Problem of classification
In his PhD project Dominik Berrens analyses the description of bees, wasps, and ants in ancient Greek and Latin texts within the period between the 8th century B.C.E. and late antiquity. A great amount of bees' descriptions are found in ancient "scientific" (e.g. the works of Aristotle and Pliny the Elder) and agronomic prose literature (e.g. Varro, Columella, Palladius, the Geoponics). Wasps and ants, on the other side, are dealt in a smaller number of texts. Further sources are didactic poems like Virgil's Georgics or Nicander's Theriaka and Alexipharmaka.
In his thesis, Dominik Berrens wants to present his results divided into different topics, like "Reproduction, Sex and Gender", "Social animals and Poetics", "Politics", etc. This way of division suits his purpose to show the differences in the characterisation of these animals and the variation of concepts within different times and cultures.