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Nature Through Roman Eyes

Inspired by the 1st century AD Roman writer Pliny the Elder’s encyclopaedic work The Natural History.

Nature Through Roman Eyes

Nature Through Roman Eyes is inspired by the 1st century AD Roman writer Pliny the Elder’s encyclopaedic work The Natural History

Nature Through Roman Eyes is inspired by the 1st century AD Roman writer Pliny the Elder’s encyclopaedic work The Natural History. It draws upon Manchester Museum’s rich archaeology and natural sciences collections to explore the various ways in which the Romans understood and made use of the natural world, including animals, plants and trees. 

The exhibition describes Pliny the Elder’s life: from his military service in Germany to his heroic death during the eruption of Vesuvius. It explores encounters with exotic beasts in the Roman arena, homeopathic remedies and amazing stories such as the giant octopus which raided fish factories in southern Spain.  

The exhibition has been enriched by images of illustrated capital letters from a copy of The Natural History in the Rylands Library. In addition, acclaimed cartoonist Bill Tidy has drawn cartoons for the exhibition.

Nature Through Roman Eyes runs 6 April – 30 October 2018