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Notes and Reflections on Books and Media

by Hannah Leitheiser


Natural History

Pliny the Elder

79 AD



"But it is mice that surpass all the other animals in fecundity ; and it is not without some hesitation that I speak of them, although I have Aristotle and some of the officers of Alexander the Great for my authority. It is said that these animals generate by licking one another, and not by copulation. They have related cases where a single female has given birth to one hundred young ones, and in Persia some were found, even pregnant themselves, while yet in the womb of the parent...Hence we find that we have no longer any reason to wonder how such vast multitudes of field-mice devastate the standing corn..." - The Natural History, Pliny the Elder, 1st century AD