Northwestern Events Calendar


Richard Saller (Stanford), "Pliny's Natural History: ''a culture of innovation"?"

When: Friday, March 3, 2023
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CT

Where: Kellogg Global Hub, 3301, 2211 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208 map it

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Student - Public - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Contact: Elizabeth Upenieks   (847) 491-7597

Group: Department of Classics

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings


E. W. Gudger described Pliny’s Natural History as “the most popular Natural History ever published” and it has been regarded as the beginning of the genre of encyclopedias in the European tradition. In the early modern era the pioneering encyclopedias of  the Englishmen John Harris and Ephraim Chambers, and the Frenchman Denis Diderot were expressions of a "culture of technical innovation and economic growth." The same has been said of Pliny's Natural History, and it is certainly the most obvious text to examine in search of Roman imperial cultural values of utilitarian knowledge. What was its role in the production and dissemination of useful knowledge?

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