Ancient Natural History: Histories of Nature, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ancient Natural History

Histories of Nature, 1st Edition

By Roger French


384 pages

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Paperback: 9780415115452
pub: 1994-10-27
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pub: 1994-10-27
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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.

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.

About the Series

Sciences of Antiquity

The volumes in Sciences of Antiquity explore how the ancients saw, interpreted and handled the natural world, from the elements to the most complex of living things. Their discussions on these matters formed a resource for those who later worked on the same topics, including scientists. A consequent purpose is to provide historians with an understanding of the materials with which later writers, rather than passively receiving and transmitting ancient ideas, constructed their own world view.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Ancient / General