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Pliny the Elder's Natural History is a vast encyclopaedia, surveying natural phenomena from cosmology to biology, medicine to magic. Direct observation, informed speculation and common knowledge are combined to present a key snapshot of ancient thought and the Romans' perspective on the world around them. Book VII of The Natural History provides a detailed examination of the human animal and is crucial to understanding the work as a whole. In Pliny's eyes, mankind 'for whose sake nature was created', represents the basis for which the natural world was founded and structured. As a result, the book provides valuable insight into the extraordinary complex of ideas and beliefs that were current in Pliny's era. One of the most interesting transitions of subject in The Natural History is that from man to animals (between Books VII and VIII) and for this reason the section on elephants at the beginning of Book VIII is included here, to show how Pliny moves on to his account of the animal he considers 'nearest to the human disposition'. This edition provides the full Latin text accompanied by commentary notes that provide linguistic help and explanations, plus vocabulary lists of Latin terms and an index of proper names. The in-depth introduction provides valuable details about the work's historical, scientific and literary context, as well as an overview of the work's legacy and reception.
A monumental and extraordinarily beautiful guide to the Earth's natural wonders Five years in the making, covering over 5,000 species, The Natural History Book is one-of-a-kind; the only book to offer a complete survey of the Earth's natural history. Each geological and biological grouping is introduced and explained in an engaging and highly informative way, making it the perfect addition to every family bookshelf, as well as an ideal gift for every nature lover. Packed with thousands of stunning, specially commissioned photographs, and written by a worldwide team of natural history experts. From granites to grape vines, from microbes to mammals, The Natural History Book is a true visual dictionary of every kingdom of life. Take the Natural History Challenge
Christopher Dewdney has been working on the The Natural History for two decades. He describes it as a book about high summer, though according to his natural history the fingers of summer reach in both directions of time: as early as March and as late as November. This is a sensual book, in love not only with foliage and creatures, weather and landscape, but also with the textures of language, the rhythm of English itself; not just Anglo Saxon and Germanic, but also its southern Latin heritage blowing like a scientific sirocco up from the Mediterranean. A compendium of particulars written from the inside of its subject, The Natural History evokes the timeless moment of perception itself. And while it is set in the present, the whole geological past of the planet is represented, so that an event occurring on a summer day in current time will be juxtaposed with an event occurring during the Silurian epoch, some 440 million years ago. Revised, augmented, and presented in its entirety for the first time here, The Natural History is one of the most beautiful and erotic bodies of work this country has to offer. As Stan Dragland has commented: "The New-Old World of this long poem… is sensuously and conceptually so immediate that orgasm and epiphany are one in it. This is writing, and reading, as immersion." "There is no one else in this country… who has so persuasively chipped away at a rock face to reveal the poetry striated just beneath the surface.… These intelligent, uncompromising sensual poems are not for the rapid reader, but anyone who lingers with them a while will be amply repaid." — Quill & Quire
Following the prototype established by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, Jashemski and the volume's contributors reconstruct the environment of Pompeii, Herculaneum and the surrounding Campanian countryside, based on the evidence preserved by the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79. The volume brings together the work of geologists, soil specialists, paleobotanists, botanists, paleontologists, biologists, chemists, dendrochronologists, ichthyologists, zoologists, ornithologists, mammalologists, herpetologists, entymologists, and archaeologists, providing a complete picture of the landscape, flora, and fauna of the ancient sites.
Celebrate the tradition of literary naturalists and writers who embrace the natural world as the setting for some of our most euphoric and serious experiences. These books map the intimate connections between the human and the natural world. Literary naturalists transcend political boundaries, social concerns, and historical milieus; they speak for what Henry Beston called the "other nations" of the planet. Their message acquires more weight and urgency as wild places become increasingly scarce. HENRY DAVID THOREAU was an American author, poet, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, historian, philosopher and leading transcendentalist. His writings on natural history and philosophy have become two sources of modern-day environmentalism.

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