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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.
General Introduction to the Series
Introduction to this Volume
1. Aristotle and the Nature of Things
2. Theophrastus, Plants and Elephants
3. Geography and Natural History
4. Greece and Rome
5. The Natural History of Pliny
6. Animals and Parables
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