Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aimless Reading: The P's, Part 34 (Pliny the Elder)

Natural History: A Selection
Pliny the Elder
Natural History: A Selection

Purchased at the late, lamented Niagara Falls Outlet Mall Discount Book Store. $3. I think I may have considered this as a possible text for my oral exam list in graduate school. I did not choose it and I am pretty sure I never read it. The pages and spine are as crisp as if they were new. It doesn't even have a remainder mark on the edge, like many of the other books I bought at that store.

Poor Pliny died in the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE. This according to his nephew, Pliny the Younger. In case you were wondering, "Pliny" rhymes with "whinny." I used to think it rhymed with "whiny." But I was wrong.

from Natural History, A Selection

14. I think it is a sign of human weakness to try to find out the shape and form of God. Whoever God is–provided he does exist–and in whatever region he is, God is the complete embodiment of sense, sight, hearing, soul, mind and of himself. To believe in either an infinite number of deities corresponding to men's vices, as well as their virtues–like the goddesses of Chastity, Concord, Intelligence, Hope, Honour, Mercy, Faith–or, like Democritus, in only two, namely Punishment and Reward, plumbs an even greater depth of foolishness.

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