Remembering Pliny the Elder

It seems that Pliny the Elder has lost out to a popular beverage out there on SEO, so this is my minor contribution to his legacy on the Internet.

Pliny the Elder (he’s called the elder because we’re referring to the papa of Pliny Jr.) was born in Italy around 23 CE. Every account of him is that he was one heckuva wanderer plus thinker plus warrior. I like to think of him as one of the world’s first bloggers because he wrote and wrote about everything he saw. Unfortunately he didn’t have the Internet on which to share his discoveries, but luckily he made good with the Emperors of the time so they enabled his works to be preserved. Smart, Mr. Pliny!

Pliny the Elder spent a lot of his time writing little “posts” for his Naturalis Historia — which was sort of the wikipedia of that era just for Pliny’s own recreation (because … no Internet). A lot of what he believed about science was incorrect, but more importantly it’s a time capsule of what folks thought about the world two millennia ago. Thanks, Pliny, Sr.!

After a long career as a writer, warrior, traveler, Pliny the Elder died literally in flames with the eruption of Mount Vesuvius (79 AD) — it’s believed he was there to help evacuate citizens there on a military mission. Pliny the Elder was a selfless action hero, to boot.


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