All Aboard The Pliny Train

Can anyone guess what this is?

What's "choo choo, motherfuckas" in Latin?
What’s “choo choo, motherfuckas” in Latin?


You’re looking at Loeb Classical Library’s ten-volume set of Pliny the Elder‘s Natural History. Which I’m going to do a read-along of, right here on this very blog.

Lest you think this will be boring, oh my chickadees, let me school you.

Pliny the Elder was a BAMF. This was a guy so committed to science he saw Vesuvius erupting and didn’t thing “fuck me, let’s get away from that.” Oh no. Instead, this guy grabs a ship to take him closer, because he’s gotta find out what happens. He’s gotta see for himself, because that would make an awesome addition to his wide-ranging studies on the natural world.

Of course, the volcanic gases killed him. You guys, he DIED FOR SCIENCE.

I like the Loeb books because they’re Latin on one side, English on the other. The Natural History is a big ol’ whale full of detail, and frankly I need to get back into studying my Latin. SO. If you want, read along with me. I plan on finishing Book I in March, quite possibly sooner.

The Pliny Train is now boarding. Come along for the ride. I promise it’ll be fun.

  • Paul

    You’re brushing up on your Latin? I have to confess that in over a half a century on this planet, I’ve never heard that sentence. Awesome. As one of the important root languages, it is for sure a worthy study. I’ve heard of Pliny the Elder but have never read any of his work – will you keep us posted with the high points?

  • Choo, choo matris futuor!

  • I sort of knew you’d be the one to dig for that.

  • Of course! That’s what a read-along is. Of course, my translation of the high points will probably be salted with good ole Anglo-Saxon cusswords, so…

  • I am the vulgarian grammarian

  • Now I want to write a Gilbert & Sullivan song about the vulgarian grammarian of the Queen’s Navy.

  • Do I get a fancy hat?

  • ALL the fancy hats.

  • Ook! I am drooling on my keyboard. I need to brush up on my Latin too… wonder how long @sblackmoore would make his patented squinchy face at me if I happened to discover a full set of the above on one of our bookshelves?

  • martianmooncrab

    my Loeb books are not as pretty as yours.. sigh.

  • These will be dog-eared and drooled upon in short order.

  • I should think he would know better than to get between a girl and her classical antiquity.