What Is the Language of Pliny’s Original Work the Natural History?

Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist, and philosopher who is known for his extensive work on natural history. The Natural History is a book that covers a wide range of topics including astronomy, botany, zoology, and mineralogy. It is considered to be one of the most important works of its kind in the ancient world.

Many people wonder what language Pliny’s original work, The Natural History, was written in. The answer is Latin.

Pliny wrote his work in Latin during the first century AD. This was a common language during that time period and was used widely throughout the Roman Empire.

Pliny’s use of language in The Natural History is noteworthy as it helps to convey his knowledge and expertise as a naturalist. He uses technical terms and scientific jargon throughout the book to describe various plants, animals, and minerals.

One example of this can be seen in Book 37 of The Natural History where Pliny describes various types of precious stones. He uses words like “carnelian,” “sardonyx,” and “chrysolite” to describe different types of stones. These words were not commonly used in everyday language during that time period but were instead used by experts in the field.

Pliny also uses poetic language throughout his work to create vivid descriptions of nature. For example, in Book 10 he describes how lightning strikes trees:

“Lightning strikes trees with a force which exceeds all others; it splits them open down to their roots, scatters their bark far and wide like splinters from a weapon.”

This use of descriptive language helps to make Pliny’s work engaging and accessible to readers.

In conclusion, Pliny’s original work The Natural History was written in Latin during the first century AD. His use of technical terms and poetic language helps to convey his knowledge and expertise as a naturalist while also making his work engaging for readers.