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].

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.

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.

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.

 

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.