Pliny the Elder

Gaius Plinius Secundus
Pliny the Elder — Roman writer and scholar, author of "Natural History". Senior, he called in contrast to his nephew, Pliny the Younger. Pliny was a man of extraordinary diligence. There was not a place that he felt uncomfortable for the training of scientists, nor was there a time that he did not get to read and take notes. He read it, or read it on the road, in the bath, at lunch, after dinner, and takes time and sleep as much as possible, because he believed lost every hour, devoted to intellectual pursuits. Read all sorts of books, even bad ones, since, according to Pliny the Elder, not so bad the book from which it was impossible to extract any benefit.

Gaius Plinius Secundus was born in 23 AD in Como, flourishing Roman colony in Upper Italy (in the then — Cisalpine Gaul). In his youth, he zealously served in the cavalry, taking part in various campaigns, including those against the Hawk — the German people, who lived in the North Sea between the rivers Ems and Elbe and described them in his book, "Natural History┬╗.

He visited and on the Danube, and in Belgium, where he was then the Roman procurator rider Cornelius Tacitus, the father or uncle of the famous historian. Prolonged stay in the country beyond the Alps gave him the opportunity to gather a lot of information about them and write a great essay about the wars the Romans and the Germanic tribes, which served as the main source of Tacitus for his "Germany." Subsequently, he was procurator in Narbonne Gaul and Spain. Closeness to Vespasian and his son who, by Titus, he served together in Germany, pushed it to one of the most important positions of public service: he was appointed Chief of Navy mizenskogo.

During the stay of Pliny the Elder in this post there was a certain eruption of Vesuvius. on August 24 '79, to better observe the ominous phenomenon of nature, Pliny the Elder went on the ship too close to the site of the disaster and Stabiae on land already fallen victim to his curiosity and desire to help people, poisoned by sulfur fumes. Details of the event described by his nephew, Pliny the Younger, in a long letter to Tacitus.