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Pliny

ib, lie, wrote, letters and life

PLINY ni YOUNGER (nAlUS PLINIUS C-ECI LH s SECENDUS). A nephew of Pliny the Elder, and sun of Gains Ca.cilins. Ile was born at Novum Commit t Como 1, Am. 62. He was still young when he lost his father, and was adopted by his uncle. under whose care, and that of his mother, Plinia, and his tutor, Virginius Rufus, his educa tion was conducted. Passionately devoted to literature, he wrote a Greek tragedy at the age of thirteen. lie studied eloquence unlcr l?lllllt ii is ll, and becaine so famous for his literary accomplish nients that he the reputation of being one of the most learned men of the age. Ills oratorical powers were also considerable; in his nineteenth year he began to speak in the Forum, and his services as an advocate before the court Of the centumviri and the Roman Senate were in frequent request. lle held numerous official appointments: served, while a young man, as t ribu n us in ilit u In in Syria, where he listened to the teaching of Euphrates the Stoic, and Artenti dorus; afterwards quwstor Ca saris was prator about 93, and consul in 100, when he write his an adulatory eulogium of the Emperor Traian. lie was appointed, in 103, propragor of the Province l'ontica or Bithynia, an oflice which he vacated in less than two years : and lie also discharged the function of curator of the banks and channel of the Tiber. He was twice married. his second wife heing Calpurnia, grand daughter of Calpurnius l'abatus. Our knowledge of Pliny the Younger is mainly derived from his letters or Epistuhr. of which there are ten books.

He collected them himself, and probably wrote many of them with a view to publication. They bold a high place in epistolary literature, and give us many interesting glimpses into the life of their author and his contemporaries. Pliny himself appears in them to considerable advan tage, as a genial and philanthropie man, en amored of literary studies, and fond of improving his estates by architectural adornment. "His ample fortune was liberally bestowed, and his slaves always found in him an indulgent master. Ile never enjoyed robust health but of the time or cause of his death we know nothing. Of his letters. one of the most interesting is the one to the Emperor Trajan (Book x., 97), written while Pliny was Governor of Bithynia. and ask ing for instruction in regard to the policy to he pursued against the stubborn sect of Chris tians: this is one 44 the earliest notices of the Christians in Roman writers. The best editions of Pliny's Pa nryyrirus and Epist uhr together are those of Schaefer ( Leipzig, 1805) and Keil (ib.. 1892) : of the alone., that of Cierig (ib., 1806), Of English translations, there are the Ponerntricus by Bond (London. 1724) and the Epist uhr by 1\le1moth (ib., 1746) ; 10th ed. 1805) and Lord Orrery (ib., An excellent sketch of Pliny's life by Rendall is printed in Mayor's edition of Book iii. of the Epistuhr (ib., 180).