Frontespiece of the NH translation by Landino, Sessa 1534.

This digital library collects the translations of the Natural History from the Renaissance onwards. 

Understanding Pliny’s text is not always easy. The presence of rare terms or words used in unique contexts and meanings, together with Pliny’s style and the troubled history of the text, make for difficulty in comprehension. The very different translations of the Natural History are the best demonstration of this fact. We believe, therefore, that the inevitable first step toward a new, updated and well-thought-out interpretation of Pliny’s text inevitably is the awareness that an individual passage has been interpreted in different ways. This section intends to stimulate a reflection on that issue and to promote a rethinking of past and present interpretations of the Natural History.


You can browse and consult the translations of this digital library using different viewing modes; moreover, the presence of bookmarks makes it easier to read the various books of Pliny’s work. Each translation is accompanied by a record with all the publishing information of that work. To facilitate their identification, the translations are identified with the name of the modern translator, which is also found at the top of the records.
However, every individual copy of a book may disclose a world through the annotations of its pages and its physical features. Our aim is to give value to these individual stories as well. For this reason, every record contains information on the history and the conservation status of the book that you find here as a digital version. These sections of the records are generally written by the staff members of the libraries that have kindly accepted to collaborate with us.
Thanks to this attention, you may find more than one copy or edition of the same translation. In fact, our aim is also to promote the study of the circulation of Pliny’s text in modern times and to offer scholars the possibility to investigate its impact in different contexts and societies.


To enter the digital library, click here.


Digital library:


  • Cristoforo Landino, Venetia: per Marchio Sessa, 1534 (Biblioteca della Scuola Normale Superiore, Fondo Moni)

  • Lodovico Domenichi, voll. 1-2, Venezia: Giuseppe Antonelli, 1844 (Biblioteca della Scuola Normale Superiore, Fondo Garin)

  • Silvio Ferri, Roma: Fratelli Palombi, 1946 (Biblioteca della Scuola Normale Superiore)





Do you wish to contribute to this section, or do you have any suggestions for improving it? As a librarian would you like to collaborate with us? Please contact us at We would be very pleased to know you!



This section was designed by Gianfranco Adornato, Eva Falaschi and Alessandro Poggio.

Collaborators: Giulio Amara, Alessia Di Santi, Giulietta Guerini, Maria Ida Gulletta.