Ancient Natural History: Histories of Nature (Paperback)
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Short Description for Ancient Natural History In this study, the author shows how ancient natural history was the gathering and presentation of historiae, items worthy of note by the philosopher, popularizer or marvel-monger. This work explains how the subject was treated by different societies; the Greeks, Romans, Jews and Christians.
- Published: 01 December 1994
- Format: Paperback 384 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780415115452 ISBN 10: 0415115450
- Sales rank: 1,196,385
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Full description for Ancient Natural History
Ancient Natural History surveys the ways in which people in the ancient world thought about nature. The writings of Aristotle, Theophrastus, Strabo, Pliny are examined, as well as the popular beliefs of their contemporaries. Roger French finds that the same natural-historical material was used to serve the purposes of both the Greek philosopher and the Christian allegorist, or of a taxonomist like Theophrastus and a collector of curiosa like Pliny. He argues convincingly that the motives of ancient writers on nature were rarely 'scientific' and, indeed, that there was not really any science at all in the ancient world. This book will make fascinating reading for students, academics and anyone who is interested in the history of science, or in the ancient history of ideas.