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Book Title: Letters, Volume I: Books 1-7|
The author of the book: Pliny the Younger
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Reader ratings: 5.5
Edition: Harvard University Press
Date of issue: January 1st 1969
ISBN 13: 9780674990616
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 39.46 MB
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The Younger Pliny was born in 61 or 62 CE, the son of Lucius Caecilius of Comum (Como) and the Elder Pliny's sister. He was educated at home and then in Rome under Quintilian. He was at Misenum at the time of the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 (described in two famous letters) when the Elder Pliny died.
Pliny started his career at the Roman bar at the age of eighteen. He moved through the regular offices in a senator's career, held two treasury appointments and a priesthood, and was consul in September and October 100. On this occasion he delivered the speech of thanks to the Emperor Trajan which he afterwards expanded and published as the Panegyricus. After his consulship he returned to advocacy in the court and Senate, and was also president of the Tiber Conservancy Board. His hopes of retirement were cut short when he was chosen by Trajan to go out to the province of Bithynia and Pontus on a special commission as the Emperor's direct representative. He is known to have been there two years, and is presumed to have died there before the end of 113. Book X of the Letters contains his correspondence with Trajan during this period, and includes letters about the early Christians.
Pliny's Letters are important as a social document of his times. They tell us about the man himself and his wide interests, and about his many friends, including Tacitus, Martial and Suetonius. Pliny has a gift for description and a versatile prose style, and more than any of his contemporaries he gives an unprejudiced picture of Rome as he knew it.
The Loeb Classical Library edition of Pliny the Younger is in two volumes; the second contains Books VIIIX of his Letters and Panegyricus.
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Read information about the authorGaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 AD – ca. 112 AD), better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate him and they were both witnesses to the eruption of Vesuvius on 24 August 79 AD.
"You would have heard the wails of women, the shrieks of infants, shouts of men; some were seeking parents with their voices, others children, others spouses, and by their voices they were recognizing them; some were pitying their own misfortune, others the misfortune of their families; there were those who - due to the fear of death - were praying for death; many raised their hands toward the gods, more were concluding that there were no gods anywhere, and that this was the perpetual and final night for the world."
-Pliny the Younger, Letters, 16.20.14-15
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