Historia naturalis

  • Country in which the text is set
    Baltic Region
  • Featured locations

    Scandinavia, Danmark, Baltic coasts on which amber is to be found

  • Impact

    From Pliny's numerous works only his encyclopedic Historia naturalis in 37 books survived, of which the books 3-6 deal with geography and ethnology. His work was one of the main sources through which ancient ideas and theories on world and nature were transferred to the Middle Ages and Modern Times.

  • Balticness

    Pliny's compilated view of the Baltic region is an amalgam of some more or less reliable facts and a lot of mythological fantasies and speculations and as such has been one of the first in a long line of similar descriptions of the North (cf., for instance, Pomponius Mela and Adam von Bremen) out of which only slowly emerges a realistic conception of that part of the world.

    Reinhard Kaiser

  • Bibliographic information

    Latin Text: C. Plinius Secundus, Historia naturalis. Lib. IV. Cap. XXVII. From: »The Latin Library«

    German Text: Die Naturgeschichte des Cajus Plinius Secundus, ins Deutsche übersetzt und mit Anmerkungen versehen von G. C. Wittstein. Bd. 1: I. - VI. Buch, Leipzig 1881. 4. Buch, Kap. 27, S. 336-338.

  • Translations
    Language Year Translator
    Danish 1978-79 Jacob Isager (abr.)
    German 1543 H. von Eppendorff (abr.)
    German 1781-88 G. Grosse
    German 1840-77 Ph. H. Külb
    German 1881-82 / 2007 Georg Christoph Wittstein
    German 1973-2004 Roderich König
    Swedish 1997 Bengt Ellenberger (abr.)
    Swedish 2000 Alf Önnerfors (abr.)
    Swedish 2003 Lennart Nilsson
  • Year of first publication
  • Place of first publication
    The dedication to the Roman emperor Titus in the first volume is from 77 AD, when most of the work seems to have been completed. But parts of it have probably been published only after the death of the author.

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