Pliny, the Elder (Caius Plinius Secundus) 23 to 79

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Pliny was born in 23 A.D. and died in 79 while observing the famous eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

He wrote Historia Naturalis about 77 A.D. It was composed of 37 books on natural history in all its phases including meteorology, zoology, geography and botany. This work contains a large among of information found nowhere else. He reported that it involved 2000 volumes but if so, most have been lost. This work had a profound influence on biology throughout the Middle Ages and practically until the end of the 18th Century. In fact it was the basis for the encyclopedias of Bartholomaeus Anglicus, Konrad of Megenberg and others. He had visited Africa, Greece and Egypt, served in the army in Germany and had traveled to the North Sea.

Pliny's Natural History, Volumes 1, 4 and 5. Books XVIII thru XXIII are particularly important.

Several editions are available.