Plinij starejši in njegovo Naravoslovje


  • Matej Hriberšek Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta


Ključne besede:

Plinij starejši, Naravoslovje, antična književnost, rimska književnost, srednjeveška književnost


Pliny the Elder is a unique phenomenon in the history of the literary transmission of antique texts. He is one of the rare authors whose popularity remained intact after the demise of Antiquity; even more, with his Naturalis Historia, which is the most extensive prose work of Roman Antiquity that has been preserved, he influenced views of the world in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Furthermore, until the beginning of Humanism and modern science he was one of the main authorities in the areas he included in his Naturalis Historia. He established technical terminology in a number of areas that was preserved until the late Middle Ages and the beginning of the modern era. Naturalis Historia brings together two traditions of scholarly and encyclopedic literature: the Greek (Aristotle, Theophrastus, the Hippocratics, Hellenistic writers, etc.) and the Latin (Cato the Elder, Varus, Celsus, Vitruvius, Columella, Agrippa, etc.). It is often based on secondary or tertiary sources and, in some cases, on Pliny’s personal findings and experiences. The work is also linguistically unique, combining the influences of Classical Latin, Silver Latin, and rhetorical elements derived from Pliny’s education in rhetoric, as well as the influences of his contemporaries and predecessors that had tackled the same technical areas as Pliny. On the other hand, Pliny enhanced his Naturalis Historia with specialized vocabulary (especially in natural science and technical disciplines), Greek words, loanwords from other languages (Spanish, Iberian, Gaulish, German, etc.), paraphrases, a series of neologisms (many of them being hapax legomena), and rhetorical and poetic features. After having exerted great influence in the Middle Ages (on Solinus, Marbod, Symmachus, Ausonius, Macrobius, Martianus Capella, Isidore of Seville, the Venerable Bede, John of Salisbury, William of Conches, Vincent of Beauvais, Bartholomew of England, Saint Albert the Great, etc.), and the Renaissance and Humanism (on Petrarch, Boccaccio, Salutati, Niccolò de’Niccoli, and others), Pliny experienced a decline during the Enlightenment and neo-Humanism. He was “rehabilitated” in the 20th century, and since the 1970s he has been the subject of intense research as a document of his period and of the knowledge within it. Because of numerous errors that were the result of its manuscript transmission, the text of Naturalis Historia has been a frequent subject of professional polemics (e.g., by Robert of Cricklade, Niccolò Leoniceno, Angelo Poliziano, Ermolao Barbaro, and others). The work has been preserved in an incredibly great number of copies; there are more than 200 manuscript copies, of which 130 are fully preserved. It was one of the first Latin books to be published in printed form (Venice, 1469). In Slovenia his oeuvre is extremely scarce; his works have not yet been translated into Slovenian, and he has never been dealt with by a Slovenian scholar. The only article about his works was published by Gustav Heigl in 1885 and 1886 in the newsletter of the Maribor Classical Gymnasium and, in 1912, a short excerpt on Apelles (Naturalis Historia 35, 79–97) was included in Janko Košan’s Latinska čitanka za četrti (in peti) gimnazijski razred (Latin Textbook for the Fourth (and Fifth) Year of Classical Gymnasium.


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Biografija avtorja

Matej Hriberšek, Univerza v Ljubljani, Filozofska fakulteta

Matej Hriberšek je zaposlen na Oddelku za klasično filologijo Filozofske fakultete Univerze v Ljubljani. Ukvarja se z latinsko in grško slovnico, pomožnimi disciplinami klasične filologije, antično metriko, prevajanjem iz klasičnih jezikov in slovaropisjem. Je predsednik Republiške predmetne komisije za latinščino in grščino, podpredsednik Društva za antične in humanistične študije, glavni in odgovorni urednik revije Keria in član upravnega odbora Društva slovenskih književnih prevajalcev.




Kako citirati

Hriberšek, M. . (2007). Plinij starejši in njegovo Naravoslovje. Ars & Humanitas, 1(1), 9–36.

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