The Natural History Volume 1

Pliny the Elder (23 - 79)
Translated by Henry Thomas Riley (1816 - 1878)

Naturalis Historia (Latin for "Natural History") is an encyclopedia published circa AD 77-79 by Pliny the Elder. It is one of the largest single works to have survived from the Roman empire to the modern day and purports to cover the entire field of ancient knowledge, based on the best authorities available to Pliny. The work became a model for all later encyclopedias in terms of the breadth of subject matter examined, the need to reference original authors, and a comprehensive index list of the contents. The scheme of his great work is vast and comprehensive, being nothing short of an encyclopedia of learning and of art so far as they are connected with nature or draw their materials from nature. The work divides neatly into the organic world of plants and animals, and the realm of inorganic matter, although there are frequent digressions in each section. He is especially interested in not just describing the occurrence of plants, animals and insects, but also their exploitation (or abuse) by man, especially Romans. The description of metals and minerals is particularly detailed, and valuable for the history of science as being the most extensive compilation still available from the ancient world. (Summary from Wikipedia)

This volume one includes the first five books, covering the following subjects:

Book 1- Dedication
Book 2 - An account of the world and the elements
Books 3 to 5 - An account of countries, nations, seas, towns, havens, mountains, rivers, distances, and peoples who now exist or formerly existed

Genre(s): Classics (Greek & Latin Antiquity), Animals, Nature

Language: English

Group: The Natural History by Pliny the Elder

Section Chapter Reader Time
Play 01 01 - Preface and The Life and Writings of Pliny, part 1 ontheroad
Play 02 02 - The Life and Writings of Pliny, part 2 ontheroad
Play 03 03 - Book 1, Dedication. - C. Plinius Secundus to his friend Titus Vespasian ontheroad
Play 04 04 - Book 2, Chapters 1-5 - Whether the world be finite; Of the form of the world; Of its nature, whence the name is derived; Of the elements and the planets; Of God. Lektor
Play 05 05 - Book 2, Chapters 6-8 - Of the nature of the stars; Of the motion of the planets; Of the eclipses of the moon and the sun; Of the magnitude of the stars Linda Dodge
Play 06 06 - Book 2, Chapters 9-13 - An account of the observations that have been made on the heavens by many individuals; On the recurrence of the eclipses of the sun and the moon; Of the motion of the moon; Of the motions of the planets; Why the same stars appear at some times more lofty and at other times more near Linda Dodge
Play 07 07 - Book 2, Chapters 14-23 Why the same stars have different motions; General laws of the planets; The reason why the stars are of different colours; Of the motion of the sun and the cause of the irregularity of the days; Why thunder is ascribed to Jupiter; Of the distance of the stars; Of the harmony of the stars; Of the dimensions of the world; Of the stars which appear suddenly, or of comets; Their nature, situation and species. Linda Dodge
Play 08 08 - Book 2, Chapters 24-45 The doctrine of Hipparchus about the stars; Examples from history of celestial prodigies; Of the colours of the sky and of celestial flame; Of celestial coronae; Of sudden circles; Of unusually long eclipses of the sun; Many suns; Many moons; Daylight in the night; Burning shields; An ominous appearance in the heaven, that was seen only once; Of stars which move about in various directions; Of the stars which are named Castor and Pollux; On the air and on the cause of the showers of stones; Of the stated seasons; Of the rising of the dog-star; Of teh regular influence of the different seasons; Of uncertain states of weather; Of thunder and lightining; The origin of winds; Various observations respecting winds Peter Zinn
Play 09 09- Book 2, Chapters 46-55 The different kinds of winds; The periods of the winds; Nature of the winds; Ecnephias and Typhon; Tornadoes; Blasting winds; Whirlwinds and other wonderful kinds of tempests; Of thunder - in what countries it does not fall and for what reason; Of the different kinds of lightining and their wonderful effects; The Etrurian and the Roman observations on this point; Of conjuring up thunder; General laws of lightning. Christina Vasilevski
Play 10 10 - Book 2, Chapters 56-66 Objects which are never struck; Showers of milk, blood, flesh, iron, wool and baked tiles; Rattling of arms and the sound of trumpets heard in the sky; Of stones that have fallen from the clouds; The rainbow; The nature of hail, snow, hoar, mist, dew; The forms of clouds; The peculiarities of the weather in different places; Nature of the earth; Of the form of the earth; Whether there be antipodes; How the water is connected with the earth; Of the navigation of the sea and rivers Anna Simon
Play 11 11 - Book 2 Chapters 67-77 Whether the ocean surrounds the earth; What part of the world is inhabited; That the earth is in the middle of the world; Of the obliquity of the zones; Of the inequality of climates; In what places eclipses are invisible, and why this is the case; What regulates the daylight on the earth; remarks on dials as connected to this subject; When and where there are no shadows; Where this takes place twice in the year and where the shadows fall in the opposite direction; Where the days are the longest and where the shortest Anna Simon
Play 12 12 - Book 2, Chapters 78-96 Of the first dial; Of the mode in which the days are computed; Of the difference of nations as depending on the nature of the world; Of earthquakes; Of clefts of the earth; Signs of an approaching earthquake; Preservatives against future earthquakes; Prodigies of the earth which have occurred once only; Wonderful circumstances attending earthquakes; In what places the sea has receded; The mode in which islands rise up; What islands have been formed, and at what periods; Lands which have been separated by the sea; Islands which have been united to the main land; Lands which have been totally changed into seas; Lands which have been swallowed up; Cities which have been absorbed by the sea; Of vents in the earth; Of certain lands which are always shaking, and of floating islands Bianca Kramer
Play 13 13 - Book 2, Chapters 97-106 Places in which it never rains; The wonders of various countries collected together; Concerning the cause of the fowing and ebbing of the sea; Where the tides rise and fall in an unusual manner; Wonders of the sea; The power of the moon over the land and sea; The power of the sun; Why the sea is salt; Where the sea is the deepest ;The wonders of fountains and rivers Linda Dodge
Play 14 14 - Book 2, Chapters 107-113, Summary The wonders of fire and water united; Of Maltha; Of naphtha; Places which are always burning; Wonders of fire alone; The dimensions of the earth; The harmonical proportions of the universe; Summary; Roman authors quoted; Foreign authors quoted Timothy Ferguson
Play 15 15 - Book 3, Introduction and Chapters 1-3 Introduction; The boundaries and gulfs of Europe first set forth in a general way; Of Spain generally; Of Baetica ontheroad
Play 16 16 - Book 3, Chapter 4 Of Nearer Spain ontheroad
Play 17 17 - Book 3, Chapters 5-7 Of the province of Gallia Narbonensis; Of Italy; Of the ninth region of Italy ontheroad
Play 18 18 - Book 3, Chapters 8-9 The seventh region of Italy; The first region of Italy; The Tiber; Rome ontheroad
Play 19 19- Book 3, Chapters 10-14 The third region of Italy; Sixty-four islands, among which are the Baleares; Corsica; Sardinia; Sicily ontheroad
Play 20 20 - Book 3, Chapters 15-17 Magna Graecia, beginning at Locri; The second region of Italy; The fourth region of Italy ontheroad
Play 21 21 - Book 3, Chapters 18-22 The fifth region of Italy; The sixth region of Italy;The eighth region of Italy; The Padus; The eleventh region of Italy; Italia Transpadana; The tenth region of Italy ontheroad
Play 22 22 - Book 3, Chapters 23-30 and Summary Istria, its people and locality; The Alps and the Alpine nations; Liburnia and Illyricum; Dalmatia; The Norici; Pannonia; Moesia; Islands of the Ionic Sea and the Adriatic; Summary; Roman authors quoted; Foreign authors quoted Joyce Martin
Play 23 23 - Book 4, Chapters 1-10 Epirus; Acarnania; Aetolia; Locris and Phocis; The Peloponnesus; Achaia; Messenia; Laconia; Argolis; Arcadia Joyce Martin
Play 24 24 - Book 4, Chapters 11-18 Attica; Boeotia; Doris; Phthiotis; Thessaly Proper; Magnesia; Macedonia; Thrace; The Aegean Sea Joyce Martin
Play 25 25 - Book 4, Chapters 19-25 The islands which lie before the lands already mentioned; Crete; Euboeia; The Cyclades; The Sporades; The Hellespont - The lake Maeotis; Dacia, Sarmatia Joyce Martin
Play 26 26 - Book 4, Chapters 26-30 Scythia; The islands of the Euxine; The islands of the northern ocean; Germany; Ninety-six islands of the Gallic Ocean; Britannia Kalynda
Play 27 27 - Books 4, Chapters 31-37 and Summary Gallia Belgica; Gallia Lugdunensis; Gallia Aquitanica; Nearer Spain, its coast along the Gallic Ocean; Lusitania; The islands in the Atlantic Ocean; The general measurement of Europe; Summary; Roman authors quoted; Foreign authors quoted Kalynda
Play 28 28 - Book 5, Chapters 1-3 The two Mauritanias; Numidia; Africa Charles Bice
Play 29 29 - Book 5, Chapters 4-8 The Syrtes; Cyrenaica; Libya Mareotis; the islands in the vicinity of Africa; Countries on the other side of Africa Leni
Play 30 30 - Book 5, Chapters 9-13 Egypt and Thebais; The River Nile; The cities of Egypt; The coasts of Arabia, situate on the Egyptian sea; Syria Anna Simon
Play 31 31 - Book 5, Chapters 14-19 Idumaea, Palaestina and Samaria; Judaea; Decapolis; Phoenice; Syria Antiochia; The remaining parts of Syria Anna Simon
Play 32 32 - Book 5, Chapters 20-28 The Euphrates; Syria upon the Euphrates; Cilicia and the adjoining nations; Isauria and the Homonades; Pisidia; Lycaonia; Pamphylia; Mount Taurus; Lycia Joyce Martin
Play 33 33 - Book 5, Chapters 29-32 Caria; Lydia; Ionia; Aeolis Joyce Martin
Play 34 34 - Book 5, Chapters 33-39 Troas and the adjoining nations; The islands which lie in front of Asia; Cyprus; Rhodes; Samos; Chios; Lesbos Joyce Martin
Play 35 35 - Book 5, Chapters 40-44 and Summary The Hellespont and Mysia; Phrygia; Galatia and the adjoining nations; Bithynia; The islands of the Propontis; Summary; Roman authors quoted; Foreign authors quoted Joyce Martin