Natural History: A Selection by Gaius Plinius Secundus, Pliny the Elder (Paperback, 1991)

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Pliny's "Natural History" is an astonishingly ambitious work that ranges from astronomy to art and from geography to zoology. Pliny himself died while investigating the volcanic eruption that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79, and the natural curiosity that brought about his death is also very much evident in the "Natural History" - a book that proved highly influential right up until the Renaissance and that his nephew, Pliny the younger, described 'as full of variety as nature itself'.