EventLife, MiscellaneousThe Pliny Train

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.

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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?

Brian White

Choo, choo matris futuor!


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?


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