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Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

Nawaat

Nawaat, a Tunisian group blog (mostly in French).
posted by nangar on Apr 3, 2011 - 3 comments

Khalas Mixtape Vol 1 . . . Songs of Solidarity

A mixtape of tracks by North African hip hop artists from Algeria, Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, music which reflects the current zeitgeist in the region. To listen and/or download (zip): enoughgaddafi.com
posted by Mister Bijou on Feb 7, 2011 - 15 comments

The Campaign for North Africa

Even among "monster games", it stands alone. A 7-foot mapsheet. 1,800 counters. 1,500 hours to play. It is SPI's The Campaign for North Africa.
posted by Joe Beese on May 11, 2009 - 89 comments

Tassili Rock Art

The rock art of the Tassili culture is found throughout North African mountains, the Tassili n'Ajjer. The rock art of Europe is well known around the world. Lesser known but just as amazing and less well-understood is the rock art of North Africa. (prev.,prev.) This tradition is thought to have developed independently of European rock art although researchers agree about very little else about it. This art hearkens back to a time when the Sahara's climate was milder and more wet. This rock art has often been compared to the pre-Nguni San rock art of Southern Africa. There are of course people who believe that aliens did it. The more research that is done about this area and its archaeology, the more we may have to rethink our ideas about the Sahara. . Sadly enough, like many archaeological sites it is becoming endangered.
posted by anansi on Jan 31, 2008 - 8 comments

Oui, c'est du Raï!!

Raï is North African music. Cheb Khaled goes from pop to more traditional. Cheb Mami does sexy and more sexy and Sting! Recently, young and handsome Faudel tops the charts in France and son pays. And all together with Abdel Khader!!
posted by pwedza on Feb 5, 2007 - 17 comments

Encyclopaedia of the Orient

From Abadan to Zurvanism, The Encyclopaedia of the Orient is your one-stop shopping mecca for bite-sized info-bits on North Africa and the Middle East.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 19, 2006 - 8 comments

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