The Cosmic Viewpoint: A Study of Seneca's Natural Questions
Aestimatio : Critical Reviews in the History of Science
The Naturales quaestiones (Natural Questions) by Seneca is one of the most important sources on ancient meteorology that has come down to us and Gareth Williams' monograph is a major contribution to the study of this treatise. It is divided into eight books. Book 1 deals with lights in the sky; book 2, with lightning and thunder; book 3, with terrestrial water; books 4a and 4b-of which important sections are now lost-with the Nile and with clouds, rain, hail, and snow, respectively; book 5,
... tively; book 5, with winds; book 6, with earthquakes; and book 7, with comets. The original order of the books is a matter of dispute. The order 1, 2, 3, 4a, 4b, 5, 6 and 7 is only one of three possibilities found in the manuscript tradition, the other two being 1, 2, 3, 4b, 5, 6, 7, 4a and 4b, 5, 6, 7, 1, 2, 3, 4a. As Williams explains, the latter, also known as the Grandinem order, is demonstrably the order of the archetype from which the extant manuscripts descend, and this order is still upheld by some scholars.