"Divina Natura" - the roots of Pliny's thought; man in nature; man and the gods; man and the animals; land and sea; "Ars Medicinae" - man's use of nature in medicine.
Teacher and researcher
Much of her success is due to the clear arrangement of her thoughts into self-contained units, each dealing with a different relationship between man and the natural world ... The combination of thorough scholarship and interesting ideas has made accessible a work whose sheer scale can be daunting. B.'s bibliography is varied and excellent, and the book is easy to refer to ... It represents an important elucidation of a piece of intellectual history, fully supported by a strongly text-based approach. * Journal of Hellenic Studies * 'Beagon's book is focused, well organized, persuasive. It's the worthy, educated world-view of a productive high official under a conscientious emperor.' Paul McKechnie, Prudentia, Vol XXV, No 2, November 1993 'easily the best general treatment that Pliny has ever received, sympathetic and clear-headed both ... It is a work that belongs in the library of every classicist, yet is accessible to readers from other fields ... the work is remarkably accessible to the non-specialist; and for clarity of expression and cogency of argument Beagon can hardly be bettered.' Alexander P. MacGregor, Jr., University of Illinois at Chicago, Classical Bulletin 69 (1993) 'particularly to be welcomed ... there are fascinating insights into particular aspects of Pliny's thought' Greece & Rome, April 1993 `a splendid effort.' Peter Jones, Literary Review `Mary Beagon's interesting new book ... contributes further to the understanding of the underlying ideas of the work and the aims of its author ... B. does a very good job in giving us a grounding in the essential unity of Pliny's work and the importance of Natura to his conception of human life ... B.'s new book renews and increases one's admiration of Pliny's achievement, but leaves one with a lingering doubt that he could ever be regarded as a typical member of any age!' Bryn Mawr Classical Review