Nature

Aelian's On the Nature of Animals

Author: Gregory McNamee

Publisher: Trinity University Press

ISBN:

Category: Nature

Page: 192

View: 430

Not much can be said with certainty about the life of Claudius Aelianus, known to us as Aelian. He was born sometime between A.D. 165 and 170 in the hill town of Praeneste, what is now Palestrina, about twenty-five miles from Rome, Italy. He grew up speaking that town’s version of Latin, a dialect that other speakers of the language seem to have found curious, but—somewhat unusually for his generation, though not for Romans of earlier times—he preferred to communicate in Greek. Trained by a sophist named Pausanias of Caesarea, Aelian was known in his time for a work called Indictment of the Effeminate, an attack on the recently deceased emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, who was nasty even by the standards of Imperial Rome. He was also fond of making almanac-like collections, only fragments of which survive, devoted to odd topics such as manifestations of the divine and the workings of the supernatural. His De Natura Animalium (On the Nature of Animals) has a similar patchwork quality, but it was esteemed enough in his time to survive more or less whole, and it is about all that we know of Aelian’s work today. A mostly randomly ordered collection of stories that he found interesting enough to relate about animals—whether or not he believed them—Aelian’s book constitutes an early encyclopedia of animal behavior, affording unparalleled insight into what ancient Romans knew about and thought about animals—and, of particular interest to modern scholars, about animal minds. If the science is sometimes sketchy, the facts often fanciful, and the history sometimes suspect, it is clear enough that Aelian had a fine time assembling the material, which can be said, in the most general terms, to support the notion of a kind of intelligence in nature and that extends human qualities, for good and bad, to animals. His stories, which extend across the known world of Aelian’s time, tend to be brief and to the point, and many return to a trenchant question: If animals can respect their elders and live honorably within their own tribes, why must humans be so appallingly awful? Aelian is as brisk, as entertaining, and as scholarly a writer as Pliny, the much better known Roman natural historian. That he is not better known is simply an accident: he has not been widely translated into English, or indeed any European language. This selection from his work will introduce readers to a lively mind and a witty writer who has much to tell us.
Literary Criticism

On Animals, Volume II

Author: Aelian

Publisher: Loeb Classical Library

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 432

View: 912

Aelian (Claudius Aelianus), a Roman born ca. 170 CE at Praeneste, was a pupil of the rhetorician Pausanias of Caesarea, and taught and practised rhetoric. Expert in Attic Greek, he became a serious scholar and studied history under the patronage of the Roman empress Julia Domna. He apparently spent all his life in Italy where he died after 230 CE. Aelian's On the Characteristics of Animals, in 17 books, is a collection of facts and beliefs concerning the habits of animals drawn from Greek authors and some personal observation. Fact, fancy, legend, stories and gossip all play their part in a narrative which is meant to entertain readers. If there is any ethical motive, it is that the virtues of untaught yet reasoning animals can be a lesson to thoughtless and selfish mankind. The Loeb Classical Library edition of the work is in three volumes. The Historical Miscellany (Loeb no. 486) is of similar nature. In 14 books, it consists mainly of historical and biographical anecdotes and retellings of legendary events. Some of Aelian's material is drawn from authors whose works are lost. Aelian's Letters--portraying the affairs and country ways of a series of fictitious writers--offer engaging vignettes of rural life. These are available in Loeb no. 383.
History

Man and Animal in Severan Rome

Author: Steven D. Smith

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 310

View: 657

Argues that Aelian's highly influential compilation, De natura animalium, offers a sophisticated literary critique of Severan Rome.
Natural history

Natural History

Author: Pliny (the Elder.)

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Natural history

Page:

View: 329

Literary Criticism

On the Characteristics of Animals

Author: Aelian

Publisher: Loeb Classical Library

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 400

View: 990

Aelian (Claudius Aelianus), a Roman born ca. 170 CE at Praeneste, was a pupil of the rhetorician Pausanias of Caesarea, and taught and practised rhetoric. Expert in Attic Greek, he became a serious scholar and studied history under the patronage of the Roman empress Julia Domna. He apparently spent all his life in Italy where he died after 230 CE. Aelian's On the Characteristics of Animals, in 17 books, is a collection of facts and beliefs concerning the habits of animals drawn from Greek authors and some personal observation. Fact, fancy, legend, stories and gossip all play their part in a narrative which is meant to entertain readers. If there is any ethical motive, it is that the virtues of untaught yet reasoning animals can be a lesson to thoughtless and selfish mankind. The Loeb Classical Library edition of the work is in three volumes. The Historical Miscellany (Loeb no. 486) is of similar nature. In 14 books, it consists mainly of historical and biographical anecdotes and retellings of legendary events. Some of Aelian's material is drawn from authors whose works are lost. Aelian's Letters--portraying the affairs and country ways of a series of fictitious writers--offer engaging vignettes of rural life. These are available in Loeb no. 383.
Science

The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Arik Kershenbaum

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN:

Category: Science

Page: 368

View: 498

A Times/Sunday Times Book of the Year DISCOVER HOW LIFE REALLY WORKS - ON EARTH AND IN SPACE 'I love The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy. Although it sets out to be (and is) about alien life, what emerges is a wonderfully insightful sidelong look at Earthly biology' Richard Dawkins, via Twitter 'Crawls with curious facts' The Sunday Times We are unprepared for the greatest discovery of modern science. Scientists are confident that there is alien life across the universe yet we have not moved beyond our perception of 'aliens' as Hollywood stereotypes. The time has come to abandon our fixation on alien monsters and place our expectations on solid scientific footing. Using his own expert understanding of life on Earth and Darwin's theory of evolution - which applies throughout the universe - Cambridge zoologist Dr Arik Kershenbaum explains what alien life must be like: how these creatures will move, socialise and communicate. For example, by observing fishes whose electrical pulses indicate social status, we can see that other planets might allow for communication by electricity. As there was evolutionary pressure to wriggle along a sea floor, Earthling animals tend to have left/right symmetry; on planets where creatures evolved mid-air or in soupy tar they might be lacking any symmetry at all. Might there be an alien planet with supersonic animals? Will they scream with fear, act honestly, or have technology? Is the universe swarming with robots? Dr Kershenbaum uses cutting-edge science to paint an entertaining and compelling picture of extra-terrestrial life. The Zoologist's Guide to the Galaxy is the story of how life really works, on Earth and in space. *** 'If you don't want to be surprised by extraterrestrial life, look no further than this lively overview of the laws of evolution that have produced life on earth' - Frans de Waal, author of Mama's Last Hug - Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us about Ourselves 'A fun, and thoroughly biological, exploration of possible and impossible alien beings. If you'd love to know what real aliens from other planets might really be like, this is the book for you' - Susan Blackmore, author of Seeing Myself 'Surveying the deep-time of evolution on Earth and his own cutting-edge research into animal communication, Kershenbaum provides a fascinating insight into the deepest of questions: what might an alien actually look like' - Lewis Dartnell, author of Origins 'Arik Kershenbaum takes us on a joyous voyage of animal diversity and illustrates the singular importance of natural selection in explaining life - here on Earth - and what will likely be discovered throughout the galaxy. A stimulating read!' - Daniel T. Blumstein, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Los Angeles
Literary Criticism

The History of the Wolf in Western Civilization

Author: Malcolm Drew Donalson

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 207

View: 433

This study of the wolf is primarily that of the wolf of Biblical metaphor and medieval legend, rather than the wolf of reality. Yet, it demonstrates for students and teachers alike how the wolf of reality underwent a long-term demonization in western culture, largely as a result of the literary wolf. It accomplishes this, first, through a close investigation of the pertinent passages of the Scriptures and select references in the works of the Church Fathers.
Medicine

The Proceedings of the Charaka Club

Author: Charaka Club

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category: Medicine

Page:

View: 630

The Charaka Club was organized in November, 1898, by medical men of New York City who were interested in the literary, artistic, and historical aspects of medicine. The name of the club was chosen in honour of the Hindoo sage of medicine. The design for the title page and bookplate was made by George W. Maynard. Original members were: Pearce Bailey, John S. Billings, John Winters Brannan, Joseph Collins, Charles L. Dana, Arpad G. Gerster, Ward A. Holden, Frederick Peterson, B. Sachs, and George F. Shrady. William Osler was an honorary member. -- Orr Catalogue, p.14.

Aelian

Author: Claudius Aclianus Elien

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category:

Page:

View: 850

On Animals

Author: Élien (le sophiste)

Publisher:

ISBN:

Category:

Page:

View: 726

In On the Characteristics of Animals, Aelian (c. 170-after 230 CE) collects facts and fables about the animal kingdom and invites the reader to ponder contrasts between human and animal behavior. Aelian (Claudius Aelianus), a Roman born ca. AD 170 at Praeneste, was a pupil of the rhetorician Pausanias of Caesarea, and taught and practised rhetoric. Expert in Attic Greek, he became a serious scholar and studied history under the patronage of the Roman empress Julia Domna. He apparently spent all his life in Italy where he died after AD 230. Aelian's On the Characteristics of Animals, in 17 books, is a collection of facts and beliefs concerning the habits of animals drawn from Greek authors and some personal observation. Fact, fancy, legend, stories and gossip all play their part in a narrative which is meant to entertain readers. If there is any ethical motive, it is that the virtues of untaught yet reasoning animals can be a lesson to thoughtless and selfish mankind. The Loeb Classical Library edition of the work is in three volumes. The Historical Miscellany (Loeb no. 486) is of similar nature. In 14 books, it consists mainly of historical and biographical anecdotes and retellings of legendary events. Some of Aelian's material is drawn from authors whose works are lost. Aelian's Letters--portraying the affairs and country ways of a series of fictitious writers-offer engaging vignettes of rural life. These are available in Loeb no. 383.
Literary Criticism

Encyclopedia of Religious and Philosophical Writings in Late Antiquity

Author: Jacob Neusner

Publisher: Brill Academic Pub

ISBN:

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 467

View: 213

The Encyclopedia of Religious and Philosophical Writings in Late Antiquity offers easily accessible introductions to the content and historical setting of the main writings of Greco-Roman paganism, early Judaism, and formative Christianity from the period of Alexander the Great to Mohammed. Examining over seven hundred ancient texts, the Encyclopedia provides for each document details of authorship and provenance, a statement of the text's content and place within its religious tradition, a listing of editions and commentaries, and a bibliography of the pertinent scholarly literature. The Encyclopedia of Religious and Philosophical Writings in Late Antiquity is an unparalleled resource both for general readers and for scholars of ancient religion and philosophy.
History

Invasive Aliens

Author: Dan Eatherley

Publisher: William Collins

ISBN:

Category: History

Page: 336

View: 731

A Sunday Times Book of the YearA Telegraph Best Science Book of the YearA Waterstones Best Nature Book of the Year A unique history of plant and animal invaders of the British isles spanning thousands of years of arrivals and escapes, as well as defences mounted and a look to the future. As Brits we pride ourselves as stoic defenders, boasting a record of resistance dating back to 1066. Yet, even a cursory examination of the natural world reveals that while interlopers of the human variety may have been kept at bay, our islands have been invaded, conquered and settled by an endless succession of animals, plants, fungi and other alien lifeforms that apparently belong elsewhere. Indeed it's often hard to work out what actually is native, and what is foreign. From early settlement of our islands, through the Roman and mediaeval period, to the age of exploration and globalisation, today's complement of alien species tells a story about our past.
Nature

Ten Million Aliens

Author: Simon Barnes

Publisher: Hachette UK

ISBN:

Category: Nature

Page: 480

View: 715

Life on planet earth is not weirder than we imagine. It"s weirder than we are capable of imagining. In this breathtakingly audacious book, Simon Barnes opens our eyes to the real marvels of the planet we live on.