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- Jul 2022
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Humanist critiques began to erode Pliny—the major source for natural history since antiquity—in the1490s. The lengthy critiques of Ermolao Barbaro (1454–1493) and Niccolò Leoniceno (1428–1524) were,however, based on Greek texts prior to Pliny, not on the natural world.
Pliny's work had been the standard text for natural history since antiquity. The early humanist movement including critiques by Ermolao Barbaro and Niccolò Leoniceno in the mid 1400s began to erode his stature in the area. Interestingly however, it wasn't new discoveries or science that was displacing Pliny so much as comparison of Pliny with even earlier Greek texts.