I generi dei generi (e le specie): le marche di classificazione di secondo livello dei Romani e la biologia di Plinio il Vecchio


  • Pietro Li Causi




This paper is divided in two distinct sections. After a bird's eye view digression about the metalinguistic reflexion of Romans as for the classificatory usage of the words genus and species, we want to analyze some zoological and botanic classifications present in Pliny's Naturalis Historia. So, the review presented here let us come to two different conclusions. First of all, we can show that Plinian classification, to all appearances, does not feel the effects of Latin logic debate about 'second level classification marks'. Secondly, we can assume that the problem of systematic classification of living beings can not be considered as a scientific one for the ancient Romans; they use taxonomic patterns in order to define and to generalize, without any concerns about making a stemmatic map hierarchically subdivided into natural world level