His work, “On Airs, Waters and Places” was environmental in emphasis—’”whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly, should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of year, and what affects each of them produces……. Then the winds, the hot and cold … the qualities of waters, for as they differ from one another in taste and weight…………”
Another Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322 B.C.), sometimes referred to as the “Father of Biology”, classified animals according to their habits and habitats, e.g., gregarious vs. solitary, carnivorous vs. herbivorous, resident vs. migratory, and so forth. Although he was a good naturalist he could not be considered an ecologist, for he did not really consider the inter-relations of plants, animals, and their environments other than in the most superficial terms.
Theophrastus (372-287? B.C.), a student of Aristotle was regarded by some scholars such as Ramaley (1940) as the ‘first ecologist’, though the word ecology was not used until much later. Theophrastus discussed plants and their environments in a moderately systematic way. He studied plant types and forms in relation to attitude, moisture, and: light exposure.
About the time of Christ, the Hebrews had some ecological notions, but of a very general and rather obvious sort. An example is the Parable of Sower (Luke, 8: 4-8) which illustrates the dependence of seed germination on the soil.
Pliay the Elder (23-79 A.D.) was a Roman naturalist with a system of classification somewhat like that of Aristotle; that is. He classifieds plants and animals according to their habits and habitats. He was a great compiler and cataloguer of facts, but most of this was basic natural history and could not be considered truly ecological in orientation.