Cynthia Damon

Andrew W. Mellon Penn Faculty Fellow in the Humanities

20092010 Forum on Connections

Cynthia Damon

Professor of Classical Studies

Plinian Layers

Pliny’s Natural History has been likened to its contemporary monument in stone, the Colosseum: chipped and worn, but substantially extant from the 1st century of the common era to the present. My research project is an inquiry into the way this Colosseum of letters connects eras of intellectual history. In “Plinian layers” I will explore how adaptations of Pliny’s encyclopedia made between the 1st century and the 21st can be rendered present in a single place. That is, to discover how one can connect them in a scholarly edition offering something like a core sample through history. Given the work’s variety of content and breadth of influence this project will, I hope, provide numerous possibilities for connections across disciplines.