Pliny the Elder, Roman naturalist

Pliny the Elder, Roman naturalist

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Credit: SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD), Roman naturalist and author. Pliny was the writer of the 37-volume encyclopedia Historia Naturalis. Based on two thousand books by nearly five hundred authors, the work covered zoology, botany, geography and astronomy. It was influential and widely copied and republished during the Middle Ages. Pliny was killed by poisonous fumes in 79 AD as he observed the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii.

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