LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY
Cover: On Animals, Volume I: Books 1–5, from Harvard University PressCover: On Animals, Volume I in HARDCOVER

Loeb Classical Library 446

On Animals, Volume I

Books 1–5

Aelian

Translated by A. F. Scholfield

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Product Details

HARDCOVER

$28.00 • £19.95 • €25.00

ISBN 9780674994911

Publication Date: 01/01/1958

Loeb

400 pages

4-1/4 x 6-3/8 inches

Loeb Classical Library > On Animals

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The digital Loeb Classical Library extends the founding mission of James Loeb with an interconnected, fully searchable, perpetually growing virtual library of all that is important in Greek and Latin literature. Read more about the site’s features »

Aelian (Claudius Aelianus), a Roman born ca. 170 CE at Praeneste, was a pupil of the rhetorician Pausanias of Caesarea, and taught and practised rhetoric. Expert in Attic Greek, he became a serious scholar and studied history under the patronage of the Roman empress Julia Domna. He apparently spent all his life in Italy where he died after 230 CE.

Aelian’s On the Characteristics of Animals, in 17 books, is a collection of facts and beliefs concerning the habits of animals drawn from Greek authors and some personal observation. Fact, fancy, legend, stories and gossip all play their part in a narrative which is meant to entertain readers. If there is any ethical motive, it is that the virtues of untaught yet reasoning animals can be a lesson to thoughtless and selfish mankind. The Loeb Classical Library edition of the work is in three volumes.

The Historical Miscellany (Loeb no. 486) is of similar nature. In 14 books, it consists mainly of historical and biographical anecdotes and retellings of legendary events. Some of Aelian’s material is drawn from authors whose works are lost.

Aelian’s Letters—portraying the affairs and country ways of a series of fictitious writers—offer engaging vignettes of rural life. These are available in Loeb no. 383.

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Schelling the Trailblazer

Books influence us in untold ways, and the ones that influence us the most are often read in childhood. Harvard University Press Senior Editor Julia Kirby is reminded of this on the anniversary of the birth of one of this country’s most celebrated economists. This month would have brought Thomas Schelling’s one-hundredth birthday—and he got closer to seeing it than many mortals. The Nobel laureate economist died just five years ago, after a brilliant career as both a scholar and an advisor to US foreign policy strategists. What better day to dip into his classic work