tree, particularly on the nutgall and its use. He also dwells on the root of the oak and its properties. Then he writes about the pine, about pitch and tar. He states that the ancients cultivated twenty-eight kinds of reeds, and he counts as many as twenty varieties of ivy, an astonishing number, which leads one to think that the ancients attributed to this plant special properties unknown in our day, for otherwise they would not have observed it with such minute attention.

31Pliny attributes prodigious longevity to certain trees: he reports that in his time there were some that dated from an era before the city of Troy, and others before the founding of Athens.

32In the seventeenth book, Pliny speaks of exposure of trees, about fertilizers, nurseries, grafting, diseases, irrigation, etc.

33In the eighteenth book, he distinguishes eighteen kinds of cereal grains and discusses at great length everything pertaining to agriculture.

34In the nineteenth book, we see that flax was a great object of commerce with the ancients, and that the Romans had all our vegetable-garden plants, except those that come from America.

35Materia medica, or medicinals, begins with the twentieth volume and is divided into vegetable substances (eight books, from the twentieth to the twenty-seventh) and animal substances (from the twenty-eighth to the thirty-second book).

36This portion of Pliny’s works is poorly classified. The author constantly goes from a study arranged according to diseases, to a study arranged according to substances, next to a purely alphabetical order, and thence to a totally random therapeutics.

37The twentieth volume contains the enumeration of garden plants, and information on their hygienic properties and on their various applications in medicine.

  • 33 [For Linnaeus’s Calendar of Flora, see Stillingfleet (Benjamin), Miscellaneous tracts relating to (...)

38The beginning of the twenty-first book is devoted to plants whose merit is in their flower. On this occasion Pliny reports ancient use with respect to crowns and cites the flowers used to compose such crowns. He names twelve species of roses, four of lilies, three of narcissus, and many other flowers. He correctly noted the season of blossoming in these plants, and the idea came to him that the different times of the year might thus be recognized. What he says about this might be regarded as the source of the calendar in Linnaeus’s Flora.33

39The rest of the twenty-first book and those following, up to the twenty-eighth, are devoted to information on the therapeutic qualities of many other plants.

40Almost all these vegetal properties are lost for us, for lack of being able to determine to which plants Pliny attributes them. But we might allow ourselves a certain amount of indifference in the matter. If Pliny is to be believed, there is not a single human indisposition for which nature has not prepared twenty different remedies, and unfortunately, for two hundred years after the Renaissance, physicians seemed to take delight in repeating these puerilities: Dioscorides and Pliny became the basis of a vast number of works filled with recipes that pedantry alone was able to keep alive for so long a time. But at last, true enlightenment has banished them from medicine.

41The twenty-eighth to the thirty-third books of Pliny’s history contain prescriptions for remedies taken from the animal kingdom.

42At the beginning of this therapeutic, the author asks pardon of the reader, and rightly so, for the numerous extravagances he is about to impart.

43Pliny may be reproached for not knowing how to determine with a quick and able glance what ought to be left out of his work and what ought to be kept, and so rendering his work worthy of posterity. Pliny did not possess this clever and judicious critical faculty, which sounds, weighs, and estimates at their proper value documents in which the true and the false are strangely mixed. Pliny was a man on a level with his generation, and no more.

44Many of the remedies based on animals are lost for us because of insufficient information for recognizing the animals to which the author refers. But we may console ourselves for this loss as readily as we do for the loss of cures based on unrecognizable plants.

  • 34 [The estimated number of recognized extant species of fishes has now reached 31,362, distributed a (...)

45Among the remedies drawn from the animal kingdom, Pliny includes the garum, a sort of sauce that, judging from the recipe, must have been disgusting: it was made from the rotted intestines of fish. Pliny enumerates more than 300 remedies from aquatic animals: the mullet alone provides fifteen, the turtle sixty-six, the beaver the same number. Here I should like to note that the author is acquainted with 176 species of fishes, about 60 species more than Aristotle describes but far less than the number of fishes we now know, which comes to at least six thousand.34

  • 35 [Antonius Castor, whose garden is said to have been laid out in imitation of the botanical gardens (...)

46Pliny himself observed almost nothing, and wrote, as we have said, only to repeat what his predecessors had written. In botany, for example, his knowledge is limited to what he had been able to observe in the botanical garden belonging to Antonius Castor,35 a physician who lived for more than a hundred years without a sick day until his death, and who merits particular mentioning because he is the fourth philosopher of antiquity who had a botanical garden. Up until his time, only Theophrastus, King Mithradates, and King Attalus possessed such gardens. Pliny copied from Dioscorides the descriptions of all the plants that he had not been able to see in Castor’s garden. However, he does not even mention Dioscorides among the writers who preceded him.

47The practice of identifying substances by means of pictures was known in Pliny’s time, but he states that paintings vary from copy to copy and soon become unrecognizable owing to the inaccuracy of the illustrators.

48From the thirty-third to the last book of his natural history, Pliny discusses mineralogy and its related subjects, materia medica from minerals, and the fine arts. He gives some descriptions of the arts; several pieces on the fine arts and art in general are scattered about in the body of his work.

49If we could only understand Pliny perfectly, we would discover some of the processes by which ancient industry created certain products that we have imitated only imperfectly.

  • 36 [Bronze of Corinthe, an alloy of gold, silver, and copper.]

50In books thirty-three and thirty-four, Pliny discusses the various uses of gold, silver, copper, tin, iron, and bronze – especially the famous bronze of Corinthe,36 greatly prized in ancient times.

51He names the most esteemed sculptors, points out their masterpieces, the creators of which would otherwise have been unknown, and he gives a very curious history of the art.

52He speaks of statues of iron and informs us that in his time there were forges and castings. In the thirty-fifth book, in which he discusses the use of minerals in painting, medicine, and dyeing, Pliny describes sixteen different kinds of painting. Some of these we practice today: the artificial compounds themselves have not changed, such as ivory-black, and India ink, which could well be merely indigo. Pliny mentions in this book more than 300 paintings, and in this way presents the basis of a history of painting. He discusses pottery, the different procedures used in this industry, and the trade it occasions with foreign peoples.

53The thirty-sixth book is devoted to marble and stone. The author describes the principal monuments and statues in marble. He also gives the names of their creators, and without this information we could not have known to whose skilful hands we owe the masterpieces that are extant.

54The thirty-seventh and last book of Pliny’s natural history treats of precious stones and stones that can be carved. He designates 235 kinds, but he probably included mere varieties in this number. Finally, he gives an account of the most famous and valuable engraved stones, such as those of Polycrates and King Pyrrhus, and lists the names of the most renowned engravers.

55It can be seen that Pliny’s work has much more value for the arts and artists than for naturalists, for without the documents provided by Pliny it would have been impossible to gain any proper notion about the history of the arts.

  • 37 [Jacques Dalechamp (born 1513, Caen; died 1588, Lyon), a learned French physician and botanist, wh (...)
  • 38 [Jean Hardouin (born 22 December 1646, Quimper, France; died 3 September 1729, Paris), French Jesu (...)
  • 39 [Johan Georg Friedrich Franz (born 1737, died 1789), Leipzig scholar, probably best known for his (...)
  • 40 [Nicolaus Eligius Lemaire (born 1767, died 1832), French classical scholar, who published an editi (...)

56The number of editions of Pliny’s history is considerable, as many as three hundred. We shall cite in particular the one published at Lyon by Dalechamp37 in 1587; one by the Jesuit Father Hardouin38 in 1685; one by Franzius,39 published in ten volumes in 1791, and republished by Monsieur Lemaire40 with important additions.

57It would be very useful to have a commentary on Pliny by someone who would bring to it a profound knowledge of natural history, and of the different languages of the authors whom Pliny cites, and who would also possess wide knowledge of the different countries mentioned in this naturalist’s work.

  • 41 [Claude de Saumaise, Latin Claudius Salmasius (born 15 April 1588, Semur-en-Auxois, France; died 3 (...)

58Saumaise41 had begun this immense work in a commentary entitled Exercitationes Plinianae in Solinum, and which can be cited as a model for all commentaries; the author compares passages, corrects Pliny’s references, and throughout shows evidence of excellent judgment as well as profound erudition. He was only wanting in more precise knowledge of natural history.

  • 42 [Samuel Bochart (born 1599, Caen, Basse-Normandie, northwestern France; died 1667), wrote Geograph (...)
  • 43 [See Bochart (Samuel), Hierozoïcon, sive de Animalibus S. Scripturae, recensuit suis notis adjecti (...)
  • 44 [Jean-baptiste François Étienne Ajasson de Grandsagne (born 1802, La Châtre, France; died 1845, Ly (...)

59Another commentator quite useful to naturalists is Samuel Bochart,42 a Protestant minister born at Caen in 1599. Under the title of Hierozoïcon,43 he wrote a history of the animals mentioned in the Bible that is certainly one of the most learned works ever written on such an erudite subject. In it the author determines the meaning of every expression, and by comparing various passages he arrives at explanations that are almost always quite accurate and of great value. The knowledge we have acquired in recent times of the productions of India allows us to improve and complete his important work. Thanks to Monsieur Ajasson de Grandsagne44 and to his learned collaborators, we now possess an annotated translation of Pliny, as accurate as is possible in our day.

60In the next lesson we shall examine some authors who, although they are not naturalists, have some knowledge of natural history.

Notes

1 [Pliny the Elder, Latin in full Gaius Plinius Secundus (born A.D. 23, Novum Comum, Transpadane Gaul, now in Italy), 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 (see Gudger (Eugene Willis), “The sources of the material for Hamilton-Buchanan’s fishes of the Ganges, the fate of his collections, drawings and notes, and the use made of his data”, Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, new serie, vol. 29, no 4, 1924, pp. 121-136; Pliny (the elder), Natural History [ed. by Rackman H. with an English translation], Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard University Press; London: W. Heinemann, 1940, 10 vols). Pliny’s last assignment was that of commander of the fleet in the Bay of Naples, where he was charged with the suppression of piracy. Learning of an unusual cloud formation –later found to have resulted from an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius– Pliny went ashore to ascertain the cause and to reassure the terrified citizens. He was overcome by the fumes resulting from the volcanic activity and died on 24 August 79, according to his nephew’s report. Pliny was unmarried and was survived by his only sister.]

2 [Gaius Valerius Catullus (born c. 84 B.C., Verona, Cisalpine Gaul; died c. 54 B.C., Rome), Roman poet whose expressions of love and hatred are generally considered the finest lyric poetry of ancient Rome (see Hurley (Amanda Kolson), Catullus, London: Bristol Classical Press, 2004, 158 p.) In 25 of his poems he speaks of his love for a woman he calls Lesbia, whose identity is uncertain. Other poems by Catullus are scurrilous outbursts of contempt or hatred for Julius Caesar and lesser personages.]

3 [Saint Jerome, Latin in full Eusebius Hieronymus, pseudonym Sophronius (born c. 347, Stridon, Dalmatia; died 419/420, Bethlehem, Palestine), biblical translator and monastic leader, traditionally regarded as the most learned of the Latin Fathers. He lived for a time as a hermit, became a priest, served as secretary to Pope Damasus, and about 389 established a monastery at Bethlehem. His numerous biblical, ascetical, monastic, and theological works profoundly influenced the early Middle Ages (Patristic scholarship: the edition of St. Jerome [edited, translated, and annotated by Brady James F. & Olin John C.], Toronto; Buffalo: University of Toronto Press, 1992, 293 p.) He is known particularly for his Latin translation of the Bible, the Vulgate, and his translation of the Chronicon (Chronicles) written by the church historian Eusebius of Caesarea (also called Eusebius Pamphili, fl. fourth century, Caesarea Palestinae, Palestine).]

4 [Suetonius, in full Gaius Suetonius Tranquillus (born c. A.D. 69, probably Rome; died after 122), Roman biographer and antiquarian whose writings include De viris illustribus (“Concerning Illustrious Men”), a collection of short biographies of celebrated Roman literary figures, and De vita Caesarum (Lives of the Caesars). The latter book, seasoned with bits of gossip and scandal relating to the lives of the first 11 emperors, secured him lasting fame (Suetonius, Suetonius [with an English translation by Rolfe John Carew], Cambridge (Mass.); London: Harvard university press; London: W. Heinemann, 1951, 2 vols; The twelve Caesars [translated by Graves Robert], Baltimore: Penguin Books, 1957, 315 p.; see also Wallace-Hadrill (Andrew), Suetonius: the scholar and his Caesars, London: Duckworth, 1983, viii + 216 p.)]

5 [Lollia Paulina (died A.D. 49), a noble Roman woman who lived in the first century, who became quite rich as the heir to her relative’s estates. She is mentioned in Pliny the Elder’s Natural history as an example of ostentation, reportedly wearing a large share of her inheritance to a dinner party in the form of jewellery, worth some 40 million sestertius.]

6 [Apion (born c. 20 B.C. at the Siwa Oasis, died c. A.D. 45), Graeco-Egyptian grammarian, sophist, and commentator on Homer. He studied at Alexandria, and headed one of the deputations sent to Caligula (in 40) by the various Alexandrian communities following inter-communal riots that left many Greeks and Jews dead. He later settled at Rome and taught rhetoric until the reign of Claudius. He wrote several works, none of which has survived.]

7 [Lucius Pomponius Secundus was a Roman patrician who rose through the cursus honorum under a number of emperors in the first century A.D. to become a successful consul and military general.]

8 [Balm, any of several fragrant herbs of the mint family, particularly Melissa officinalis, also called balm gentle, or lemon balm, and cultivated in temperate climates for its fragrant leaves, which are used as a scent in perfumery, as a flavoring in such foods as salads, soups, sauces, and stuffings, and as a flavoring in liqueurs, wine, and fruit drinks. Balm was used in medicinal teas, as a diaphoretic, and in wine drinks by the Greeks and Orientals in ancient times.]

9 [Vaucluse, a département in Provence-Alpes-Côte-d’Azur region, southeastern France. The fountain of Vaucluse is the Sorgue River, which issues from underground in the form of a resurgent spring at the west end of the Plateau de Vaucluse, south of mont Ventoux, Fontaine-de-Vaucluse.]

10 [For Pliny’s Natural history, see note 1, above.]

11 [Misenum, ancient port of Campania, Italy, located about 3 miles (5 km) south of Baiae at the west end of the Gulf of Puteoli (Pozzuoli). Until the end of the Roman Republic it was a favorite villa resort dependent on Cumae. Agrippa made the fine natural harbor into the main naval station of the Mediterranean fleet (31 B.C.). Pliny was stationed in Misenum, from which he witnessed (and wrote about) the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79.]

12 [Resina, now Ercolano, town, Napoli provincia, Campania regione, southern Italy. It lies at the western foot of Mount Vesuvius, on the Gulf of Naples, just southeast of the city of Naples. The medieval town of Resina was built on the lava stream left by the eruption of Vesuvius (A.D. 79) that destroyed the ancient city of Herculaneum, from which the present name is derived.]

13 [Pliny the Younger, Latin in full Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (born A.D. 61 or 62, Comum, Italy; died c. 113, Bithynia, Asia Minor, now in Turkey), nephew of Pliny the Elder, Roman author, and administrator who left a collection of private letters of great literary charm, intimately illustrating public and private life in the heyday of the Roman Empire (see Pliny (the Younger), Complete letters [translated with an introduction and notes by Walsh P. G.], Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2006, xl + 380 p.)]

14 [Largius (or Lartius) Licinius, a contemporary of the elder Pliny, a praetor in Spain, and subsequently the governor of one of the imperial provinces.]

15 [Decemvir (Latin: “ten men”), in ancient Rome, any official commission of 10. The designation is most often used in reference to decemviri legibus scribundis, a temporary legislative commission that supplanted the regular magistracy from 451 to 449 B.C. It was directed to construct a code of laws that would resolve the power struggle between the patricians and the plebeians. The first board of decemvirs ruled with moderation and prepared 10 tables of law in 451 B.C. A second board completed the laws of the Twelve Tables with two laws less favorable to the plebeians. In 449 B.C., when they became tyrannical, the decemvirs were forced to abdicate.]

16 [Clepsydra, also called water clock, an ancient device for measuring time by the gradual flow of water. One form, used by the North American Indians and some African peoples, consisted of a small boat or floating vessel that shipped water through a hole until it sank. In another form the vessel was filled with water that was allowed to escape through a hole, and the time was read from graduated lines on the interior measuring the level of the remaining water. It may have been an invention of the Chaldeans of ancient Babylonia; specimens from Egypt date from the fourteenth century B.C. In early specimens the graduations do not allow for the fact that, as the water escaped, pressure was reduced and the flow slowed down. The Romans invented a clepsydra consisting of a cylinder into which water dripped from a reservoir; a float provided readings against a scale on the cylinder wall. Clepsydras were used for many purposes, including timing the speeches of orators; as late as the sixteenth century, Galileo used a mercury clepsydra to time his experimental falling bodies.]

17 [Peter Artedi, his father a pastor, was born in the parish of Anunds in Angermanland in 1705. Destined for the church, he was sent in 1716 to the college of Härnösand, and in 1724 to the University of Uppsala, where his taste for alchemy led him to choose the field of medicine. It was there that Linnaeus met him in 1728 and formed a close friendship with him. Artedi left for London in 1734, and in 1735 came to Leiden to find his friend Linnaeus again, who introduced him to Albertus Seba (author of a great illustrated catalog of his cabinet of curiosities; see Seba (Albertus), Locupletissimi rerum naturalium thesauri accurata descriptio, et iconibus artificiosissimis expressio, per universam physiees historiam: Opus, cui, in hoc rerum genere, nullum par exstitit-Ex toto terrarum orbe collegit, digessit, descripsit, et de pingendum curavit Albertus Seba, Amstelaedami: apud Janssonio-Waesbergios [etc.], 1734-1765, 4 vols) as the man most capable of writing the part on fishes in the great description of Seba’s cabinet. In the early hours of 28 September 1735, after an evening of socializing at the house of Seba, Artedi, at the age of thirty, drowned in one of the canals of Amsterdam. Through the intermediacy of Linnaeus, his Ichthyologia was published in 1738. For more on Artedi, see Lönnberg (Axel Johan Einar), Peter Artedi [a bicentenary memoir written on behalf of the Swedish Royal Academy of Science; translated by Harlock W. E.), Uppsala; Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksells boktryckeri, 1905, 44 p.; Merriman (Daniel), “Peter Artedi – systematist and ichthyologist”, Copeia, 1938, no. 1, pp. 33-39; “A rare manuscript adding to our knowledge of the work of Peter Artedi”, Copeia, 1941, no. 2, pp. 64-69; Wheeler (Alwyne Cooper), “The life and work of Peter Artedi”, in Wheeler (Alwyne Cooper) (ed.), Petri Artedi Ichthyologia, Historiae Naturalis Classica, Weinheim: J. Cramer, 1961, pp. vii-xxiii; “The sources of Linnaeus’s knowledge of fishes”, Svenska Linnésällskapets Årsskrift, Uppsala, 1978, pp. 156-211; “Peter Artedi, founder of modern ichthyology”, Proceedings of the Fifth Congress of European Ichthyologists, Stockholm, 1987, pp. 3-10.]

18 [Conrad Gessner, Conrad also spelled Konrad (born 26 March 1516, Zürich; died 13 December 1565, Zürich), Swiss physician and naturalist, best known for his systematic compilations of information on animals and plants and probably the most knowledgeable naturalist of the sixteenth century. Among a multitude of other works, he produced a great monument in his Historiae animalium (1551-1587), printed in Zürich in five books, which are usually bound in three volumes in folio. An edition not so handsome but more complete was printed at Frankfurt in 1604; another appeared in 1620, as well as an abridgement titled Nomenclator aquatilium animantium, Zürich, 1560, with the same figures. For more on Gessner, see Gudger (Eugene Willis), “The five great naturalists of the sixteenth century: Belon, Rondelet, Salviani, Gesner and Aldrovandi: a chapter in the history of ichthyology”, Isis, vol. 22, no. 1, 1934, pp. 21-40; Allen (Elsa G.), “The history of American ornithology before Audubon”, Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, new serie, vol. 41, no. 3, 1951, pp. 386-591; Wellisch (Hans), “Conrad Gessner: a bio-bibliography”, Journal of the Society for the Bibliography of Natural History, vol. 7, no. 2, 1975, pp. 151-247; Adler (Kraig), “Contributions to the history of herpetology”, in Contributions to herpetology, vol. 5, Oxford (Ohio): Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, 1989, p. 13.]

19 [Martichore or manticore, a mythical animal first mentioned by Ctesias; see Lesson 6, note 37.]

20 [Catoblepas: this is perhaps the gnu or connochaetes, also called the wildebeest, either of two African antelopes of the genus Connochaetes, family Bovidae (order Artiodactyla).]

21 [Monoceros is the narwhal (Monodon monoceros), a small whale belonging to the family Monodontidae, found along coasts and, sometimes, in rivers throughout the Arctic. Mottled gray in color, the narwhal is usually about 3.5 to 5 m (11.5 to 16 feet) long. It lacks a dorsal fin and has only two teeth, both at the tip of the upper jaw. The left tooth develops in the male into a straight tusk protruding forward from the upper lip. This tusk, prized in medieval times as the fabled horn of the unicorn, grows up to 2.7 m (8.9 feet) in length and is grooved on the surface in a left-handed spiral.]

22 [The original winged horse was Pegasus, in Greek mythology, a winged horse that sprang from the blood of the Gorgon Medusa as she was beheaded by the hero Perseus. With Athena’s (or Poseidon’s) help, another Greek hero, Bellerophon, captured Pegasus and rode him first in his fight with the Chimera and later while he was taking vengeance on Stheneboea (Anteia), who had falsely accused Bellerophon. Subsequently Bellerophon attempted to fly with Pegasus to heaven but was unseated and killed, the winged horse becoming a constellation and the servant of Zeus. The story of Pegasus became a favorite theme in Greek art and literature, and in late antiquity Pegasus’ soaring flight was interpreted as an allegory of the soul’s immortality; in modern times it has been regarded as a symbol of poetic inspiration.]

23 [Juvenal, Latin in full Decimus Junius Juvenalis (born c. A.D. 55-60, Aquinum, Italy; died probably in or after 127), most powerful of all Roman satiric poets. Many of his phrases and epigrams have entered common parlance – for example, the common people, rather than caring about their freedom, are only interested in “bread and circuses” (i.e. food and entertainment); rather than for wealth, power, or children, men should pray for a “sound mind in a sound body”; and to the question of who can be trusted with power, “who will guard the guards themselves?”]

24 [Marcus Atilius Regulus (fl. third century B.C.), Roman general and statesman whose career, greatly embellished by legend, was seen by the Romans as a model of heroic endurance.]

25 [Bagrada, the Latin name for Wadi Majardah, main river of Tunisia. It rises in northeastern Algeria in the Medjerda Mountains and flows northeastward for 290 miles (460 km) to the Gulf of Tunis, draining an area of about 8,880 square miles (23,000 square km) before it enters the Mediterranean Sea.]

26 [Phoenix, in ancient Egypt and in classical antiquity, a fabulous bird associated with the worship of the sun. The Egyptian phoenix was said to be as large as an eagle, with brilliant scarlet and gold plumage and a melodious cry. Only one phoenix existed at any time, and it was very long-lived – no ancient authority gave it a life span of less than 500 years. As its end approached, the phoenix fashioned a nest of aromatic boughs and spices, set it on fire, and was consumed in the flames. From the pyre miraculously sprang a new phoenix, which, after embalming its father’s ashes in an egg of myrrh, flew with the ashes to Heliopolis (“City of the Sun”) in Egypt, where it deposited them on the altar in the temple of the Egyptian god of the sun, Re. A variant of the story made the dying phoenix fly to Heliopolis and immolate itself in the altar fire, from which the young phoenix then rose.]

27 [Tragopan, a kind of pheasant (genus Tragopan) found in Asia, species of which are among the world’s most colorful birds. Male tragopans show a bright apron of flesh under the bill during courtship, and short fleshy horns, hence the name horned pheasants.]

28 [Johann Friedrich Gmelin (born 1748, Tübingen; died in 1804) of the same family as the explorers of Siberia (Johann Georg Gmelin, born 1709, died 1755; and his nephew Samuel Gottlieb Gmelin, born 1745, died 1774), professor of chemistry at Göttingen, author of a multitude of works, the most significant of which is the thirteenth edition of the Systema naturae (see Linnaeus (Carl von), Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Editio decima tertia, aucta, reformata. Cura Jo. Frid. Gmelin. Georg, Leipzig: Emanuel Beer, 1788-1793, 10 pts in 3 vols). For more on Gmelin and the thirteenth edition of the Systema naturae, see Gill (Theodore N.), “Arrangement of the families of fishes, or classes Pisces, Marsipobranchii, and Leptocardii”, Smithsonian miscellaneous collections, vol. 247, 1872, xlvi p.; Kohn (Alan J.), A chronological taxonomy of Conus, 1758-1840, Washington (D. C.): Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992, x + 315 p.]

29 [Elagabalus, byname Caesar Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus, original name Varius Avitus Bassianus (born 204, Emesa, Syria; died 222), Roman emperor from 218 to 222, notable chiefly for his eccentric behaviour.]

30 [Plane tree, any of the ten species of the genus Platanus, the only genus of the family Platanaceae. These large trees are native in North America, eastern Europe, and Asia and are characterized by scaling bark; large, deciduous, usually palmately lobed leaves; and globose heads of flower and seed. The plane trees bear flowers of both sexes on the same tree but in different clusters. The sycamore maple (Acer pseudoplatanus), often called sycamore, plane, or mock plane, is distinct.]

31 [Diomedes, in Greek legend, one of the most respected leaders in the Trojan War. His famous exploits include the wounding of Aphrodite, the slaughter of Rhesus and his Thracians, and seizure of the Trojan Palladium, the sacred image of the goddess Pallas Athena that protected Troy. After the war Diomedes returned home to find that his wife had been unfaithful (Aphrodite’s punishment) and that his claim to the throne of Argos was disputed. Fleeing for his life, he sailed to Italy and founded Argyripa (later Arpi) in Apulia, eventually making peace with the Trojans. He was worshipped as a hero in Argos and Metapontum. According to Roman sources, his companions were turned into birds by Aphrodite, and, hostile to all but Greeks, they lived on the Isles of Diomedes off Apulia.]

32 [Dionysius the Elder (born c. 430 B.C.; died 367), the great Tyrant of Syracuse from 405 who, by his conquests in Sicily and southern Italy, made Syracuse the most powerful Greek city west of mainland Greece. Although he saved Greek Sicily from conquest by Carthage, his brutal military despotism harmed the cause of Hellenism.]

33 [For Linnaeus’s Calendar of Flora, see Stillingfleet (Benjamin), Miscellaneous tracts relating to natural history, husbandry, and physick: To which is added The calendar of flora [The second edition corrected and augmented with additional notes throughout, particularly on some of the English grasses, which are illustrated by copper plates; translated by Stillingfleet Benjamin], London: printed and sold by R. and J. Dodlsey [etc.], 1762, xxxi + [1] + 391 p. + 11 leaves of pls.]

34 [The estimated number of recognized extant species of fishes has now reached 31,362, distributed among 5,017 genera and 534 families; see Eschmeyer (William N.), Fricke (Ronald), Fong (Jon D.) & Polack (Dennis A.), “Marine fish diversity: history of knowledge and discovery (Pisces)”, Zootaxa, no. 2525, 2010, pp. 19-50.]

35 [Antonius Castor, whose garden is said to have been laid out in imitation of the botanical gardens of Theophrastus and Mithradates.]

36 [Bronze of Corinthe, an alloy of gold, silver, and copper.]

37 [Jacques Dalechamp (born 1513, Caen; died 1588, Lyon), a learned French physician and botanist, who studied medicine and botany at Montpelier and admitted doctor in medicine in 1547. He published several elaborate translations of classical works, including Pliny’s Natural history in 1587.]

38 [Jean Hardouin (born 22 December 1646, Quimper, France; died 3 September 1729, Paris), French Jesuit scholar who edited numerous secular and ecclesiastical works, most notably the texts of the councils of the Christian church.]

39 [Johan Georg Friedrich Franz (born 1737, died 1789), Leipzig scholar, probably best known for his Scriptores physiognomoniae (... veteres ex recensione Camilli Pervsci et Frid. Sylbvrgii Graece et Latine recensvit, animadversiones Sylbvrgii et Dan. Gvil. Trilleri in Melampodem emendationes additit svasqve adspersit notas Iohannes Georgivs Fridericvs Franzivs, Altenburg: Gottlob Emanuel Richter, 1780, xxxii + 508 + [20] p.)]

40 [Nicolaus Eligius Lemaire (born 1767, died 1832), French classical scholar, who published an edition of Pliny’s Natural history between 1827 and 1832.]

41 [Claude de Saumaise, Latin Claudius Salmasius (born 15 April 1588, Semur-en-Auxois, France; died 3 September 1653, Spa, now in Belgium), French classical scholar who, by his scholarship and judgment, acquired great contemporary influence. He is best known for his Exercitationes Plinianae in Solinum (Claudii Salmasii exercitationes de homonymis hyles iatricae nunquam antehac antehac ineditae, nec non De manna & saccharo, Trajecti ad Rhenum: Apud Johannem vande Water, Johannem Ribbium, Franciscum Halma, & Guilielmum vande Water, 1689, [12] + 259 + 20 p.)]

42 [Samuel Bochart (born 1599, Caen, Basse-Normandie, northwestern France; died 1667), wrote Geographia sacra, seu Phaleg (Samuelis Bocharti Geographia sacra, seu, Phaleg et Canaan, cui accedunt variæ dissertationes philologicæ, geographicæ, theologicæ, & c. anthehac ineditæ, Lugduni Batavorum: Cornelium Boutesteyn & Jordanum Luchtmans, 1692, 4 pl. + 36 +[12] p. + 318 col. + 1 l. + col. 323-332 + col. 345-790 + [2] p. + col. 793-1312 + [60] p.), with several later editions.]

43 [See Bochart (Samuel), Hierozoïcon, sive de Animalibus S. Scripturae, recensuit suis notis adjectis, Leipzig: Rosenmüller, 1793, 3 vols.]

44 [Jean-baptiste François Étienne Ajasson de Grandsagne (born 1802, La Châtre, France; died 1845, Lyon), French naturalist and writer, who studied and translated works of ancient science. He devoted himself to publishing a popular encyclopaedia, an enterprise that exhausted his fortune and he died ruined in Lyon. His edition of Pliny (Zoologie de Pline avec des recherches sur la détermination des espeÌces dont Pline a parlé..., Paris: Panckoucke, 1829-1833, 20 vols), is enriched by many valuable notes by Cuvier and other eminent scientific and literary men of France.]

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