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1 Die antike Vorgeschichte der Verankerung der Naturgeschichte in Politik und Religion: Plinius’ Zoologie und der römische Imperialismus With an English Summary

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Chapter Summary

Pliny's Naturalis historia was of the greatest importance for the formation of knowledge in the early modern period. This chapter presents an overview on the outlines, principles of composition, selection of topics, and manner of presentation of Pliny's zoology in its Roman context, especially in relation to its political and religious background. In general, Pliny emphasizes the miraculous character of God's creation, and nature's inherent intelligence, wisdom, and creative power, which according to him can be demonstrated by the big animals as well as by the smallest creatures mice and insects. However, Pliny's discursive orientation toward the miraculous does not at all imply that his zoology lacks method and system: he divides the species according to their habitats: land, air, and water. Pliny's order of species is fully based on imperialistic patterns of thought.The original text of the chapter is in German.

Keywords: Pliny's zoology; Pliny's Naturalis historia

10.1163/9789004279179_003
/content/books/b9789004279179_003
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