Tuesday, December 15, 2009


Scorpions are not really insects. We know that today, but the Romans wouldn't agree. Plinius the elder for one count them as insects.

A scorpion at the Ara Pacis.

"WE [sic] shall now proceed to a description of the insects, a subject replete with endless difficulties;1 for, in fact, there are some authors who have maintained that they do not respire, and that they are destitute of blood. The insects are numerous, and form many species, and their mode of life is like that of the terrestrial animals and the birds. Some of them are furnished with wings, bees for instance; others are divided into those kinds which have wings, and those which are without them, such as ants; while others, again, are destitute of both wings and feet."

Pliny the Elder - Naturalis Historia (the Natural History) XI.1
Translated by John Bostock, H.T. Riley

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