1561 Plinii Secundi, Historiae Mundi (Pliny the Elder, Naturalis Historia). Complete, 37 books in 4 volumes.


Beautiful, and complete Naturalis Historia (Natural History) of Pliny the Elder in 37 books (in four volumes); the binding style exudes antiquity, with titling in an old hand on the top-edge and spines.

About the Work -

Pliny the Elder (born Gaius Plinius Secundus, AD 23–79) was a Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and friend of emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying, writing, and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia (Natural History), which became an editorial model for encyclopedias.

His nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus: “For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading; above measure blessed those on whom both gifts have been conferred. In the latter number will be my uncle, by virtue of his own and of your compositions.”

Pliny the Elder died in AD 79, while attempting the rescue, by ship, of a friend and his family, in Stabiae, from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which already had destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the volcano’s eruption did not allow his ship to leave port, and Pliny probably died during that event.

Physical Attributes -

Each measures approx. 12 x 8 cm; the set is approx. 15 cm. wide (quires numbered in 8 leaves, likely 16 mo). Vellum bindings. Numbered pages - Volume one, 409; and after a substantial index. Volume two, 526; and index. Volume three, 412; and index. Volume four, 466; and index.

Condition -

See pictures. Light parchment waves. Wear at corners, occasional edge chip. Dust to top-edge. 1st tome front joint crack and chip at top right of spine. Spines lightly darkened and polished. Slight splaying. due to thickness of tomes Some slight toning to pages. Very occasional spot (singular) of fox on pages. I don't see any annotations or tears.

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