Modern disciplines and the transforming reception of a text


Aude Doody, Pliny’s Ecyclopedia. The reception of Natural philosophy (New York:
Cambridge University Press, 2010), ISBN-13-978-0-521-49103-7, pp. VIII+194
Doina-Cristina RUSU*

Since its appearance in the first century A.D., Pliny’s Natural History has been not only widely read, but also often used in the process of producing knowledge. The great variety of themes Pliny wrote about made him a relevant author for scholars in very different fields, not only during the centuries in which he represented a scientific authority, but also for the recent studies in philosophy or history of ideas, of art, of medicine, of the Roman Empire, and so on. Aude Doody’s aim is to offer a history of how Pliny’s text was read and used over the centuries. The author does not regard her interpretation as exclusive; still she considers that her paradigmatic examples suffice to illustrate that a book is a very flexible object and that in its reception we can perceive the intellectual trends and interests of a period.

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