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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9460
Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.12


nanTo Trajan: I know, Sir, that you have not lost sight of the requests I put forward, for your memory never forgets an opportunity for conferring a kindness. Nevertheless, as you have often indulged me in this manner, I would at the same time most earnestly entreat and recommend you to see fit to promote Attius Sura to the praetorship when a vacancy arises. He is a most unambitious man, but he is encouraged to entertain hopes of this office by the splendour of his family, by his remarkable integrity of conduct during his years of poverty, and, above all, by the happy days on which he has fallen, which incite and encourage those of your subjects who have good consciences to hope for the enjoyment of your kindness.


nanTo Trajan. I know, Sir, that you have not lost sight of the requests I put forward, for your memory never forgets an opportunity for conferring a kindness. Nevertheless, as you have often indulged me in this manner, I would at the same time most earnestly entreat and recommend you to see fit to promote Attius Sura to the praetorship when a vacancy arises. He is a most unambitious man, but he is encouraged to entertain hopes of this office by the splendour of his family, by his remarkable integrity of conduct during his years of poverty, and, above all, by the happy days on which he has fallen, which incite and encourage those of your subjects who have good consciences to hope for the enjoyment of your kindness.


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1. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.2, 10.4-10.10, 10.96-10.97 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10.2. To Trajan. Words fail me to express the pleasure you have given me, Sir, in that you have thought me worthy of the privileges which belong to those who have three children. * For although in this case you have granted the prayers of that excellent man, Julius Servianus, who is your devoted servant, I still gather from your rescript that you indulged his wishes all the more willingly because it was for me that he asked the favour. I seem therefore to have attained the summit of my ambition now that at the beginning of your most auspicious reign you have allowed me to win this peculiar mark of your regard, and I desire children of my own all the more now, when I even wished to have them in the late terrible regime, ** as you can judge from my having married twice. But the gods have decreed a better fate for me, and have reserved all my good fortune intact to be granted by your bounty. I should much prefer to become a father at a time like this, when my future happiness and prosperity are assured to me. 0 10.4. To Trajan. The kindnesses, most excellent of emperors, which I have received at your hands have been so manifold that I am encouraged to dare to seek your interest on behalf of my friends, among whom Voconius Romanus has deserved, perhaps, the first place. He has been my schoolfellow and companion from my earliest years. For that reason I petitioned the late emperor, your father, to promote him to the senatorial order. However, the granting of my prayer has been left over for your goodness to accomplish, because the mother of Romanus had omitted some legal technicalities in handing over the liberal sum of four million sesterces which she had promised in a document addressed to your father to confer upon her son. * Nevertheless, she has subsequently, by my advice, made good the omissions, for she has not only conveyed the farms over to him, but has carried out all the legal requirements necessary in making such a conveyance. Now that is finished which delayed my hopes, I have the fullest confidence in pledging my word to you for the character of my friend Romanus, a character which is adorned by his liberal education and his striking filial piety, thanks to which he has deserved this act of generosity on his mother's part, the inheritance he came in for from his father, and his adoption by his step-father. All these qualities are set off by the splendour of his family and the wealth of his parents, and I trust also that even my entreaties on his behalf will add to these separate commendations to your kindness. I pray you therefore. Sir, that you will enable me to receive the congratulations I most desire to obtain, and that since my wishes are honourable - as I hope they are - I may be able to boast of your favourable regard not only towards myself alone but also towards my friend. 10.5. To Trajan. Last year, Sir, when I was in serious ill-health and was in some danger of my life I called in an ointment-doctor {iatroliptes}, and I can only adequately repay him for the pains and interest he took in my case if you are kind enough to help me. Let me, therefore, entreat you to bestow on him the Roman citizenship, for he belongs to a foreign race and was manumitted by a foreign lady. His name is Harpocras, his patroness being Thermuthis, the daughter of Theon, but she has been dead for some years. I also beg you to give full Roman citizenship * to the freedwomen of Antonia Maximilla, a lady of great distinction, Hedia, and Antonia Harmeris. It is at the request of their patroness that I beg this favour. 10.6. To Trajan. I thank you, Sir, for having so promptly granted my request and for your bestowal of full citizenship on the freedwomen of a lady who is my intimate friend, and the Roman citizenship upon Harpocras, my ointment-doctor. But though I gave particulars, in accordance with your wishes, of his age and ficial position, I have been reminded by those more skilled in such matters than I am that as Harpocras is an Egyptian, I ought first to have obtained for him the Egyptian citizenship before asking for the Roman. For my own part, I thought that no distinction was drawn between Egyptians and all other foreigners, and so was satisfied with merely informing you that he had received his freedom at the hands of a foreign lady, and that his patroness had been dead for some time. I do not regret my ignorance in this matter, inasmuch as it has enabled me to owe you a deeper debt of gratitude for the same individual. So I beg that you will bestow upon him both the Alexandrine and the Roman citizenship, that I may lawfully enjoy the full extent of your kindness. I have sent particulars of his age and income to your freedmen, according to your instructions, so as to prevent any further accidental delay of your goodness. 10.7. Trajan to Pliny. I make a practice of following the rules of my predecessors in not making promiscuous grants of the Alexandrine citizenship, but since you have already obtained the Roman citizenship for Harpocras, your ointment-doctor, I cannot very well refuse this further request of yours. You must let me know to what district he belongs, so that I may write to my friend Pompeius Planta, who is praefect of Egypt. 10.8. To Trajan. When, Sir, your late father, * both by a very fine speech and by setting them a most honourable example himself, urged every citizen to deeds of liberality, I sought permission from him to transfer to a neighbouring township all the statues of the emperors which had come into my possession by various bequests and were kept just as I had received them ill my distant estates, and to add thereto a statue of himself. He granted the request and made most flattering references to myself, and I immediately wrote to the decurions asking them to assign me a plot of ground upon which I might erect a temple ** at my own cost, and they offered to let me choose the site myself as a mark of appreciation of the task I had undertaken. But first my own ill-health, then your father's illness, and subsequently the anxieties of the office you bestowed upon me, have prevented my proceeding with the work. However, I think the present is a convenient opportunity for getting on with it, for my month of duty ends on the Kalends of September and the following month contains a number of holidays. I ask, therefore, as a special favour, that you will allow me to adorn with your statue the work which I am about to begin ; and secondly, that in order to complete it as soon as possible, you will grant me leave of absence. It would be alien to my frank disposition if I were to conceal from your goodness the fact that you will, if you grant me leave, be incidentally aiding very materially my private fices. The rent of my estates in that district exceeds 400,000 sesterces, and if the new tets are to be settled in time for the next pruning, the letting of the farms must not be any further delayed. Besides, the succession of bad vintages we have had forces me to consider the question of making certain abatements, and I cannot enter into that question unless I am on the spot. So, Sir, if for these reasons you grant me leave for thirty days, I shall owe to your kindness the speedy fulfilment of a work of loyalty and the settlement of my private fices. I cannot reduce the length of leave I ask for to narrower limits, inasmuch as the township and the estates I have spoken of are more than a hundred and fifty miles from Rome. 0 10.9. Trajan to Pliny. You have given me an abundance of private and all the public reasons I could desire for asking leave of absence, but, personally, I should have been quite content to accept the mere expression of your wish, for I have not the slightest doubt that you will return as early as you possibly can to resume your busy post. I give you permission to erect a statue of mine in the place you ask - although I am very loath to accept such honours - so as to avoid appearing to check the flow of your loyalty towards me. 10.10. To Trajan. I cannot express, Sir, in words the joy I experienced when I received your letter telling me that you had granted the Alexandrine as well as the Roman citizenship upon my ointment-doctor Harpocras, although you have made it a rule to follow the practice of your predecessors and not grant it promiscuously. I beg to inform you that Harpocras belongs to the district of Memphis. Let me beg of your great kindness, Sir, to send me a letter, as you promised, for your friend Pompeius Planta, the praefect of Egypt. As, Sir, I shall come to meet you that I may enjoy the pleasure at the earliest moment of welcoming you on your long-hoped-for return, * I pray that you will permit me to join you on the road as far out from Rome as possible.
2. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.2, 10.4-10.10, 10.12, 10.96-10.97 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

10.5. To Trajan. Last year, Sir, when I was in serious ill-health and was in some danger of my life I called in an ointment-doctor {iatroliptes}, and I can only adequately repay him for the pains and interest he took in my case if you are kind enough to help me. Let me, therefore, entreat you to bestow on him the Roman citizenship, for he belongs to a foreign race and was manumitted by a foreign lady. His name is Harpocras, his patroness being Thermuthis, the daughter of Theon, but she has been dead for some years. I also beg you to give full Roman citizenship * to the freedwomen of Antonia Maximilla, a lady of great distinction, Hedia, and Antonia Harmeris. It is at the request of their patroness that I beg this favour. 10.6. To Trajan. I thank you, Sir, for having so promptly granted my request and for your bestowal of full citizenship on the freedwomen of a lady who is my intimate friend, and the Roman citizenship upon Harpocras, my ointment-doctor. But though I gave particulars, in accordance with your wishes, of his age and ficial position, I have been reminded by those more skilled in such matters than I am that as Harpocras is an Egyptian, I ought first to have obtained for him the Egyptian citizenship before asking for the Roman. For my own part, I thought that no distinction was drawn between Egyptians and all other foreigners, and so was satisfied with merely informing you that he had received his freedom at the hands of a foreign lady, and that his patroness had been dead for some time. I do not regret my ignorance in this matter, inasmuch as it has enabled me to owe you a deeper debt of gratitude for the same individual. So I beg that you will bestow upon him both the Alexandrine and the Roman citizenship, that I may lawfully enjoy the full extent of your kindness. I have sent particulars of his age and income to your freedmen, according to your instructions, so as to prevent any further accidental delay of your goodness. 10.7. Trajan to Pliny. I make a practice of following the rules of my predecessors in not making promiscuous grants of the Alexandrine citizenship, but since you have already obtained the Roman citizenship for Harpocras, your ointment-doctor, I cannot very well refuse this further request of yours. You must let me know to what district he belongs, so that I may write to my friend Pompeius Planta, who is praefect of Egypt. 10.8. To Trajan. When, Sir, your late father, * both by a very fine speech and by setting them a most honourable example himself, urged every citizen to deeds of liberality, I sought permission from him to transfer to a neighbouring township all the statues of the emperors which had come into my possession by various bequests and were kept just as I had received them ill my distant estates, and to add thereto a statue of himself. He granted the request and made most flattering references to myself, and I immediately wrote to the decurions asking them to assign me a plot of ground upon which I might erect a temple ** at my own cost, and they offered to let me choose the site myself as a mark of appreciation of the task I had undertaken. But first my own ill-health, then your father's illness, and subsequently the anxieties of the office you bestowed upon me, have prevented my proceeding with the work. However, I think the present is a convenient opportunity for getting on with it, for my month of duty ends on the Kalends of September and the following month contains a number of holidays. I ask, therefore, as a special favour, that you will allow me to adorn with your statue the work which I am about to begin ; and secondly, that in order to complete it as soon as possible, you will grant me leave of absence. It would be alien to my frank disposition if I were to conceal from your goodness the fact that you will, if you grant me leave, be incidentally aiding very materially my private fices. The rent of my estates in that district exceeds 400,000 sesterces, and if the new tets are to be settled in time for the next pruning, the letting of the farms must not be any further delayed. Besides, the succession of bad vintages we have had forces me to consider the question of making certain abatements, and I cannot enter into that question unless I am on the spot. So, Sir, if for these reasons you grant me leave for thirty days, I shall owe to your kindness the speedy fulfilment of a work of loyalty and the settlement of my private fices. I cannot reduce the length of leave I ask for to narrower limits, inasmuch as the township and the estates I have spoken of are more than a hundred and fifty miles from Rome. 0 10.9. Trajan to Pliny. You have given me an abundance of private and all the public reasons I could desire for asking leave of absence, but, personally, I should have been quite content to accept the mere expression of your wish, for I have not the slightest doubt that you will return as early as you possibly can to resume your busy post. I give you permission to erect a statue of mine in the place you ask - although I am very loath to accept such honours - so as to avoid appearing to check the flow of your loyalty towards me. 10.10. To Trajan. I cannot express, Sir, in words the joy I experienced when I received your letter telling me that you had granted the Alexandrine as well as the Roman citizenship upon my ointment-doctor Harpocras, although you have made it a rule to follow the practice of your predecessors and not grant it promiscuously. I beg to inform you that Harpocras belongs to the district of Memphis. Let me beg of your great kindness, Sir, to send me a letter, as you promised, for your friend Pompeius Planta, the praefect of Egypt. As, Sir, I shall come to meet you that I may enjoy the pleasure at the earliest moment of welcoming you on your long-hoped-for return, * I pray that you will permit me to join you on the road as far out from Rome as possible. 10.12. To Trajan. I know, Sir, that you have not lost sight of the requests I put forward, for your memory never forgets an opportunity for conferring a kindness. Nevertheless, as you have often indulged me in this manner, I would at the same time most earnestly entreat and recommend you to see fit to promote Attius Sura to the praetorship when a vacancy arises. He is a most unambitious man, but he is encouraged to entertain hopes of this office by the splendour of his family, by his remarkable integrity of conduct during his years of poverty, and, above all, by the happy days on which he has fallen, which incite and encourage those of your subjects who have good consciences to hope for the enjoyment of your kindness.
3. Tertullian, Apology, 2.6 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
adlection Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
aerarium saturni, management Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
attius (or accius) sura Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
benefaction Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
capitalization on imperial cult, discussion on Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
civic benefaction Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
civic participation, civic benefaction and Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
claudius charax, a. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
consul Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
cornelius marcellus, l. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
epigraphy Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 167
epistolography Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166, 167
euergetism Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
flavius silva nonius bassus, l. Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
friend of rome, friendship, euergetism and Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
friendship (philia) Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166
inscriptions, jewish, and capitalization on imperial cult Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
iulius cornutus tertullus, c Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
legatus legionis Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
letter of aristeas Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 167
mind (nous) Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166
novus homo Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
ovid Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 167
papyrology Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 167
patricians Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
patronage Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
pliny the younger Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166, 167
pontus and bithynia Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166, 167
praetor Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
propertius postumus, c Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
pseudo-libanius Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166
rhetoric Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166, 167
roman empire Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166, 167
senate, in latin and greek, membership advancement Talbert, The Senate of Imperial Rome (1984) 20
symbolic capital' Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195
tertullian Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166
trajan Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 166, 167
zuiderhoek, arjan Brodd and Reed, Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) 195