ca 80 v. Chr.
auditorem quidem varietas maxime delectat
Rhetorica ad Herennium (ca. 80 v. Chr.) III, 22; vgl. Cicero: Briefe an Atticus II, 15.

45 v. Chr.
Varietas enim Latinum verbum est, idque proprie quidem in disparibus coloribus dicitur, sed transfertur in multa disparia: varium poema, varia oratio, varii mores, varia fortuna, voluptas etiam vari dici solet, cum percipitur e multis dissimilibus rebus dissimilis efficientibus voluptates.
[‘Variation’ is a good Latin term; we use it strictly of different colours, but it is applied metaphorically to a number of things that differ: we speak of a varied poem, a varied speech, a varied character, varied fortunes. Pleasure too can be termed varied when it is derived from a number of unlike things producing unlike feelings of pleasure.]
Cicero: De finibus bonorum et malorum (45 v. Chr.) II, 3, 10
[Engl. Übers. von H. Rackham, Cambridge, Mass. 1931].

45 v. Chr.
varietate
et natura sonorum [die Verschiedenheit und Natur der Töne] […]
vitae varietatem [die Wechselfälle des Lebens] […]
varietate colorum [die Buntheit der Farben]
Cicero: Tusculanae Disputationes (dt. Übers. von Olof Gigon, Berlin 1998), Lib. I, 62; III, 34; V, 114.

ca. 58-60
“Non dat deus beneficia.” Unde ergo ista, quae possides, quae das, quae negas, quae servas, quae rapis? Unde haec innumerabilia oculos, aures, animum mulcentia? Unde illa luxuriam quoque instruens copia (neque enim necessitatibus tantummodo nostris provisum est; usque in delicias amamur)? Tot arbusta non uno modo frugifera, tot herbae salutares, tot varietates ciborum per totum annum digestae, ut inerti quoque fortuita terrae alimenta praeberent? Iam animalia omnis generis, alia in sicco solidoque, alia in umido nascentia, alia per sublime demissa, ut omnis rerum naturae pars tributum aliquod nobis conferret?
[„Nicht erweist der Gott Wohltaten.“ Woher also das, was du besitzt, was du gewährst, was du verweigerst, was du bewahrst, was du dir aneignest? Woher diese unzähligen Dinge, die Augen, Ohren, Seele bezaubern? Woher jener auch die Verschwendung schaffende Überuß (nicht nämlich ist lediglich für unsere Lebensnotwendigkeiten vorgesorgt; bis zur Verwöhnung werden wir geliebt)? So viele Gehölze, die nicht auf eine Weise allein Früchte tragen, so viele heilsame Kräuter, so viele verschiedene Arten von Nahrungsmitteln, über das ganze Jahr verteilt, so daß auch dem Trägen die Zufälle der Erde Nahrung gewährten? Gar die Lebewesen aller Art, die einen im Trockenen und auf dem Festen, die anderen im Feuchten entstehend, wieder andere in der Höhe sich bewegend, so daß jeder Teil der Natur uns irgendeine Leistung bietet?]
Seneca: De beneficiis [dt. Übers. von Manfred Rosenbach, Darmstadt 1989], lib.
IV, cap. 5.

77
concharum genera, in quibus magna ludentis natura varietas
[the varieties of shell-fish […] display in great variety nature’s love of sport]
Plinius: Naturalis historia (77) IX, 102
[Engl. Übers. von H. Rackham, Cambridge, Mass. 1940].

um 100
γράψας τοίνυν ἐν τοῖς περὶ Φύσεως ὅτι πολλὰ τῶν ζῴων ἕνεκα κάλλους ἡ φύσις ἐνήνοχε, φιλοκαλοῦσα καὶ χαίρουσα τῇ ποικιλίᾳ καὶ λόγον ἐπειπὼν παραλογώτατον ὡς ‘ὁ ταὼς ἕνεκα τῆς οὐρᾶς γέγονε διὰ τὸ κάλλος αὐτῆς’ […] φιλοκαλεῖν δὲ τὴν φύσιν τῇ ποικιλίᾳ χαίρουσαν
[Moreover, [Chrysipp, im 3. Jh. v. Chr.] having in his book of Nature written, that Nature has produced many creatures for the sake of beauty, delighting in pulchritude and pleasing herself with variety, and having added a most absurd expression, that the peacock was made for the sake of his tail and for the beauty of it; […] Nature, rejoicing in variety, takes delight in the production of fair creatures]
Plutarch: De Stoicorum repugnantiis (um 100) 1044d
[Engl. Übers. von W.W. Goodwin, 1874].

um 1500
per tal variar natura è bella
Serafino dell’Aquila: Sonetto 57 (um 1500) (Opera, Vinegia 1544), S. civ.

um 1700
Perfectio […] est […] in forma seu varietate.
Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz: [Die Hauptlehrsätze der Leibnizischen Philosophie betreffend] (um 1700), in: C. I. Gerhardt (Hg.): (Philosophische Schriften, Bd. 7, Berlin 1890, S. 289-291, hier S. 290.

1712
The only method I observe in this particular, is to range in the same quarter the products of the same season, that they may make their appearance together, and compose a picture of the greatest variety. There is the same irregularity in my plantations, which run into as great a wilderness as their nature will permit.
Joseph Addison: [Brief an den Herausgeber], in: The Spectator No. 477, 6. Sept. 1712, S. 8-13, hier S. 9.

1713
The great Variety and Quantity of all things upon, and in the Terraqueous Globe, provided for the Uses of the World. The last Remark I shall make about the Terraqueous Globe in general is, the great variety of Kinds, or Tribes, as well as prodigious Number of Individuals of each various Tribe there is of all Creatures. There are so many Beasts, so many Birds, so many Infects, so many Reptiles, so many Trees, so many Plants upon the Land ; so many Fishes, Sea-Plants, and other Creatures in the Waters; so many Minerals, Metals, and Fossiles in the Subterraneous Regions; so many Species of these Genera, so many Individuals of those species, that there is nothing wanting to the Use of Man, or any other Creature of this lower World. […]
this great Variety is a most wise Provision for all the Uses of the World in all Ages, and all Places. Some for Food, some for Physick, some for Habitation, some for Utensils, some for Tools and Instruments of Work, and some for Recreation and Pleasure, either to Man, or to some of the inferior Creatures, themselves; even for which inferior Creatures, the liberal Creator hath provided all things necessary, or any ways conducing to their happy, comfortable living in this World, as well as for Man. […]
enjoy the Pleasure of beholding the noble Variety of diverting Objects, that do above us in the Heavens, and here in this lower World
William Derham: Physico-Theology, London 1713, S. 53f.; 57f.; 87.

1734
Das Glück der Sterblichen will die Verschiedenheit
Albrecht von Haller: Über den Ursprung des Übels (1734), in: Versuch schweizerischer Gedichte, Zürich 1768, S. 56-81, hier S. 71.

1749
Le premier obstacle qui se présente dans l’étude de l’Histoire naturelle, vient de cette grande multitude d’objets; mais la variété de ces mêmes objets, & la difficulté de rassembler les productions diverses des différens climats forment un autre obstacle à l’avancement de nos connoisances, qui paroît invincible
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de
Buffon: Histoire générale des animaux, in: Histoire naturelle générale et particulière, Bd. 1, Paris 1749, S. 4f.

1845
Variety is essential to beauty, and is so inseparable from it that there can be no beauty where there is no variety
James Duffield Harding: The Principles and Practice of Art, London 1845, S. 39.

1848
The Ethnological Society of London is formed for the purpose of inquiring into the distinguishing characteristics, physical and moral, of the varieties of Mankind which inhabit, or have inhabited, the Earth; and to ascertain the causes of such characteristics.
Anonymus: Regulations, in: Journal of the Ethnological Society of London 1 (1848), S. 3-14, hier S. 3.

1958
the variety of nature […] tends to promote ecological stability–ecological resistence to invaders and to explosions in native populations […]
I believe that conservation should mean the keeping or putting in the landscape of the greatest possible ecological variety – in the world, in every continent or island, and so far as practicable in every district. And provided the native species have their place, I see no reason why the reconstitution of communities to make them rich and interesting and stable should not include a careful selection of exotic forms, especially as many of these are in any case going to arrive in due course and occupy some niche.
Charles Elton: The Ecology of Invasions by Animals and Plants, London 1958, S. 145; 155.

2001
la technique [de la poikilia] est non pas celle du mélange qui neutraliserait aussitôt la diversité, mais celle de la juxtaposition, comme pour le tissage de fils colorés, auquel correspondent les touches du peintre, ou les tesselles de la mosaïque.
Anne G. Wersinger: Platon et la dysharmonie. Recherches sur la forme musicale, Paris 2001, S. 38.

2015
poikilia
effects are produced by a technique that “is not one of mixing that would immediately neutralize the diversity but rather one of juxtaposition, as for weaving with coloured thread, to which the painter’s brushstrokes or the mosaic tesserae correspond” (tr. from [Anne G.] Wersinger [Platon et la dysharmonie. Recherches sur la forme musicale, Paris] 2001 38) […] poikilia does not match exactly what we call the “multicolored,”, since it does not always imply a great number of colors. What matters is a contrastive and brilliant effect induced by the combination of different substances and shapes to create a composite eye-catching sight. […] Archaic aesthetics privileges a kind of harmonia that does not unify, but “lies in the union of variety while taking into account its singularities and differences” (tr. from Wersinger 2011, 24)
Adeline Grand-Clément: Poikilia, in: Pierre Destrée und Penelope Murray (Hg.): Companion to Ancient Aesthetics, Chichester 2015, S. 406-422, hier S. 409; 410.

2016
For Plato and others, the pleasures of variety are those of women and children; they are superficial because poikilia is a feature of surfaces and an agent of distraction. Poikilia is “never the same” (Rep. 8.568d), leaving one in a state of suspended wonderment in which the faculty of judgment is baffled. Poikilia dissipates attention across a surface, preventing the experience of depth. It says (delightedly) “and here’s another thing” rather than “and from this it follows that …”
William Fitzgerald: Variety. The Life of a Roman Concept, Chicago 2016, S. 60.

 

Literatur

Elisabetta Berardi (Hg.): Poikilia. Variazioni sul tema, Acireale 2009.

Adeline Grand‐Clément: Poikilia, in: Pierre Destrée und Penelope Murray (Hg.): A Companion to Ancient Aesthetics, Chichester 2015, S. 406-422.

William Fitzgerald: Variety. The Life of a Roman Concept, Chicago 2016.