Abstract

In Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia poisonous plants and animals are intimately associated with their countries of origin. Moreover, Pliny often focuses on those poisonous substances found in lands where Rome had carried out major campaigns, particularly Egypt and Pontus. The power and influence of poisons in these locations is deliberately emphasized in order to justify Italy (and by implication Rome) as a natural physician of the world ideally suited to subdue untamed poisons and make them over as powerful and life-saving medicines. In this way Pliny structures his view of natura to justify the existence and rule of the Roman Empire.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9234
Print ISSN
0009-8418
Pages
pp. 51-74
Launched on MUSE
2012-12-04
Open Access
No
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