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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9460
Pliny The Younger, Letters, 10.64-10.84


nanTo Trajan: King Sauromates has written to me saying that there are certain matters which you ought to know as soon as possible. For that reason I have given the courier whom he sent to me with the letter an official permit to enable him to travel more quickly.


nanTo Trajan: Sir, the problem as to the status and cost of maintenance of children exposed at birth and then reared by others is an important one which affects the whole province. After listening to the decrees of former emperors on the subject, and finding there was no general or particular rule relating to Bithynia, I thought I ought to consult you on the course you desire to be adopted. For I considered that I ought not to be satisfied with mere precedents in a matter that requires an authoritative expression of your will. I had read to me an edict reputed to have been issued by Augustus respecting (?) Andania, letters of Vespasian to the Lacedaemonians and of Titus to the same people and to the Achaians, and of Domitian to the proconsuls Avidius Nigrinus and Armenius Brocchus, and again to the people of Lacedaemon. I have not sent them on to you, because they seemed to me to be not altogether correct copies, and some appeared to be of doubtful authenticity, and because I imagine that the genuine and correct documents will be found in your archives.


nanTrajan to Pliny: The question you raise as to those who were born free and exposed by their parents, and then reared by other people and brought up in a state of servitude, has often been dealt with, but I do not find in the records of my predecessors any general rule established for the whole of the provinces. Domitian certainly wrote letters to Avidius Nigrinus and Armenius Brocchus, which perhaps ought to be followed as precedents, but Bithynia is not one of the provinces covered by his letters. Consequently, I do not think that those who prove their right to freedom should have their claims refused, nor do I think that they should have to buy their freedom by paying the cost of their maintenance.


nanTo Trajan: After the messenger of King Sauromates had stayed of his own free will for two days in Nicaea, where he found me, I thought, Sir, that he ought to delay no longer, in the first place, because it was still uncertain when your freedman Lycormas would put in an appearance, and, in the second, because I myself was bound by pressing official business to go and visit another part of my province. I have felt it my duty to bring these facts to your knowledge, as I just recently wrote and told you that I had been asked by Lycormas to keep back any deputation which might come from the Bosphorus until his arrival. There is now no justifiable reason for my delaying him any longer, especially as I fancy the letter of Lycormas which, as I said before, I did not like to keep back, will arrive in Rome some days before this messenger.


nanTo Trajan: Several persons have petitioned me to grant them leave, as other proconsuls have done before my time, to transfer to other resting-places the remains of their ancestors, owing to the ravages of time, the inundation of rivers, or some other similar reasons. Knowing as I do that in Rome the permission of the pontifical college is necessary in such cases, I have thought that I ought to consult you. Sir, as pontifex maximus, as to the course you would wish me to pursue.


nanTrajan to Pliny: It would be very hard on the provincials to lay upon them the necessity of approaching the pontifical college whenever they desired for some sufficient reason to remove the ashes of their ancestors from one place to another. You should therefore follow the precedents set by those who have governed the province before you, and either give or withhold permission on the merits of each case.


nanTo Trajan: When I was looking about, Sir, for a place upon which to build the baths which you have graciously allowed to be erected at Prusa, I was pleased with a site on which there once stood, I am told, a beautiful mansion which is now in a ruinous and unsightly condition. By choosing this we shall beautify what is an eyesore in the city, and we shall extend the city itself without pulling down any buildings, but by merely rebuilding on a finer scale structures which have crumbled away through old age. The history of this mansion is as follows: Claudius Polyaenus left it in his will to Claudius Caesar, and gave orders that a temple should be erected to the Emperor in the colonnade and that the remainder of the house should be let. For some years the city enjoyed the rent arising therefrom, but as time went on the whole mansion fell in, parts of it being stolen and parts being allowed to decay, until now there is scarcely anything left of it but the ground it stood on. The city, Sir, will consider it a great favour if you will give them the site or order it to be put up for sale, as the situation is such a convenient one. For my own part, if you grant me your permission, I am thinking of clearing the courtyard and constructing the new baths upon it, and of surrounding with a hall and galleries the site on which the old buildings stood, and consecrating them to you, for the work will be a handsome one and worthy of bearing your name as its benefactor. I am sending to you a copy of the will, though it is an imperfect one, and from it you will see that Polyaenus left a considerable amount of furniture for the decoration of the mansion which, like the mansion itself, has now been lost, though I shall do my best to recover it as far as possible.


nanTrajan to Pliny: We may certainly utilise the courtyard and the ruined mansion, which you say is unoccupied, for the construction of the baths at Prusa. But you did not make it quite clear whether the temple in the colonnade was ever actually completed and consecrated to Claudius; for if it was, then even though it is now in ruins, the ground still remains specially sacred to him.


nanTo Trajan: I have been asked by certain persons to give decisions in cases where men claim they were born free, and demand the restitution of their birth-right, and so act in accordance with the precedents set by the letter of Domitian to Minicius Rufus and by the proconsuls in office here before me. I have consulted the decree of the senate relating to that class of cases, and I find that it only deals with provinces which are governed by proconsuls; and so, Sir, I have left the matter open, and postponed a decision until you advise me of the course you wish to be followed


nanTrajan to Pliny: If you will send me the decree of the senate which has made you hesitate, I will form my opinion as to whether or not you ought to investigate cases in which the petitioners claim they were born free, and demand the restitution of their birth-right.


nanTo Trajan: Sir, a soldier named Appuleius, who belongs to the garrison at Nicomedia, has written to tell us that a certain person of the name of Callidromus, on being forcibly detained by two bakers, Maximus and Dionysius, in whose employment he had been, fled for refuge to your statue, and on being brought before the magistrates admitted that he had at one time been the slave of Laberius Maximus, that he had been made prisoner by Susagus in Moesia, and sent as a present by Decebalus to Pacorus, the Parthian king. After remaining in his service for many years he had made good his escape, and so found his way to Nicomedia. I had him brought before me, and when he had told me the same story, I thought the best plan was to send him to you. The reason for my delay in so doing is that I have been trying to find a ring bearing the likeness of Pacorus, which he said that he used to wear as an ornament, but which had been stolen from him. For it was my wish to forward this ring, if it could be found, just as I am sending a piece of ore, which the man declares he brought from a Parthian mine. I have sealed it with my own signet, the device on which is a four-horse chariot.


nanTo Trajan: Sir, a person named Julius Largus, of Pontus, whom I had never seen or heard of before - he must have blindly followed the good opinion you have of me - has entrusted me with the management of the money with which he seeks to prove his loyalty towards you. For he has asked me in his will to undertake as heir the division of his property, and after keeping for myself 50,000 sesterces, hand over all that remains to the free cities of Heraclea and Tius. He leaves it to my discretion whether I think it better to erect public works and dedicate them to your glory, or to institute an athletic festival to be held every five years and be called "the Trajan games." I have decided to bring the facts to your notice, and for this special reason, that you may direct me in my choice.


nanTrajan to Pliny: Julius Largus, in picking you out for your loyalty, has acted as though he knew you intimately. So do you consider the circumstances of each place and the best means of perpetuating his memory, and follow the course you think best.


nanTo Trajan: You acted with your usual prudence, Sir, in instructing that eminent man, Calpurnius Macer, to send a legionary centurion to Byzantium. Consider, I pray, whether for similar reasons one should be sent to Juliopolis also, which, though one of the tiniest of free cities, has very heavy burdens to bear, and if any wrong is done to it, it is the more serious owing to its weakness. Moreover, whatever favours you confer on the people of Juliopolis will benefit the whole province, for the city lies at the extremity of Bithynia, and through it the large number of persons who travel through the province have to pass.


nanTrajan to Pliny: It is owing to the situation of the free city of Byzantium, and the fact that so many travellers make their way into it from all sides, that, in conformity with established precedent, I have decided to send them a legionary centurion to protect their privileges. If I were to decide to assist the people of Juliopolis in the same way I should be burdening myself with a new precedent. For more and more cities would want the same favour, just in proportion to their weakness, and I have sufficient confidence in your diligence to feel certain that you will do your very best to protect them from harm. If, however, any persons act contrary to my rules, let them be promptly suppressed ; or if any are guilty of offences too grave to be sufficiently punished offhand, notify their commanding officers, if they are soldiers, of the crimes in which you have detected them, or if they are about to return to Rome write and let me know.


nanTo Trajan: There is a provision, Sir, in the Lex Pompeia - which is in force in Bithynia - to the effect that no one is to hold office or sit in the senate who is under thirty years of age, and it is also provided in the same law that all ex-magistrates are to have a seat in that Chamber. Then followed an edict of the Emperor Augustus permitting persons to hold the minor offices from their twenty-second year. The question arises, therefore, whether a man who held office before he was thirty can be admitted by the censors to the senate, and, if he can, whether by the same interpretation those who have not held office may also be appointed senators when they reach the age at which they may become magistrates. This practice has already been followed in some places, and it is said to be unavoidable on the ground that it is much preferable to admit into the senate the sons of well-born persons than to admit plebeians. When I was asked my opinion by the censors-elect, I said I thought that those who had held office before they were thirty might be appointed senators in accordance with the terms of the edict of Augustus and the Lex Pompeia, inasmuch as Augustus allowed those under thirty to hold office, and the law declared that an ex-magistrate should sit in the senate. But I hesitated as to those who had not held office, though they had reached the age when they were eligible for such office. That is why, Sir, I ask your advice on the course you would have me adopt. I enclose with my letter both the heads of the Pompeian Law and the edict of Augustus.


nanTrajan to Pliny: I agree with the construction you place on the law, my dear Pliny, and I think that the Lex Pompeia is superseded by the edict of Augustus to the extent that persons not less than twenty-two years of age are eligible for office, and that, having held it, they necessarily become senators in all the free cities. But if they have not held office, I do not think that those who are under thirty can be appointed senators in any place, simply because they might hold office if they chose.


nanTo Trajan: When, Sir, I was at Prusa, near Mt. Olympus, and was enjoying a rest from public business at my lodgings - I was about to leave the town on the same day - a magistrate named Asclepiades sent me a message saying that Claudius Eumolpus had appealed to me. It appeared that one Cocceianus Dion had requested in the senate that the city should formally take over the public work on which he had been engaged, and that Eumolpus, who was appearing for Flavius Archippus, said that Dion ought to be made to produce plans of the work before it was handed over to the city, alleging that he had not finished it as he ought to have done. He added that your statue had been placed in the temple, together with the remains of Dion's wife and son, and demanded that I should investigate the matter in proper legal form. When I said that I would do so forthwith and postpone my journey, he asked that I would put off the day of hearing, so as to give him time to prepare his case, and that I would investigate the matter in another city. I replied that I would hear it tried at Nicaea and when I had taken my seat on the bench in that place to listen to the pleading, Eumolpus once more began to try and get a further adjournment on the ground that he was still not quite ready; while Dion, on the other hand, demanded that the case should be heard at once. A good deal was said on both sides relating to the subject at issue. I thought that a further adjournment should be made, and that I had better consult you in a matter that looked like forming a precedent, and I told both parties to hand in written statements of their separate demands, for I wished that you should hear the points put forward as far as possible in their own words. Dion said that he would give in a statement, and Eumolpus also promised to set down in writing his points, so far as they related to matters of state. But in the charge about the remains he said that he was not the accuser, but merely the advocate of Flavius Archippus, whose commission he was undertaking. Archippus, who was being represented by Eumolpus, as at Prusa, then said that he too would make a written statement. Yet neither Eumolpus nor Archippus has yet handed in any, though I have waited a long time; Dion, on the other hand, has done so, and I enclose it with this letter. I have visited the place in question and seen your statue in position in the library, while the building, where the wife and son of Dion are said to be buried, lies in the courtyard, which is enclosed by porticos. I beg you, Sir, to condescend to advise me in forming a decision on a case like this, for it has created great public interest, as it was bound to do, considering the facts are admitted, and there are precedents on both sides.


nanTrajan to Pliny: You need have had no hesitation, my dear Pliny, on the point concerning which you have thought it necessary to consult me, for you are well aware of my fixed resolve not to seek to make people respect my name by fear and terrorism and charges of treason. Dismiss the inquiry, therefore, which I should not admit even if there were precedents to support it, and let Cocceianus Dion be required to submit the plan of the whole building he has raised under your supervision, as public interests demand that he should. Indeed he does not decline to do so - and ought not to, if he did.


nanTo Trajan: I have been publicly asked, Sir, by what is and ought to be the most sacred thing in the world to me, I mean your eternal fame and well-being, to forward to you a memorial of the people of Nicaea, and therefore, as I did not think it right to refuse, I accepted it and enclose it with this letter.


nanTrajan to Pliny: As the people of Nicaea declare that Augustus conferred upon them the right to enjoy the property of those citizens who die intestate, you must inquire into the matter, and summon before you all who are concerned in the question, including Virdius Gemellinus and Epimachus, my freedman, who are procurators, and then, after giving due weight to the arguments on the other side, come to the decision you think best.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

3 results
1. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 8.10-8.11, 10.2, 10.4-10.8, 10.15-10.18, 10.20-10.26, 10.31-10.43, 10.45, 10.47-10.52, 10.54-10.62, 10.65-10.84, 10.88, 10.92-10.100, 10.102, 10.104, 10.106-10.121 (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 10.15. To Trajan. It is because I feel sure, Sir, that you will be interested to hear, that I send you news that I have rounded Cape Malea and have made my way with all my retinue to Ephesus. Though I have been delayed by contrary winds, I am now on the point of setting out for my province, travelling part of the way by coasters and part by land carriage, for the prevailing Etesian winds are as great an obstacle to journeying by sea as the overpowering heat is by land. 10.16. Trajan to Pliny. You have done well to send me news, my dear Pliny, for I am exceedingly interested to hear what sort of a journey you are having to your province. You are doing wisely to make use of coasters and land carriage alternately, according to the difficulties of the various districts. 10.18. Trajan to Pliny. I wish it had been possible for you and your companions to reach Bithynia without the slightest inconvenience or illness, and that you could have had as pleasant a journey by water from Ephesus as you had as far as that city. However, I have learned from your letters, my dear Pliny, the date of your arrival in Bithynia, and I trust the people of the province will understand that I have had an eye to their interests, for you too will do what you can to make it clear to them that you were specially selected to be sent to them as my representative. The examination of their public accounts must be one of your first duties, for it is fairly evident that they have been tampered with. I have scarcely enough surveyors for the public works which are in progress at Rome or the immediate district, but surely there are trustworthy persons to be found in every province, and therefore you too will be able to find some, provided you take the trouble to make a careful search. 10.20. Trajan to Pliny. There is no necessity, my dear Pliny, to employ more soldiers in guarding the prisons. Let us continue to observe the custom of your province which utilised the public slaves for that purpose, for it depends upon the severity and attention you show whether they will perform their duties faithfully. As you say, the chief danger to be apprehended, if you mix soldiers with the public slaves, is that they will grow more careless, for each will trust to the other. So let this be our standing rule, to withdraw as few soldiers as possible from the standards. 10.21. To Trajan. Gabius Bassus, Sir, the prefect of the coast of Pontus, has come to me in a most respectful and dutiful manner, and has spent several days in my company. So far as I can read his character, he is an excellent man and worthy of your favour. I told him that you had given orders that he should be content with ten privileged soldiers, two horsemen, and one centurion, out of the cohorts which you desired me to command. His answer was that this number was quite inadequate, and that he would himself write to you. That is the reason why I did not think it proper to at once recall from his command those above the assigned number. 10.22. Trajan to Pliny. I too have had a letter from Gabius Bassus, in which he says that the force assigned to him by my orders is inadequate. I have ordered the reply which I sent him to be enclosed with this letter, to acquaint you with its contents. It makes all the difference whether such a request is due to the exigencies of the situation or merely to a man's personal ambition. However, we ought to consider primarily the public interest and to take care, as far as possible, that soldiers are not absent from the standards. 10.23. To Trajan. The people of Prusa, Sir, have a public bath which is in a neglected and dilapidated state. They wish, with your kind permission, to restore it; but I think a new one ought to be built, and I reckon that you can safely comply with their wishes. The money for its erection will be forthcoming, for first there are the sums I spoke of * which I have already begun to claim and demand from private individuals, and secondly there is the money usually collected for a free distribution of oil which they are now prepared to utilise for the construction of a new bath. Besides, the dignity of the city and the glory of your reign demand its erection. 10.25. To Trajan. Your legate, Sir, Servilius Pudens, reached Nicomedia on November 24th, and has freed me from the suspense entailed by waiting so long for his arrival. 10.26. To Trajan. Your kindness to me, Sir, has cemented the friendship between Rosianus Geminus and myself, for he was my quaestor when I was consul, and I found him most remarkably devoted to my interests. Since the end of my consulship he has shown me extraordinary deference, and he is constantly renewing the pledges of our official friendship by the private attentions he pays me. I beg, therefore, that you yourself will favourably entertain my request for his advancement, for if you follow my advice you will bestow upon him your warmest favour. He will do his best in any commission you may give him to deserve still higher posts. I feel compelled to be less lavish in my praise than I might be from the fact that I trust his honesty, uprightness, and industry are already well known to you, not only from the office he has held under your eyes in Rome, but from his service with you in your army. However, I must repeat yet again the request which I fear I have not sufficiently urged upon you - at least, so my affection makes me fancy - and I beg you, Sir, that you will as early as possible see your way to let me rejoice in the advancement of my quaestor's dignity, and in the advancement of my own dignity through his. 10.31. To Trajan. As you have given me authority to refer to you wherever I am in doubt, you may, Sir, condescend to hear my difficulty without compromising your great position. In many of the States, but especially in Nicomedia and Nicaea, there are certain persons lying under sentence to the mines, to take part in the gladiatorial shows, and to similar penalties, who are now acting as and performing the duties of public slaves, and are even drawing an annual salary as such. When I was told of this, I hesitated for a long time as to what course I ought to adopt. For I thought it would be showing too harsh a severity to hand them over to their penalties after so many years, especially as many of them are old men, and are, to all accounts, now living a decent and respectable life, yet I thought it was scarcely the proper thing to retain criminals as public servants. Moreover, to keep men doing nothing at the State expense is inexpedient, and if they were not kept they might be a source of danger. I have therefore left the whole matter in suspense until I could take your advice. You will ask perhaps how it comes about that they were released from the penalties to which they were condemned. I too have asked the same question, but have found no answer which is at all satisfactory. The decrees by which they were condemned were produced, but no documents sanctioning their liberation, though there are some who say that they were released on petition by the authority of certain proconsuls and legates, and this theory is the more plausible, as it is hardly credible that anyone would have ventured on such a step without authority. 10.32. Trajan to Pliny. Let us not forget that you were sent to your province for the express reason that there seemed to be many abuses rampant there which required correction. And most certainly we must redress such a scandal as that persons condemned to penalties should not only, as you say, be released therefrom without authorisation, but even be placed in stations which ought to be filled by honest servants. So all those who were sentenced within the last ten years and released on insufficient authority must be sent back to work out their sentences, and if there are any whose condemnation dates back beyond the last ten years and are now old men, let us apportion them to fulfil duties which are not far removed from being penal. For it is the custom to send such cases to work in the public baths, to clean out the sewers, and to repair the roads and streets. 10.33. To Trajan. While I was visiting a distant part of the province a most desolating fire broke out at Nicomedia and destroyed a number of private houses and two public buildings, the almshouse * and temple of Isis, although a road ran between them. The fire was allowed to spread farther than it need have done, first, owing to the violence of the wind, and, secondly, to the laziness of the inhabitants, it being generally agreed that they stood idly by without moving and merely watched the catastrophe. Moreover, there is not a single public fire-engine ** or bucket in the place, and not one solitary appliance for mastering an outbreak of fire. However, these will be provided in accordance with the orders I have already given. But, Sir, I would have you consider whether you think a guild of firemen, of about 150 men, should be instituted. I will take care that no one who is not a genuine fireman should be admitted, and that the guild should not misapply the charter granted to it, and there would be no difficulty in keeping an eye on so small a body. 0 10.34. Trajan to Pliny. You have conceived the idea that a guild of firemen might be formed in Nicomedia on the model of various others already existing. But it is to be remembered that your province of Bithynia, and especially city states like Nicomedia, are the prey of factions. Whatever name we may give to those who form an association, and whatever the reason of the association may be, they will soon degenerate into secret societies. It is better policy to provide appliances for mastering conflagrations and encourage property owners to make use of them, and, if occasion demands, press the crowd which collects into the same service. 10.35. To Trajan. We have taken the usual vows, * Sir, for your safety, with which the public well-being is bound up, and at the same time paid our vows of last year, praying the gods that they may ever allow us to pay them and renew them again. 10.36. Trajan to Pliny. I am pleased to learn from your letter, my dear Pliny, that you and the people of your province have paid the vows you undertook for my health and safety to the immortal gods, and have again renewed them. 10.37. To Trajan. Sir, the people of Nicomedia spent 3,329,000 sesterces upon an aqueduct, which was left in an unfinished state, and I may say in ruin, and they also levied taxes to the extent of two millions for a second one. This too has been abandoned, and to obtain a water-supply those who have wasted these enormous sums must go to new expense. I have myself visited a splendidly clear spring, from which it seems to me the supply ought to be brought to the town as indeed they tried to do by their first scheme - by an aqueduct of arches, so that it might not be confined only to the low-lying and level parts of the city. Very few of the arches are still standing; some could be built from the shaped blocks {lapis quadratus} which were taken from the earlier work, and part again, in my opinion, should be constructed of brick {opus testaceum}, * which is both cheaper and more easily handled, but the first thing that might be done is for you to send an engineer skilled in such work, or an architect, to prevent a repetition of the former failures. I can at least vouch for this, that such an undertaking would be well worthy of your reign owing to its public utility and its imposing design. 10.38. Trajan to Pliny. Steps must certainly be taken to provide the city of Nicomedia with a water-supply, and I have every confidence that you will undertake the duty with all necessary diligence. But I swear that it is also part of your diligent duty to find out who is to blame for the waste of such sums of money by the people of Nicomedia on their aqueducts, and whether or not there has been any serving of private interests in thus beginning and then abandoning the works. See that you bring to my knowledge whatever you may find out. 10.39. To Trajan. The theatre at Nicaea, Sir, the greater part of which has already been constructed, though it is still incomplete, has already cost more than ten million sesterces, - so at least I am told, for the accounts have not been made out, - and I am afraid the money has been thrown away. For the building has sunk, and there are great gaping crevices to be seen, either because the ground is soft and damp, or owing to the brittleness and crumbling character of the stone, and so it is worth consideration whether it should be finished or abandoned, or even pulled down. For the props and buttresses by which it is shored up seem to me to be more costly than strength-giving. Many parts of this theatre were promised by private persons, as for example the galleries and porticos above the pit, but all these are postponed now that the work, which had to be finished first, has come to a stop. The same people of Nicaea began, before my arrival here, to restore the public gymnasium, which had been destroyed by fire, on a more extensive and wider scale than the old building, and they have already disbursed a considerable sum thereon, and I fear to very little purpose, for the structure is not well put together, and looks disjointed. Moreover, the architect - though it is true he is the rival of the man who began the work - declares that the walls, in spite of their being twenty-two feet thick, cannot bear the weight placed upon them, because they have not been put together with cement in the middle, and have not been strengthened with brickwork. The people of Claudiopolis, again, are excavating rather than constructing an immense public bath in a low-lying situation with a mountain hanging over it, and they are using for the purpose the sums which the senators, who were added to the local council by your kindness, have either paid as their entrance fee, * or are paying according as I ask them for it. Consequently, as I am afraid that the public money at Nicaea may be unprofitably spent, and that - what is more precious than any money - your kindness at Claudiopolis may be turned to unprofitable account, I beg you not only for the sake of the theatre, but also for these baths, to send an architect to see which is the better course to adopt, either, after the money which has already been expended, to finish by hook or by crook the works as they have been begun, or to repair them where they seem to require it, or if necessary change the sites entirely, lest in our anxiety to save the money already disbursed we should lay out the remaining sums with just as poor results. 10.40. Trajan to Pliny. You will be best able to judge and determine what ought to be done at the present time in the matter of the theatre which the people of Nicaea have begun to build. It will be enough for me to be informed of the plan you adopt. Do not trouble, moreover, to call on the private individuals to build the portions they promised until the theatre is erected, for they made those promises for the sake of having a theatre. All the Greek peoples have a passion for gymnasia, and so perhaps the people of Nicaea have set about building one on a rather lavish scale, but they must be content to cut their coat according to their cloth. You again must decide on what advice to give to the people of Claudiopolis in the matter of the bath which, as you say, they have begun to build in a rather unsuitable site. There must be plenty of architects to advise you, for there is no province which is without some men of experience and skill in that profession, and remember again that it does not save time to send one from Rome, when so many of our architects come to Rome from Greece. 10.41. To Trajan. I consider the splendour of your position and the loftiness of your mind, it seems to me most fitting that I should point out to you schemes which would be worthy of your eternal fame and glory, and which would not only be imposing to the imagination, but of great public utility. There lies in the territory of the people of Nicomedia a most spacious lake, * by which marble, grain, timber, and bulky articles can be brought by barges to the high road with but little expense and labour, though it is a very laborious and costly business to take them down on waggons to the sea. ** [ (?) To connect the lake with the sea ] would demand a large supply of workmen, but they are to be found on the spot, for in the country districts labourers are plentiful, and they are still more plentiful in the city, while it is quite certain that all would be perfectly willing to help in an undertaking which would be of profit to everyone. It only remains for you, if you think fit, to send a surveyor or an architect to make careful observations and find out whether the lake lies at a higher level than the sea, for the engineers in this district hold that it is forty cubits higher. I find that one of the earlier kings † dug a trench over the same site, but it is doubtful whether his object was to drain off the moisture from the surrounding fields, or to join the waters of the lake and the river. For the trench was not completed, and it is not known whether the work was abandoned because of the king's death, or because the success of the enterprise was despaired of. But this only fires my desire and anxiety - you will pardon my eager ambition for your glory - that you should complete what the kings merely commenced. 10.42. Trajan to Pliny. That lake you speak of may perhaps tempt me into making up my mind to connect it with the sea, but obviously careful investigations must be made to provide against its totally emptying itself if its waters be brought down to the sea, and to find out what volume of water flows into it, and what are the sources of supply. You will be able to obtain a surveyor from Calpurnius Macer, * and I will also send you someone who is an expert in that class of work. 10.43. To Trajan. When I asked for a statement of the expenditure of the city of Byzantium - which is abnormally high - it was pointed out to me, Sir, that a delegate was sent every year with a complimentary decree to pay his respects to you, and that he received the sum of twelve thousand sesterces for so doing. Remembering your instructions, I determined to order that the delegate should be kept at home, and that only the decree should be forwarded, in order to lighten the expenses without interfering with the performance of their public act of homage. Again, a tax of three thousand sesterces has been levied upon the same city, which is given every year as travelling expenses to the delegate who is sent to pay the homage of the city to the governor of Moesia. This, too, I decided to do away with for the future. I beg, Sir, that, by writing and telling me what you think of these matters, you will deign either to approve my decision or correct me if you think I have been at fault. 10.45. To Trajan. I beg you, Sir, to write and tell me whether you wish the permits, * the terms of which have expired, to be recognised as valid, and for how long, and so free me from my indecision. For I am afraid of blundering either one way or the other, either by confirming what ought to lapse, or by putting obstacles in the way of those which are necessary. 10.47. To Trajan. When I wished, Sir, to be informed of those who owed money to the city of Apamea, and of its revenue and expenditure, I was told that though everyone was anxious that the accounts of the colony should be gone through by me, no proconsul had ever done so before, and that it was one of their privileges and most ancient usages that the administration of the colony should be left to themselves entirely. I got them to set forth in a memorial their arguments and the authorities they cited, which I am sending on to you just as I received it, although I am aware that much of it is quite irrelevant to the point at issue. So I beg you will deign to instruct me as to the course I should adopt, for I am anxious not to seem either to have exceeded or to have fallen short of my duty. 10.48. Trajan to Pliny. The memorial of the people of Apamea which you enclosed with your letter makes it unnecessary for me to examine into the reasons why they wish it to be known that those who have hitherto acted as proconsuls in the province refrained from inspecting their accounts, though they have no objection to your inspecting them. Their frankness, therefore, merits reward, and you will let them know that your inspection at my express wish will not prejudice the privileges they possess. 10.49. To Trajan. Before my arrival, Sir, the people of Nicomedia had commenced to make certain additions to their old forum, in one corner of which stands a very ancient shrine of the Great Mother, * which should either be restored or removed to another site, principally for this reason, that it is much less lofty than the new buildings, which are being run up to a good height. When I inquired whether the temple was protected by any legal enactments, I discovered that the form of dedication is different here from what it is with us in Rome. Consider therefore. Sir, whether you think that a temple can be removed without desecration when there has been no legal consecration of the site, for, if there are no religious objections, the removal would be a great convenience. 10.50. Trajan to Pliny. You may, my dear Pliny, without any religious scruples, if the site seems to require the change, remove the temple of the Mother of the Gods to a more suitable spot, nor need the fact that there is no record of legal consecration trouble you, for the soil of a foreign city may not be suitable for the consecration which our laws enjoin. 10.51. To Trajan. It is difficult. Sir, to find words to express the pleasure I have received at the favour you have shown my wife's mother * and myself in transferring her relative, Caelius Clemens, to this province. For I begin to realise thoroughly the full measure of your kindness when I and all my household receive such abundant favours at your hands, adequate thanks for which I dare not venture to offer you, though I do thank you from the bottom of my heart. Consequently, I take refuge in vows on your behalf, and pray to Heaven that I may not be thought unworthy of the kindnesses you shower so plentifully upon me. 10.52. To Trajan. We have celebrated. Sir, with the thankfulness appropriate to the occasion, the day on which you preserved the empire by undertaking the duties of Emperor, * and have prayed the gods to keep you in safety and prosperity, since on you 10.54. To Trajan Thanks, Sir, to your forethought and my administration the public revenues have either already been collected or are being collected at this moment, and I am afraid that the money may lie idle. For an opportunity of buying land rarely or never arises, and it is impossible to find persons ready to borrow from the State, especially at twelve per cent per month, for at that rate they can borrow from private individuals. Consider therefore, Sir, whether you think the rate of interest should be lowered and by this means attract suitable borrowers, or whether, if they are not forthcoming even then, the money should be divided among the decurions in such a way that they give good security for it to the State. Such a course, even though it displeased them and they were unwilling to take the money, would be less obnoxious provided the rate were lowered. 10.55. Trajan to Pliny. I do not see any other remedy, my dear Pliny, than the lowering of the rate of interest, which would facilitate the investment of the public moneys. You must fix the rate according to the number of those likely to borrow. But if people are averse to borrowing, it would not be in consoce with the justice of our reign to force a loan upon them, as possibly they too would find no investment for it. 10.56. To Trajan. I thank you. Sir, most sincerely that in the midst of your most pressing business of state you have deigned to give me directions on the matters about which I have consulted you, and I beg that you will do the same now. For a certain person came to me and informed me that some enemies of his who had been banished for three years by that distinguished man, Servilius Calvus, * were still lingering in the province, while they on the other hand declared that the sentence against them had been revoked - also by Calvus - and read out to me his edict. That is why I think it necessary to refer the whole matter to you just as it stands. For while your instructions warn me against recalling those who have been banished by others or by myself, they do not cover the case of those who have been banished and recalled from banishment by another governor. Hence, Sir, I thought I ought to consult you as to the course you would wish me to adopt, not only in the instances I have quoted, but also when persons are discovered in the province who have been banished for ever and have not had the sentence revoked. A case of this sort came under my notice in my judicial capacity. For a man was brought before me who had been banished for ever by the proconsul, Julius Bassus. ** Knowing as I did that the decrees of Bassus had been rescinded, and that the senate had given permission to all who had been sentenced by him to have their cases tried over again, if they brought their appeal within two years, I asked this man who had been banished by Bassus which proconsul he had approached and told his story to. He said he had not laid his case before anyone. It is this which made me consult you whether I should hand him over to complete his sentence or inflict additional punishment, and I should like to know what course you think I ought to adopt towards him and others who may be found to be similarly situated. I enclose with this letter the decree of Calvus and his edict, and also the decree of Bassus. 0 10.57. Trajan to Pliny. What steps ought to be taken with respect to those who were banished for three years by the proconsul Servilius Calvus, and afterwards were recalled by an edict of his and remained in the province, I will write and tell you shortly as soon as I have ascertained from Calvus the reason for his recalling them. As to the man who was banished for ever by Julius Bassus, he had two years allowed him in which to appeal if he considered he had been unjustly banished, and as he failed to do so and continued to linger in the province, he must be sent in chains to the prefects of my praetorian guard. * For he will not be sufficiently punished by being sent to complete his former sentence, inasmuch as he impudently evaded it. 10.58. To Trajan. When, Sir, I was about to hold a court and was calling out the names of the judges, Flavius Archippus began to ask leave to be excused on the ground that he was a philosopher. I was indeed told by some other persons that he ought not only to be excused from sitting as a judge but that his name ought to be struck off the list, and that he himself should be handed back to finish the sentence which he had evaded by breaking out of prison. A judgment of the proconsul Velius Paullus was read to me, which showed that Archippus had been condemned to the mines for forgery, and he could produce nothing to prove that the sentence had been revoked. However, he brings forward, in lieu of a pardon, a petition which he sent to Domitian and a letter which Domitian wrote in reply, referring to some distinction conferred upon him, and he also produces a decree of the people of Prusa. In addition to these documents, there is a letter written by yourself to him, and an edict and a letter of your father's in which he confirmed the privileges granted by Domitian. Consequently, though the man is involved in such serious charges, I thought I had better come to no decision until I had taken your advice on a point which I consider quite worthy of your attention. I enclose with this letter the documents which have been produced on both sides. • A letter from Domitian to Terentius Maximus I have granted the request of Flavius Archippus, the philosopher, that I should order land of the value of 600,000 sesterces to be bought for him near Prusa, his native place. I wish this to be acquired for him, and you will charge the whole amount to my account as a gift from me. • A letter from Domitian to Lucius Appius Maximus I desire, my dear Maximus, that you will regard Archippus the philosopher, who is a worthy man, and whose character fully corresponds with the nobility of his profession, as specially commended to your notice, and that you will show him the full extent of your kindness in any reasonable request he may lay before you. • Edict of the late Emperor Nerva There are some things, Romans, that go without saying in such prosperous times as we are now enjoying, nor should people look to a good emperor to declare himself on points wherein his position is thoroughly understood. For every citizen is well assured, and can answer for me without prompting, that I have preferred the security of the State to my own convenience, and in so doing have both conferred new privileges and confirmed old ones that were conceded before my time. However, to prevent there being any interruption of the public felicity by doubts and hesitation arising from the nervousness of those who have obtained favours, or from the memory of the emperor who granted them, I have thought that it is advisable, and that it will give general pleasure, if I remove all doubt by giving proof of my kind indulgence. I do not wish any one to think that any benefit conferred upon him, in either a private or public capacity by any other emperor, will be taken away from him just in order that he may owe the confirmation of his privilege to myself. Let all such grants be regarded as ratified and absolutely secure, and let those who write to thank me for the favours which the royal house has bestowed upon them not fail to renew their applications for more. Only let them give me time for new kindnesses, and understand that the favours they solicit must be such as they do not already possess. • A letter from Nerva to Tullius Justus Since I have made it my rule to preserve all arrangements begun and carried through in the previous reigns, the letters of Domitian must also remain valid. 10.59. To Trajan. Flavius Archippus has implored me, by your safety and eternal fame, to transmit to you a memorial which he has placed in my hands. I thought it my duty to grant his request, but at the same time to acquaint his accuser of the fact that I was about to send it. She too has sent me a memorial, which I enclose with this letter, so that having heard, as it were, both sides of the case, you may the more easily determine on the course to pursue. 10.60. Trajan to Pliny. It is possible, of course, that Domitian was unaware of the true circumstances in which Archippus was situated when he wrote in such a flattering strain about the honour to be paid him. However, it suits my way of thinking better to suppose that he was restored to his old position by the intervention of the Emperor, especially as the honour of a statue was so often decreed to Archippus by persons who were thoroughly aware of the sentence passed upon him by the proconsul Paullus. These facts, however, my dear Pliny, do not mean that you should consider any new charge brought against him as the less deserving of attention. I have read the memorials of Furia Prima, his accuser, and of Archippus himself, which you enclosed in your second letter. %%%
2. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 8.10-8.11, 10.2, 10.4-10.8, 10.15-10.18, 10.20-10.26, 10.31-10.43, 10.45, 10.47-10.52, 10.54-10.62, 10.64-10.84, 10.88, 10.92-10.100, 10.102, 10.104, 10.106-10.121 (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 10.15. To Trajan. It is because I feel sure, Sir, that you will be interested to hear, that I send you news that I have rounded Cape Malea and have made my way with all my retinue to Ephesus. Though I have been delayed by contrary winds, I am now on the point of setting out for my province, travelling part of the way by coasters and part by land carriage, for the prevailing Etesian winds are as great an obstacle to journeying by sea as the overpowering heat is by land. 10.16. Trajan to Pliny. You have done well to send me news, my dear Pliny, for I am exceedingly interested to hear what sort of a journey you are having to your province. You are doing wisely to make use of coasters and land carriage alternately, according to the difficulties of the various districts. 10.18. Trajan to Pliny. I wish it had been possible for you and your companions to reach Bithynia without the slightest inconvenience or illness, and that you could have had as pleasant a journey by water from Ephesus as you had as far as that city. However, I have learned from your letters, my dear Pliny, the date of your arrival in Bithynia, and I trust the people of the province will understand that I have had an eye to their interests, for you too will do what you can to make it clear to them that you were specially selected to be sent to them as my representative. The examination of their public accounts must be one of your first duties, for it is fairly evident that they have been tampered with. I have scarcely enough surveyors for the public works which are in progress at Rome or the immediate district, but surely there are trustworthy persons to be found in every province, and therefore you too will be able to find some, provided you take the trouble to make a careful search. 10.20. Trajan to Pliny. There is no necessity, my dear Pliny, to employ more soldiers in guarding the prisons. Let us continue to observe the custom of your province which utilised the public slaves for that purpose, for it depends upon the severity and attention you show whether they will perform their duties faithfully. As you say, the chief danger to be apprehended, if you mix soldiers with the public slaves, is that they will grow more careless, for each will trust to the other. So let this be our standing rule, to withdraw as few soldiers as possible from the standards. 10.25. To Trajan. Your legate, Sir, Servilius Pudens, reached Nicomedia on November 24th, and has freed me from the suspense entailed by waiting so long for his arrival. 10.26. To Trajan. Your kindness to me, Sir, has cemented the friendship between Rosianus Geminus and myself, for he was my quaestor when I was consul, and I found him most remarkably devoted to my interests. Since the end of my consulship he has shown me extraordinary deference, and he is constantly renewing the pledges of our official friendship by the private attentions he pays me. I beg, therefore, that you yourself will favourably entertain my request for his advancement, for if you follow my advice you will bestow upon him your warmest favour. He will do his best in any commission you may give him to deserve still higher posts. I feel compelled to be less lavish in my praise than I might be from the fact that I trust his honesty, uprightness, and industry are already well known to you, not only from the office he has held under your eyes in Rome, but from his service with you in your army. However, I must repeat yet again the request which I fear I have not sufficiently urged upon you - at least, so my affection makes me fancy - and I beg you, Sir, that you will as early as possible see your way to let me rejoice in the advancement of my quaestor's dignity, and in the advancement of my own dignity through his. 10.31. To Trajan. As you have given me authority to refer to you wherever I am in doubt, you may, Sir, condescend to hear my difficulty without compromising your great position. In many of the States, but especially in Nicomedia and Nicaea, there are certain persons lying under sentence to the mines, to take part in the gladiatorial shows, and to similar penalties, who are now acting as and performing the duties of public slaves, and are even drawing an annual salary as such. When I was told of this, I hesitated for a long time as to what course I ought to adopt. For I thought it would be showing too harsh a severity to hand them over to their penalties after so many years, especially as many of them are old men, and are, to all accounts, now living a decent and respectable life, yet I thought it was scarcely the proper thing to retain criminals as public servants. Moreover, to keep men doing nothing at the State expense is inexpedient, and if they were not kept they might be a source of danger. I have therefore left the whole matter in suspense until I could take your advice. You will ask perhaps how it comes about that they were released from the penalties to which they were condemned. I too have asked the same question, but have found no answer which is at all satisfactory. The decrees by which they were condemned were produced, but no documents sanctioning their liberation, though there are some who say that they were released on petition by the authority of certain proconsuls and legates, and this theory is the more plausible, as it is hardly credible that anyone would have ventured on such a step without authority. 10.32. Trajan to Pliny. Let us not forget that you were sent to your province for the express reason that there seemed to be many abuses rampant there which required correction. And most certainly we must redress such a scandal as that persons condemned to penalties should not only, as you say, be released therefrom without authorisation, but even be placed in stations which ought to be filled by honest servants. So all those who were sentenced within the last ten years and released on insufficient authority must be sent back to work out their sentences, and if there are any whose condemnation dates back beyond the last ten years and are now old men, let us apportion them to fulfil duties which are not far removed from being penal. For it is the custom to send such cases to work in the public baths, to clean out the sewers, and to repair the roads and streets. 10.33. To Trajan. While I was visiting a distant part of the province a most desolating fire broke out at Nicomedia and destroyed a number of private houses and two public buildings, the almshouse * and temple of Isis, although a road ran between them. The fire was allowed to spread farther than it need have done, first, owing to the violence of the wind, and, secondly, to the laziness of the inhabitants, it being generally agreed that they stood idly by without moving and merely watched the catastrophe. Moreover, there is not a single public fire-engine ** or bucket in the place, and not one solitary appliance for mastering an outbreak of fire. However, these will be provided in accordance with the orders I have already given. But, Sir, I would have you consider whether you think a guild of firemen, of about 150 men, should be instituted. I will take care that no one who is not a genuine fireman should be admitted, and that the guild should not misapply the charter granted to it, and there would be no difficulty in keeping an eye on so small a body. 0 10.34. Trajan to Pliny. You have conceived the idea that a guild of firemen might be formed in Nicomedia on the model of various others already existing. But it is to be remembered that your province of Bithynia, and especially city states like Nicomedia, are the prey of factions. Whatever name we may give to those who form an association, and whatever the reason of the association may be, they will soon degenerate into secret societies. It is better policy to provide appliances for mastering conflagrations and encourage property owners to make use of them, and, if occasion demands, press the crowd which collects into the same service. 10.35. To Trajan. We have taken the usual vows, * Sir, for your safety, with which the public well-being is bound up, and at the same time paid our vows of last year, praying the gods that they may ever allow us to pay them and renew them again. 10.36. Trajan to Pliny. I am pleased to learn from your letter, my dear Pliny, that you and the people of your province have paid the vows you undertook for my health and safety to the immortal gods, and have again renewed them. 10.37. To Trajan. Sir, the people of Nicomedia spent 3,329,000 sesterces upon an aqueduct, which was left in an unfinished state, and I may say in ruin, and they also levied taxes to the extent of two millions for a second one. This too has been abandoned, and to obtain a water-supply those who have wasted these enormous sums must go to new expense. I have myself visited a splendidly clear spring, from which it seems to me the supply ought to be brought to the town as indeed they tried to do by their first scheme - by an aqueduct of arches, so that it might not be confined only to the low-lying and level parts of the city. Very few of the arches are still standing; some could be built from the shaped blocks {lapis quadratus} which were taken from the earlier work, and part again, in my opinion, should be constructed of brick {opus testaceum}, * which is both cheaper and more easily handled, but the first thing that might be done is for you to send an engineer skilled in such work, or an architect, to prevent a repetition of the former failures. I can at least vouch for this, that such an undertaking would be well worthy of your reign owing to its public utility and its imposing design. 10.39. To Trajan. The theatre at Nicaea, Sir, the greater part of which has already been constructed, though it is still incomplete, has already cost more than ten million sesterces, - so at least I am told, for the accounts have not been made out, - and I am afraid the money has been thrown away. For the building has sunk, and there are great gaping crevices to be seen, either because the ground is soft and damp, or owing to the brittleness and crumbling character of the stone, and so it is worth consideration whether it should be finished or abandoned, or even pulled down. For the props and buttresses by which it is shored up seem to me to be more costly than strength-giving. Many parts of this theatre were promised by private persons, as for example the galleries and porticos above the pit, but all these are postponed now that the work, which had to be finished first, has come to a stop. The same people of Nicaea began, before my arrival here, to restore the public gymnasium, which had been destroyed by fire, on a more extensive and wider scale than the old building, and they have already disbursed a considerable sum thereon, and I fear to very little purpose, for the structure is not well put together, and looks disjointed. Moreover, the architect - though it is true he is the rival of the man who began the work - declares that the walls, in spite of their being twenty-two feet thick, cannot bear the weight placed upon them, because they have not been put together with cement in the middle, and have not been strengthened with brickwork. The people of Claudiopolis, again, are excavating rather than constructing an immense public bath in a low-lying situation with a mountain hanging over it, and they are using for the purpose the sums which the senators, who were added to the local council by your kindness, have either paid as their entrance fee, * or are paying according as I ask them for it. Consequently, as I am afraid that the public money at Nicaea may be unprofitably spent, and that - what is more precious than any money - your kindness at Claudiopolis may be turned to unprofitable account, I beg you not only for the sake of the theatre, but also for these baths, to send an architect to see which is the better course to adopt, either, after the money which has already been expended, to finish by hook or by crook the works as they have been begun, or to repair them where they seem to require it, or if necessary change the sites entirely, lest in our anxiety to save the money already disbursed we should lay out the remaining sums with just as poor results. 10.40. Trajan to Pliny. You will be best able to judge and determine what ought to be done at the present time in the matter of the theatre which the people of Nicaea have begun to build. It will be enough for me to be informed of the plan you adopt. Do not trouble, moreover, to call on the private individuals to build the portions they promised until the theatre is erected, for they made those promises for the sake of having a theatre. All the Greek peoples have a passion for gymnasia, and so perhaps the people of Nicaea have set about building one on a rather lavish scale, but they must be content to cut their coat according to their cloth. You again must decide on what advice to give to the people of Claudiopolis in the matter of the bath which, as you say, they have begun to build in a rather unsuitable site. There must be plenty of architects to advise you, for there is no province which is without some men of experience and skill in that profession, and remember again that it does not save time to send one from Rome, when so many of our architects come to Rome from Greece. 10.41. To Trajan. I consider the splendour of your position and the loftiness of your mind, it seems to me most fitting that I should point out to you schemes which would be worthy of your eternal fame and glory, and which would not only be imposing to the imagination, but of great public utility. There lies in the territory of the people of Nicomedia a most spacious lake, * by which marble, grain, timber, and bulky articles can be brought by barges to the high road with but little expense and labour, though it is a very laborious and costly business to take them down on waggons to the sea. ** [ (?) To connect the lake with the sea ] would demand a large supply of workmen, but they are to be found on the spot, for in the country districts labourers are plentiful, and they are still more plentiful in the city, while it is quite certain that all would be perfectly willing to help in an undertaking which would be of profit to everyone. It only remains for you, if you think fit, to send a surveyor or an architect to make careful observations and find out whether the lake lies at a higher level than the sea, for the engineers in this district hold that it is forty cubits higher. I find that one of the earlier kings † dug a trench over the same site, but it is doubtful whether his object was to drain off the moisture from the surrounding fields, or to join the waters of the lake and the river. For the trench was not completed, and it is not known whether the work was abandoned because of the king's death, or because the success of the enterprise was despaired of. But this only fires my desire and anxiety - you will pardon my eager ambition for your glory - that you should complete what the kings merely commenced. 10.42. Trajan to Pliny. That lake you speak of may perhaps tempt me into making up my mind to connect it with the sea, but obviously careful investigations must be made to provide against its totally emptying itself if its waters be brought down to the sea, and to find out what volume of water flows into it, and what are the sources of supply. You will be able to obtain a surveyor from Calpurnius Macer, * and I will also send you someone who is an expert in that class of work. 10.43. To Trajan. When I asked for a statement of the expenditure of the city of Byzantium - which is abnormally high - it was pointed out to me, Sir, that a delegate was sent every year with a complimentary decree to pay his respects to you, and that he received the sum of twelve thousand sesterces for so doing. Remembering your instructions, I determined to order that the delegate should be kept at home, and that only the decree should be forwarded, in order to lighten the expenses without interfering with the performance of their public act of homage. Again, a tax of three thousand sesterces has been levied upon the same city, which is given every year as travelling expenses to the delegate who is sent to pay the homage of the city to the governor of Moesia. This, too, I decided to do away with for the future. I beg, Sir, that, by writing and telling me what you think of these matters, you will deign either to approve my decision or correct me if you think I have been at fault. 10.45. To Trajan. I beg you, Sir, to write and tell me whether you wish the permits, * the terms of which have expired, to be recognised as valid, and for how long, and so free me from my indecision. For I am afraid of blundering either one way or the other, either by confirming what ought to lapse, or by putting obstacles in the way of those which are necessary. 10.47. To Trajan. When I wished, Sir, to be informed of those who owed money to the city of Apamea, and of its revenue and expenditure, I was told that though everyone was anxious that the accounts of the colony should be gone through by me, no proconsul had ever done so before, and that it was one of their privileges and most ancient usages that the administration of the colony should be left to themselves entirely. I got them to set forth in a memorial their arguments and the authorities they cited, which I am sending on to you just as I received it, although I am aware that much of it is quite irrelevant to the point at issue. So I beg you will deign to instruct me as to the course I should adopt, for I am anxious not to seem either to have exceeded or to have fallen short of my duty. 10.48. Trajan to Pliny. The memorial of the people of Apamea which you enclosed with your letter makes it unnecessary for me to examine into the reasons why they wish it to be known that those who have hitherto acted as proconsuls in the province refrained from inspecting their accounts, though they have no objection to your inspecting them. Their frankness, therefore, merits reward, and you will let them know that your inspection at my express wish will not prejudice the privileges they possess. 10.49. To Trajan. Before my arrival, Sir, the people of Nicomedia had commenced to make certain additions to their old forum, in one corner of which stands a very ancient shrine of the Great Mother, * which should either be restored or removed to another site, principally for this reason, that it is much less lofty than the new buildings, which are being run up to a good height. When I inquired whether the temple was protected by any legal enactments, I discovered that the form of dedication is different here from what it is with us in Rome. Consider therefore. Sir, whether you think that a temple can be removed without desecration when there has been no legal consecration of the site, for, if there are no religious objections, the removal would be a great convenience. 10.50. Trajan to Pliny. You may, my dear Pliny, without any religious scruples, if the site seems to require the change, remove the temple of the Mother of the Gods to a more suitable spot, nor need the fact that there is no record of legal consecration trouble you, for the soil of a foreign city may not be suitable for the consecration which our laws enjoin. 10.51. To Trajan. It is difficult. Sir, to find words to express the pleasure I have received at the favour you have shown my wife's mother * and myself in transferring her relative, Caelius Clemens, to this province. For I begin to realise thoroughly the full measure of your kindness when I and all my household receive such abundant favours at your hands, adequate thanks for which I dare not venture to offer you, though I do thank you from the bottom of my heart. Consequently, I take refuge in vows on your behalf, and pray to Heaven that I may not be thought unworthy of the kindnesses you shower so plentifully upon me. 10.52. To Trajan. We have celebrated. Sir, with the thankfulness appropriate to the occasion, the day on which you preserved the empire by undertaking the duties of Emperor, * and have prayed the gods to keep you in safety and prosperity, since on you 10.55. Trajan to Pliny. I do not see any other remedy, my dear Pliny, than the lowering of the rate of interest, which would facilitate the investment of the public moneys. You must fix the rate according to the number of those likely to borrow. But if people are averse to borrowing, it would not be in consoce with the justice of our reign to force a loan upon them, as possibly they too would find no investment for it. 10.56. To Trajan. I thank you. Sir, most sincerely that in the midst of your most pressing business of state you have deigned to give me directions on the matters about which I have consulted you, and I beg that you will do the same now. For a certain person came to me and informed me that some enemies of his who had been banished for three years by that distinguished man, Servilius Calvus, * were still lingering in the province, while they on the other hand declared that the sentence against them had been revoked - also by Calvus - and read out to me his edict. That is why I think it necessary to refer the whole matter to you just as it stands. For while your instructions warn me against recalling those who have been banished by others or by myself, they do not cover the case of those who have been banished and recalled from banishment by another governor. Hence, Sir, I thought I ought to consult you as to the course you would wish me to adopt, not only in the instances I have quoted, but also when persons are discovered in the province who have been banished for ever and have not had the sentence revoked. A case of this sort came under my notice in my judicial capacity. For a man was brought before me who had been banished for ever by the proconsul, Julius Bassus. ** Knowing as I did that the decrees of Bassus had been rescinded, and that the senate had given permission to all who had been sentenced by him to have their cases tried over again, if they brought their appeal within two years, I asked this man who had been banished by Bassus which proconsul he had approached and told his story to. He said he had not laid his case before anyone. It is this which made me consult you whether I should hand him over to complete his sentence or inflict additional punishment, and I should like to know what course you think I ought to adopt towards him and others who may be found to be similarly situated. I enclose with this letter the decree of Calvus and his edict, and also the decree of Bassus. 0 10.57. Trajan to Pliny. What steps ought to be taken with respect to those who were banished for three years by the proconsul Servilius Calvus, and afterwards were recalled by an edict of his and remained in the province, I will write and tell you shortly as soon as I have ascertained from Calvus the reason for his recalling them. As to the man who was banished for ever by Julius Bassus, he had two years allowed him in which to appeal if he considered he had been unjustly banished, and as he failed to do so and continued to linger in the province, he must be sent in chains to the prefects of my praetorian guard. * For he will not be sufficiently punished by being sent to complete his former sentence, inasmuch as he impudently evaded it. 10.58. To Trajan. When, Sir, I was about to hold a court and was calling out the names of the judges, Flavius Archippus began to ask leave to be excused on the ground that he was a philosopher. I was indeed told by some other persons that he ought not only to be excused from sitting as a judge but that his name ought to be struck off the list, and that he himself should be handed back to finish the sentence which he had evaded by breaking out of prison. A judgment of the proconsul Velius Paullus was read to me, which showed that Archippus had been condemned to the mines for forgery, and he could produce nothing to prove that the sentence had been revoked. However, he brings forward, in lieu of a pardon, a petition which he sent to Domitian and a letter which Domitian wrote in reply, referring to some distinction conferred upon him, and he also produces a decree of the people of Prusa. In addition to these documents, there is a letter written by yourself to him, and an edict and a letter of your father's in which he confirmed the privileges granted by Domitian. Consequently, though the man is involved in such serious charges, I thought I had better come to no decision until I had taken your advice on a point which I consider quite worthy of your attention. I enclose with this letter the documents which have been produced on both sides. • A letter from Domitian to Terentius Maximus I have granted the request of Flavius Archippus, the philosopher, that I should order land of the value of 600,000 sesterces to be bought for him near Prusa, his native place. I wish this to be acquired for him, and you will charge the whole amount to my account as a gift from me. • A letter from Domitian to Lucius Appius Maximus I desire, my dear Maximus, that you will regard Archippus the philosopher, who is a worthy man, and whose character fully corresponds with the nobility of his profession, as specially commended to your notice, and that you will show him the full extent of your kindness in any reasonable request he may lay before you. • Edict of the late Emperor Nerva There are some things, Romans, that go without saying in such prosperous times as we are now enjoying, nor should people look to a good emperor to declare himself on points wherein his position is thoroughly understood. For every citizen is well assured, and can answer for me without prompting, that I have preferred the security of the State to my own convenience, and in so doing have both conferred new privileges and confirmed old ones that were conceded before my time. However, to prevent there being any interruption of the public felicity by doubts and hesitation arising from the nervousness of those who have obtained favours, or from the memory of the emperor who granted them, I have thought that it is advisable, and that it will give general pleasure, if I remove all doubt by giving proof of my kind indulgence. I do not wish any one to think that any benefit conferred upon him, in either a private or public capacity by any other emperor, will be taken away from him just in order that he may owe the confirmation of his privilege to myself. Let all such grants be regarded as ratified and absolutely secure, and let those who write to thank me for the favours which the royal house has bestowed upon them not fail to renew their applications for more. Only let them give me time for new kindnesses, and understand that the favours they solicit must be such as they do not already possess. • A letter from Nerva to Tullius Justus Since I have made it my rule to preserve all arrangements begun and carried through in the previous reigns, the letters of Domitian must also remain valid. 10.59. To Trajan. Flavius Archippus has implored me, by your safety and eternal fame, to transmit to you a memorial which he has placed in my hands. I thought it my duty to grant his request, but at the same time to acquaint his accuser of the fact that I was about to send it. She too has sent me a memorial, which I enclose with this letter, so that having heard, as it were, both sides of the case, you may the more easily determine on the course to pursue. 10.60. Trajan to Pliny. It is possible, of course, that Domitian was unaware of the true circumstances in which Archippus was situated when he wrote in such a flattering strain about the honour to be paid him. However, it suits my way of thinking better to suppose that he was restored to his old position by the intervention of the Emperor, especially as the honour of a statue was so often decreed to Archippus by persons who were thoroughly aware of the sentence passed upon him by the proconsul Paullus. These facts, however, my dear Pliny, do not mean that you should consider any new charge brought against him as the less deserving of attention. I have read the memorials of Furia Prima, his accuser, and of Archippus himself, which you enclosed in your second letter. %%%
3. Tertullian, Apology, 2.6-2.20 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
affect Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164
augustan legislation, and childless marriages Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
augustan legislation, temporal and geographic reach Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
augustan legislation Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
caracalla Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
childlessness Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
edict of caracalla ( Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
egypt, application of imperial laws Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
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) 164, 167
eusebius Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164
freedwomen, power of patron over Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
gnomon of the idios logos Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
letter of aristeas Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 167
manuscript Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164
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
pliny the younger Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164, 167; Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
pontus and bithynia Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 167
rhetoric' Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 167
rhetoric Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164
roman empire Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164, 167
sidonius apollinaris Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164
social status, public shaming Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
suetonius Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164; Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118
tertullian Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164
trajan Gunderson, The Social Worlds of Ancient Jews and Christians: Essays in Honor of L. Michael White (2022) 164, 167; Huebner and Laes, Aulus Gellius and Roman Reading Culture: Text, Presence and Imperial Knowledge in the 'Noctes Atticae' (2019) 118