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Le projet encyclopédique de Pline l'Ancien.
École Française de Rome, Rome, 2002. IX,532p. Sewn. Upper corner back cover and last pages a bit bumped. Series: Collection de l'École Française de Rome, 303. 'How did Pliny construct the 'Historia Naturalis', ideologically and methodologically? By returning to its compositional and inspirational genesis, Valérie Naas intends to bring us to a greater understanding as to what Pliny's project really was. Her substantial study falls into three parts, the first and longest of which considers one of the times used in the work's construction, while the third and shortest reflects on the interpretation of the finished edifice. N. is meticulous in her groundwork as she returns to the first principles of the HN, dissecting accepted generalisations about its nature. (...) The careful critique of the previous scholarship and the unravelling of a many-stranded cultural tradition are invaluable. (...) Perhaps the most valuable parts of this first section are the chapters devoted to the articulation of the HN's skeleton: the collection, arrangement, and storage of the raw material, and the devices used to structure the book. (...) The second part of the study moves from the creation of the HN to its contents, and specifically the concept of the marvellous, an aspect at first sight surprising in a work whose preface proclaims its down-to-earth utility. Once again, N. emphasises a structural perspective, tracing the intertwining of these apparently incongruous ideas through the course of the HN, and suggests that examples of the wondrous articulate the encyclopaedic norm of the factual accounts of general qualities and characteristics. (...) N. has provided us with the most comprehensive study yet of the HN, and one which should become a point of reference for future studies.' MARY BEAGON in The Journal of Roman Studies, 2004, pp.256-257). From the library of Prof. Carl Deroux.