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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



9460
Pliny The Younger, Letters, 6.20


nanTo Tacitus: You say that the letter which I wrote to you at your request, describing the death of my uncle, has made you anxious to know not only the terrors, but also the distress I suffered while I remained behind at Misenum. I had indeed started to tell you of these, but then broke off. Well, "though my mind shudders at the recollection, I will essay the task". After my uncle had set out I employed the remainder of the time with my studies, for I had stayed behind for that very purpose. Afterwards I had a bath, dined, and then took a brief and restless sleep. For many days previous there had been slight shocks of earthquake, which were not particularly alarming, because they are common enough in Campania. But on that night the shocks were so intense that everything round us seemed not only to be disturbed, but to be tottering to its fall. My mother rushed into my bedchamber, just as I myself was getting up in order to arouse her if she was still sleeping. We sat down in the courtyard of the house, which was of smallish size and lay between the sea and the buildings. I don't know whether my behaviour should be called courageous or rash - for I was only in my eighteenth year - but I called for a volume of Titus Livius, and read it, as though I were perfectly at my ease, and went on making my usual extracts. Then a friend of my uncle's, who had but a little time before come to join him from Spain, on seeing my mother and myself sitting there and me reading, upbraided her for her patience and me for my indifference, but I paid no heed, and pored over my book. It was now the first hour of the day, but the light was still faint and weak. The buildings all round us were beginning to totter, and, though we were in the open, the courtyard was so narrow that we were greatly afraid, and indeed sure of being overwhelmed by their fall. So that decided us to leave the town. We were followed by a distracted crowd, which, when in a panic, always prefers someone else's judgment to its own as the most prudent course to adopt, and when we set out these people came crowding in masses upon us, and pressed and urged us forward. We came to a halt when we had passed beyond the buildings, and underwent there many wonderful experiences and terrors. For although the ground was perfectly level, the vehicles which we had ordered to be brought with us began to sway to and fro, and though they were wedged with stones, we could not keep them still in their places. Moreover, we saw the sea drawn back upon itself, and, as it were, repelled by the quaking of the earth. The shore certainly was greatly widened, and many marine creatures were stranded on the dry sands. On the other side, the black, fearsome cloud of fiery vapour burst into long, twisting, zigzag flames and gaped asunder, the flames resembling lightning flashes, only they were of greater size. Then indeed my uncle's Spanish friend exclaimed sharply, and with an air of command, to my mother and me, "If your brother and your uncle is still alive, he will be anxious for you to save yourselves; if he is dead, I am sure he wished you to survive him. Come, why do you hesitate to quit this place?" We replied that we could not think of looking after our own safety while we were uncertain of his. He then waited no longer, but tore away as fast as he could and got clear of danger. Soon afterwards the cloud descended upon the earth, and covered the whole bay; it encircled Capri and hid it from sight, and we could no longer see the promontory of Misenum. Then my mother prayed, entreated, and commanded me to fly as best I could, saying that I was young and could escape, while she was old and infirm, and would not fear to die, if only she knew that she had not been the cause of my death. I replied that I would not save myself unless I could save her too, and so, after taking tight hold of her hand, I forced her to quicken her steps. She reluctantly obeyed, accusing herself for retarding my flight. Then the ashes began to fall, but not thickly: I looked back, and a dense blackness was rolling up behind us, which spread itself over the ground and followed like a torrent. "Let us turn aside," I said, "while we can still see, lest we be thrown down in the road and trampled on in the darkness by the thronging crowd." We were considering what to do, when the blackness of night overtook us, not that of a moonless or cloudy night, but the blackness of pent-up places which never see the light. You could hear the wailing of women, the screams of little children, and the shouts of men; some were trying to find their parents, others their children, others their wives, by calling for them and recognising them by their voices alone. Some were commiserating their own lot, others that of their relatives, while some again prayed for death in sheer terror of dying. Many were lifting up their hands to the gods, but more were declaring that now there were no more gods, and that this night would last for ever, and the end of all the world. Nor were there wanting those who added to the real perils by inventing new and false terrors, for some said that part of Misenum was in ruins and the rest in flames, and though the tale was untrue, it found ready believers. A gleam of light now appeared, which seemed to us not so much daylight as a token of the approaching fire. The latter remained at a distance, but the darkness came on again, and the ashes once more fell thickly and heavily. We had to keep rising and shaking the latter off us, or we should have been buried by them and crushed by their weight. I might boast that not one groan or cowardly exclamation escaped my lips, despite these perils, had I not believed that I and the world were perishing together - a miserable consolation, indeed, yet one which a mortal creature finds very soothing. At length the blackness became less dense, and dissipated as it were into smoke and cloud; then came the real light of day, and the sun shone out, but as blood-red as it appears at its setting. Our still trembling eyes saw that everything had been transformed, and covered with a deep layer of ashes, like snow. Making our way back to Misenum, we refreshed our bodies as best we could, and passed an anxious, troubled night, hovering between hope and fear. But our fears were uppermost, for the shocks of earthquake still continued, and several persons, driven frantic by dreadful prophecies, made sport of their own calamities and those of others. For our own part, though we had already passed through perils, and expected still more to come, we had no idea even then of leaving the town until we got news of my uncle. You will not read these details, which are not up to the dignity of history, as though you were about to incorporate them in your writings, and if they seem to you to be hardly worth being made the subject of a letter, you must take the blame yourself, inasmuch as you insisted on having them. Farewell


nanTo Tacitus. You say that the letter which I wrote to you at your request, describing the death of my uncle, * has made you anxious to know not only the terrors, but also the distress I suffered while I remained behind at Misenum. I had indeed started to tell you of these, but then broke off. Well, "though my mind shudders at the recollection, I will essay the task". ** After my uncle had set out I employed the remainder of the time with my studies, for I had stayed behind for that very purpose. Afterwards I had a bath, dined, and then took a brief and restless sleep. For many days previous there had been slight shocks of earthquake, which were not particularly alarming, because they are common enough in Campania. But on that night the shocks were so intense that everything round us seemed not only to be disturbed, but to be tottering to its fall. My mother rushed into my bedchamber, just as I myself was getting up in order to arouse her if she was still sleeping. We sat down in the courtyard of the house, which was of smallish size and lay between the sea and the buildings. I don't know whether my behaviour should be called courageous or rash - for I was only in my eighteenth year - but I called for a volume of Titus Livius, and read it, as though I were perfectly at my ease, and went on making my usual extracts. Then a friend of my uncle's, who had but a little time before come to join him from Spain, on seeing my mother and myself sitting there and me reading, upbraided her for her patience and me for my indifference, but I paid no heed, and pored over my book. It was now the first hour of the day, but the light was still faint and weak. The buildings all round us were beginning to totter, and, though we were in the open, the courtyard was so narrow that we were greatly afraid, and indeed sure of being overwhelmed by their fall. So that decided us to leave the town. We were followed by a distracted crowd, which, when in a panic, always prefers someone else's judgment to its own as the most prudent course to adopt, and when we set out these people came crowding in masses upon us, and pressed and urged us forward. We came to a halt when we had passed beyond the buildings, and underwent there many wonderful experiences and terrors. For although the ground was perfectly level, the vehicles which we had ordered to be brought with us began to sway to and fro, and though they were wedged with stones, we could not keep them still in their places. Moreover, we saw the sea drawn back upon itself, and, as it were, repelled by the quaking of the earth. The shore certainly was greatly widened, and many marine creatures were stranded on the dry sands. On the other side, the black, fearsome cloud of fiery vapour burst into long, twisting, zigzag flames and gaped asunder, the flames resembling lightning flashes, only they were of greater size. Then indeed my uncle's Spanish friend exclaimed sharply, and with an air of command, to my mother and me, "If your brother and your uncle is still alive, he will be anxious for you to save yourselves; if he is dead, I am sure he wished you to survive him. Come, why do you hesitate to quit this place?" We replied that we could not think of looking after our own safety while we were uncertain of his. He then waited no longer, but tore away as fast as he could and got clear of danger. Soon afterwards the cloud descended upon the earth, and covered the whole bay ; it encircled Capri and hid it from sight, and we could no longer see the promontory of Misenum. Then my mother prayed, entreated, and commanded me to fly as best I could, saying that I was young and could escape, while she was old and infirm, and would not fear to die, if only she knew that she had not been the cause of my death. I replied that I would not save myself unless I could save her too, and so, after taking tight hold of her hand, I forced her to quicken her steps. She reluctantly obeyed, accusing herself for retarding my flight. Then the ashes began to fall, but not thickly A gleam of light now appeared, which seemed to us not so much daylight as a token of the approaching fire. The latter remained at a distance, but the darkness came on again, and the ashes once more fell thickly and heavily. We had to keep rising and shaking the latter off us, or we should have been buried by them and crushed by their weight. I might boast that not one groan or cowardly exclamation escaped my lips, despite these perils, had I not believed that I and the world were perishing together - a miserable consolation, indeed, yet one which a mortal creature finds very soothing. At length the blackness became less dense, and dissipated as it were into smoke and cloud ; then came the real light of day, and the sun shone out, but as blood-red as it appears at its setting. Our still trembling eyes saw that everything had been transformed, and covered with a deep layer of ashes, like snow. Making our way back to Misenum, we refreshed our bodies as best we could, and passed an anxious, troubled night, hovering between hope and fear. But our fears were uppermost, for the shocks of earthquake still continued, and several persons, driven frantic by dreadful prophecies, made sport of their own calamities and those of others. For our own part, though we had already passed through perils, and expected still more to come, we had no idea even then of leaving the town until we got news of my uncle. You will not read these details, which are not up to the dignity of history, as though you were about to incorporate them in your writings, and if they seem to you to be hardly worth being made the subject of a letter, you must take the blame yourself, inasmuch as you insisted on having them. Farewell 0


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

9 results
1. Ovid, Amores, 3.12.19-3.12.20 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

2. Ovid, Ars Amatoria, 3.538 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

3. Ovid, Tristia, 2.339-2.340 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. CE)

4. Seneca The Elder, Suasoriae, 6.21 (1st cent. BCE

5. Pliny The Elder, Natural History, 2.94 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

6. Tacitus, Annals, 1.7, 16.16.2 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.7.  At Rome, however, consuls, senators, and knights were rushing into slavery. The more exalted the personage, the grosser his hypocrisy and his haste, — his lineaments adjusted so as to betray neither cheerfulness at the exit nor undue depression at the entry of a prince; his tears blent with joy, his regrets with adulation. The consuls, Sextus Pompeius and Sextus Appuleius, first took the oath of allegiance to Tiberius Caesar. It was taken in their presence by Seius Strabo and Caius Turranius, chiefs respectively of the praetorian cohorts and the corn department. The senators, the soldiers, and the populace followed. For in every action of Tiberius the first step had to be taken by the consuls, as though the old republic were in being, and himself undecided whether to reign or no. Even his edict, convening the Fathers to the senate-house was issued simply beneath the tribunician title which he had received under Augustus. It was a laconic document of very modest purport:— "He intended to provide for the last honours to his father, whose body he could not leave — it was the one function of the state which he made bold to exercise." Yet, on the passing of Augustus he had given the watchword to the praetorian cohorts as Imperator; he had the sentries, the men-at‑arms, and the other appurteces of a court; soldiers conducted him to the forum, soldiers to the curia; he dispatched letters to the armies as if the principate was already in his grasp; and nowhere manifested the least hesitation, except when speaking in the senate. The chief reason was his fear that Germanicus — backed by so many legions, the vast reserves of the provinces, and a wonderful popularity with the nation — might prefer the ownership to the reversion of a throne. He paid public opinion, too, the compliment of wishing to be regarded as the called and chosen of the state, rather than as the interloper who had wormed his way into power with the help of connubial intrigues and a senile act of adoption. It was realized later that his coyness had been assumed with the further object of gaining an insight into the feelings of the aristocracy: for all the while he was distorting words and looks into crimes and storing them in his memory.
7. Tacitus, Histories, 1.3.1 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

8. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.1, 3.5.7-3.5.9, 5.6, 6.10, 6.16, 6.16.4, 6.16.21, 6.20.5, 6.20.20, 6.31, 7.17, 7.33, 8.13, 9.27 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.1. To Septicius. You have constantly urged me to collect and publish the more highly finished of the letters that I may have written. I have made such a collection, but without preserving the order in which they were composed, as I was not writing a historical narrative. So I have taken them as they happened to come to hand. I can only hope that you will not have cause to regret the advice you gave, and that I shall not repent having followed it; for I shall set to work to recover such letters as have up to now been tossed on one side, and I shall not keep back any that I may write in the future. Farewell.. 5.6. To Domitius Apollinaris. I was charmed with the kind consideration which led you, when you heard that I was about to visit my Tuscan villa in the summer, to advise me not to do so during the season when you consider the district unhealthy. Undoubtedly, the region along the Tuscan coast is trying and dangerous to the health, but my property lies well back from the sea; indeed, it is just under the Apennines, which are the healthiest of our mountain ranges. However, that you may not have the slightest anxiety on my account, let me tell you all about the climatic conditions, the lie of the land, and the charms of my villa. It will be as pleasant reading for you as it is pleasant writing for me. In winter the air is cold and frosty The contour of the district is most beautiful. Picture to yourself an immense amphitheatre, such as only Nature can create, with a wide-spreading plain ringed with hills, and the summits of the hills themselves covered with tall and ancient forests. There is plentiful and varied hunting to be had. Down the mountain slopes there are stretches of timber woods, and among these are rich, deep-soiled hillocks - where if you look for a stone you will have hard work to find one - which are just as fertile as the most level plains, and ripen just as rich harvests, though later in the season. Below these, along the whole hillsides, stretch the vineyards which present an unbroken line far and wide, on the borders and lowest level of which comes a fringe of trees. Then you reach the meadows and the fields - fields which only the most powerful oxen and the stoutest ploughs can turn. The soil is so tough and composed of such thick clods that when it is first broken up it has to be furrowed nine times before it is subdued. The meadows are jewelled with flowers, and produce trefoil and other herbs, always tender and soft, and looking as though they were always fresh. For all parts are well nourished by never-failing streams, and even where there is most water there are no swamps, for the slope of the land drains off into the Tiber all the moisture that it receives and cannot itself absorb. The Tiber runs through the middle of the plain; it is navigable for ships, and all the grain is carried downstream to the city, at least in winter and spring. In summer the volume of water dwindles away, leaving but the name of a great river to the dried-up bed, but in the autumn it recovers its flood. You would be delighted if you could obtain a view of the district from the mountain height, for you would think you were looking not so much at earth and fields as at a beautiful landscape picture of wonderful loveliness. Such is the variety, such the arrangement of the scene, that wherever the eyes fall they are sure to be refreshed. My villa, though it lies at the foot of the hill, enjoys as fine a prospect as though it stood on the summit; the ascent is so gentle and easy, and the gradient so unnoticeable, that you find yourself at the top without feeling that you are ascending. The Apennines lie behind it, but at a considerable distance, and even on a cloudless and still day it gets a breeze from this range, never boisterous and rough, for its strength is broken and lost in the distance it has to travel. Most of the house faces south; in summer it gets the sun from the sixth hour, and in winter considerably earlier, inviting it as it were into the portico, which is broad and long to correspond, and contains a number of apartments and an old-fashioned hall. In front, there is a terrace laid out in different patterns and bounded with an edging of box; then comes a sloping ridge with figures of animals on both sides cut out of the box-trees, while on the level ground stands an acanthus-tree, with leaves so soft that I might almost call them liquid. Round this is a walk bordered by evergreens pressed and trimmed into various shapes; then comes an exercise ground, round like a circus, which surrounds the box-trees that are cut into different forms, and the dwarf shrubs that are kept clipped. Everything is protected by an enclosure, which is hidden and withdrawn from sight by the tiers of box-trees. Beyond is a meadow, as well worth seeing for its natural charm as the features just described are for their artificial beauty, and beyond that there stretches an expanse of fields and a number of other meadows and thickets. At the head of the portico there runs out the dining-room, from the doors of which can be seen the end of the terrace with the meadow and a good expanse of country beyond it, while from the windows the view on the one hand commands one side of the terrace and the part of the villa which juts out, and on the other the grove and foliage of the adjoining riding-school. Almost opposite to the middle of the portico is a summer-house standing back a little, with a small open space in the middle shaded by four plane-trees. Among them is a marble fountain, from which the water plays upon and lightly sprinkles the roots of the plane-trees and the grass plot beneath them. In this summer-house there is a bed-chamber which excludes all light, noise, and sound, and adjoining it is a dining-room for my friends, which faces upon the small court and the other portico, and commands the view enjoyed by the latter. There is another bed-chamber, which is leafy and shaded by the nearest plane-tree and built of marble up to the balcony; above is a picture of a tree with birds perched in the branches equally beautiful with the marble. Here there is a small fountain with a basin around the latter, and the water runs into it from a number of small pipes, which produce a most agreeable sound. In the corner of the portico is a spacious bed-chamber leading out of the dining-room, some of its windows looking out upon the terrace, others upon the meadow, while the windows in front face the fish-pond which lies just beneath them, and is pleasant both to eye and ear, as the water falls from a considerable elevation and glistens white as it is caught in the marble basin. This bed-chamber is beautifully warm even in winter, for it is flooded with an abundance of sunshine. The heating chamber for the bath adjoins it, and on a cloudy day we turn in steam to take the place of the sun's warmth. Next comes a roomy and cheerful undressing room for the bath, from which you pass into a cool chamber containing a large and shady swimming bath. If you prefer more room or warmer water to swim in, there is a pond in the court with a well adjoining it, from which you can make the water colder when you are tired of the warm. Adjoining the cold bath is one of medium warmth, for the sun shines lavishly upon it, but not so much as upon the hot bath which is built farther out. There are three sets of steps leading to it, two exposed to the sun, and the third out of the sun though quite as light. Above the dressing-room is a ball court where various kinds of exercise can be taken, and a number of games can be played at once. Not far from the bath-room is a staircase leading to a covered passage, at the head of which are three rooms, one looking out upon the courtyard with the four plane-trees, the second upon the meadow, and the third upon the vineyards, so each therefore enjoys a different view. At the end of the passage is a bed-chamber constructed out of the passage itself, which looks out upon the riding-course, the vineyards, and the mountains. Connected with it is another bed-chamber open to the sun, and especially so in winter time. Leading out of this is an apartment which adjoins the riding-course of the villa. Such is the appearance and the use to which the front of my house is put. At the side is a raised covered gallery, which seems not so much to look out upon the vineyards as to touch them; in the middle is a dining-room which gets the invigorating breezes from the valleys of the Apennines, while at the other side, through the spacious windows and the folding doors, you seem to be close upon the vineyards again with the gallery between. On the side of the room where there are no windows is a private winding staircase by which the servants bring up the requisites for a meal. At the end of the gallery is a bed-chamber, and the gallery itself affords as pleasant a prospect from there as the vineyards. Underneath runs a sort of subterranean gallery, which in summer time remains perfectly cool, and as it has sufficient air within it, it neither admits any from without nor needs any. Next to both these galleries the portico commences where the dining-room ends, and this is cold before mid-day, and summery when the sun has reached his zenith. This gives the approach to two apartments, one of which contains four beds and the other three, and they are bathed in sunshine or steeped in shadow, according to the position of the sun. But though the arrangements of the house itself are charming, they are far and away surpassed by the riding-course. It is quite open in the centre, and the moment you enter your eye ranges over the whole of it. Around its borders are plane-trees clothed with ivy, and so while the foliage at the top belongs to the trees themselves, that on the lower parts belongs to the ivy, which creeps along the trunk and branches, and spreading across to the neighbouring trees, joins them together. Between the plane-trees are box shrubs, and on the farther side of the shrubs is a ring of laurels which mingle their shade with that of the plane-trees. At the far end, the straight boundary of the riding-course is curved into semi-circular form, which quite changes its appearance. It is enclosed and covered with cypress-trees, the deeper shade of which makes it darker and gloomier than at the sides, but the inner circles - for there are more than one - are quite open to the sunshine. Even roses grow there, and the warmth of the sun is delightful as a change from the cool of the shade. When you come to the end of these various winding alleys, the boundary again runs straight, or should I say boundaries, for there are a number of paths with box shrubs between them. In places there are grass plots intervening, in others box shrubs, which are trimmed to a great variety of patterns, some of them being cut into letters forming my name as owner and that of the gardener. Here and there are small pyramids and apple-trees, and now and then in the midst of all this graceful artificial work you suddenly come upon what looks like a real bit of the country planted there. The intervening space is beautified on both sides with dwarf plane-trees; beyond these is the acanthus-tree that is supple and flexible to the hand, and there are more boxwood figures and names. At the upper end is a couch of white marble covered with a vine, the latter being supported by four small pillars of Carystian marble. Jets of water flow from the couch through small pipes and look as if they were forced out by the weight of persons reclining thereon, and the water is caught in a stone cistern and then retained in a graceful marble basin, regulated by pipes out of sight, so that the basin, while always full, never overflows. The heavier dishes and plates are placed at the side of the basin when I dine there, but the lighter ones, formed into the shapes of little boats and birds, float on the surface and travel round and round. Facing this is a fountain which receives back the water it expels, for the water is thrown up to a considerable height and then falls down again, and the pipes that perform the two processes are connected. Directly opposite the couch is a bed-chamber, and each lends a grace to the other. It is formed of glistening marble, and through the projecting folding doors you pass at once among the foliage, while both from the upper and lower windows you look out upon the same green picture. Within is a little cabinet which seems to belong at once to the same and yet another bed-chamber. This contains a bed and it has windows on every side, yet the shade is so thick outside that very little light enters, for a wonderfully luxuriant vine has climbed up to the roof and covers the whole building. You can fancy you are in a grove as you lie there, only that you do not feel the rain as you do among trees. Here too a fountain rises and immediately loses itself underground. There are a number of marble chairs placed up and down, which are as restful for persons tired with walking as the bed-chamber itself. Near these chairs are little fountains, and throughout the whole riding-course you hear the murmur of tiny streams carried through pipes, which run wherever you please to direct them. These are used to water the shrubs, sometimes in one part, sometimes in another, and at other times all are watered together. I should long since have been afraid of boring you, had I not set out in this letter to take you with me round every corner of my estate. For I am not at all apprehensive that you will find it tedious to read about a place which certainly would not tire you to look at, especially as you can get a little rest whenever you desire, and can sit down, so to speak, by laying down the letter. Moreover, I have been indulging my affection for the place, for I am greatly attached to anything that is mainly the work of my own hands or that someone else has begun and I have taken up. In short - for there is no reason is there? why I should not be frank with you, whether my judgments are sound or unsound - I consider that it is the first duty of a writer to select the title of his work and constantly ask himself what he has begun to write about. He may be sure that so long as he keeps to his subject-matter he will not be tedious, but that he will bore his readers to distraction if he starts dragging in extraneous matter to make weight. Observe the length with which Homer describes the arms of Achilles, and Virgil the arms of Aeneas - yet in both cases the description seems short, because the author only carries out what he intended to. Observe how Aratus hunts up and brings together even the tiniest stars - yet he does not exceed due limits. For his description is not an excursus, but the end and aim of the whole work. It is the same with myself, if I may compare my lowly efforts with their great ones. I have been trying to give you a bird's eye view of the whole of my villa, and if I have introduced no extraneous matter and have never wandered off my subject, it is not the letter containing the description which is to be considered of excessive size, but rather the villa which has been described. However, let me get back to the point I started from, lest I give you an opportunity of justly condemning me by my own law, by not pursuing this digression any farther. I have explained to you why I prefer my Tuscan house to my other places at Tusculum, Tibur and Praeneste. For in addition to all the beauties I have described above, my repose here is more profound and more comfortable, and therefore all the freer from anxiety. There is no necessity to don the toga, no neighbour ever calls to drag me out; everything is placid and quiet; and this peace adds to the healthiness of the place, by giving it, so to speak, a purer sky and a more liquid air. I enjoy better health both in mind and body here than anywhere else, for I exercise the former by study and the latter by hunting. Besides, there is no place where my household keep in better trim, and up to the present I have not lost a single one of all whom I brought with me. I hope Heaven will forgive the boast, and that the gods will continue my happiness to me and preserve this place in all its beauty. Farewell. 6.10. To Albinus. When I visited the country house of my mother-in-law at Alsium, which at one time belonged to Rufus Verginius, the place revived painful memories of the loss I suffered in the death of that excellent and noble man. * For it was here that he sought retirement, and he even used to speak of it as the nest of his old age. Whichever way I turned, my spirit sought his presence, my eyes looked to find him. It even gave me pleasure to see his monument, though I was sorry I had seen it, for it is still unfinished, not because of any difficulty in executing the work, which is on a very modest, and I might say meagre scale, but because of the negligence of the person to whom it was entrusted. I felt grieved and indigt that ten years should have elapsed since his death, and that his remains and neglected ashes should still be lying without an inscription and a name, though his memory and fame have traversed the whole world. Moreover, he had particularly left instructions that his glorious and immortal behaviour should be inscribed in the verses 6.16. To Tacitus. You ask me to send you an account of my uncle's death, so that you may be able to give posterity an accurate description of it. I am much obliged to you, for I can see that the immortality of his fame is well assured, if you take in hand to write of it. For although he perished in a disaster which devastated some of the fairest regions of the land, and though he is sure of eternal remembrance like the peoples and cities that fell with him in that memorable calamity, though too he had written a large number of works of lasting value, yet the undying fame of which your writings are assured will secure for his a still further lease of life. For my own part, I think that those people are highly favoured by Providence who are capable either of performing deeds worthy of the historian's pen or of writing histories worthy of being read, but that they are peculiarly favoured who can do both. Among the latter I may class my uncle, thanks to his own writings and to yours. So I am all the more ready to fulfil your injunctions, nay, I am even prepared to beg to be allowed to undertake them. My uncle was stationed at Misenum, where he was in active command of the fleet, with full powers. On the 24th of August *, about the seventh hour, my mother drew his attention to the fact that a cloud of unusual size and shape had made its appearance. He had been out in the sun, followed by a cold bath, and after a light meal he was lying down and reading. Yet he called for his sandals, and climbed up to a spot from which he could command a good view of the curious phenomenon. Those who were looking at the cloud from some distance could not make out from which mountain it was rising - it was afterwards discovered to have been Mount Vesuvius - but in likeness and form it more closely resembled a pine-tree than anything else, for what corresponded to the trunk was of great length and height, and then spread out into a number of branches, the reason being, I imagine, that while the vapour was fresh, the cloud was borne upwards, but when the vapour became wasted, it lost its motion, or even became dissipated by its own weight, and spread out laterally. At times it looked white, and at other times dirty and spotted, according to the quantity of earth and cinders that were shot up. To a man of my uncle's learning, the phenomenon appeared one of great importance, which deserved a closer study. He ordered a Liburnian galley to be got ready, and offered to take me with him, if I desired to accompany him, but I replied that I preferred to go on with my studies, and it so happened that he had assigned me some writing to do. He was just leaving the house when he received a written message from Rectina, the wife of Tascus, who was terrified at the peril threatening her - for her villa lay just beneath the mountain, and there were no means of escape save by shipboard - begging him to save her from her perilous position. So he changed his plans, and carried out with the greatest fortitude the task, which he had started as a scholarly inquiry. He had the galleys launched and went on board himself, in the hope of succouring, not only Rectina, but many others, for there were a number of people living along the shore owing to its delightful situation. He hastened, therefore, towards the place whence others were fleeing, and steering a direct course, kept the helm straight for the point of danger, so utterly devoid of fear that every movement of the looming portent and every change in its appearance he described and had noted down by his secretary, as soon as his eyes detected it. Already ashes were beginning to fall upon the ships, hotter and in thicker showers as they approached more nearly, with pumice-stones and black flints, charred and cracked by the heat of the flames, while their way was barred by the sudden shoaling of the sea bottom and the litter of the mountain on the shore. He hesitated for a moment whether to turn back, and then, when the helmsman warned him to do so, he exclaimed, "Fortune favours the bold ; try to reach Pomponianus." The latter was at Stabiae, separated by the whole width of the bay, for the sea there pours in upon a gently rounded and curving shore. Although the danger was not yet close upon him, it was none the less clearly seen, and it travelled quickly as it came nearer, so Pomponianus had got his baggage together on shipboard, and had determined upon flight, and was waiting for the wind which was blowing on shore to fall. My uncle sailed in with the wind fair behind him, and embraced Pomponianus, who was in a state of fright, comforting and cheering him at the same time. Then in order to calm his friend's fears by showing how composed he was himself, he ordered the servants to carry him to the bath, and, after his ablutions, he sat down and had dinner in the best of spirits, or with that assumption of good spirits which is quite as remarkable as the reality. In the meantime broad sheets of flame, which rose high in the air, were breaking out in a number of places on Mount Vesuvius and lighting up the sky, and the glare and brightness seemed all the more striking owing to the darkness of the night. My uncle, in order to allay the fear of his companions, kept declaring that the country people in their terror had left their fires burning, and that the conflagration they saw arose from the blazing and empty villas. Then he betook himself to rest and enjoyed a very deep sleep, for his breathing, which, owing to his bulk, was rather heavy and loud, was heard by those who were waiting at the door of his chamber. But by this time the courtyard leading to the room he occupied was so full of ashes and pumice-stones mingled together, and covered to such a depth, that if he had delayed any longer in the bedchamber there would have been no means of escape. So my uncle was aroused, and came out and joined Pomponianus and the rest who had been keeping watch. They held a consultation whether they should remain indoors or wander forth in the open; for the buildings were beginning to shake with the repeated and intensely severe shocks of earthquake, and seemed to be rocking to and fro as though they had been torn from their foundations. Outside again there was danger to be apprehended from the pumice-stones, though these were light and nearly burnt through, and thus, after weighing the two perils, the latter course was determined upon. With my uncle it was a choice of reasons which prevailed, with the rest a choice of fears. They placed pillows on their heads and secured them with cloths, as a precaution against the falling bodies. Elsewhere the day had dawned by this time, but there it was still night, and the darkness was blacker and thicker than any ordinary night. This, however, they relieved as best they could by a number of torches and other kinds of lights. They decided to make their way to the shore, and to see from the nearest point whether the sea would enable them to put out, but it was still running high and contrary. A sheet was spread on the ground, and on this my uncle lay, and twice he called for a draught of cold water, which he drank. Then the flames, and the smell of sulphur which gave warning of them, scattered the others in flight and roused him. Leaning on two slaves, he rose to his feet and immediately fell down again, owing, as I think, to his breathing being obstructed by the thickness of the fumes and congestion of the stomach, that organ being naturally weak and narrow, and subject to inflammation. When daylight returned - two days after the last day he had seen - his body was found untouched, uninjured, and covered, dressed just as he had been in life. The corpse suggested a person asleep rather than a dead man. Meanwhile my mother and I were at Misenum. But that is of no consequence for the purposes of history, nor indeed did you express a wish to be told of anything except of my uncle's death. So I will say no more, except to add that I have given you a full account both of the incidents which I myself witnessed and of those narrated to me immediately afterwards, when, as a rule, one gets the truest account of what has happened. You will pick out what you think will answer your purpose best, for to write a letter is a different thing from writing a history, and to write to a friend is not like writing to all and sundry. Farewell. 6.31. To Cornelianus. I was greatly delighted when our Emperor sent for me to Centum Cellae - for that is the name of the place - to act as a member of his Council. For what could be more gratifying than to be privileged to witness the justice, dignity, and charming manners of the Emperor in his country retreat, where he allows these qualities the freest play? There were a variety of cases to be heard, and they were of a kind to bring out the virtues of the judge in different ways and forms. Claudius Aristo, the leading citizen at Ephesus, a man of great generosity, and who had won popularity by innocent means, pleaded his own case. His popularity had made people envious of him, and some of his enemies, who were utterly unlike him in character, had suborned a man to lay information against him. So he was acquitted, and his reputation vindicated. On the following day was taken the case of Galitta, who was accused of adultery. She was the wife of a military tribune, who was about to stand for public office, and she had compromised her own reputation and her husband's by intriguing with a centurion. The husband had reported the matter to the consular legate, and the latter had reported it to Caesar. After carefully examining the proofs, the Emperor degraded the centurion, and even banished him. Still the punishment was not complete, for adultery is an offence in which two perils are necessarily concerned, but the husband's affection for his wife, whom he allowed to remain in his house even I after discovering her adultery - content as it were to have trot his rival out of the way - led him to delay the prosecution, in spite of the scandal to which his forbearance gave rise. He was summoned to carry the charge through, and did so against his will. However, it was necessary that she should be condemned, even though her accuser did not wish her to be, and she was declared guilty, and sentenced to the punishment inflicted by the Julian Law. * Caesar affixed to the sentence both the name of the centurion and a statement of the rules of military discipline on the point, lest people should think that he reserved the right to hear all such cases himself. On the third day began the inquiry into the will of Julius Tiro, a case which had been greatly talked about, and had given rise to conflicting reports, inasmuch as it was known that the will was genuine in part, and in part a forgery. The accused were Sempronius Senecio, a Roman knight, and Eurythmus, one of Caesar's freedmen and agents. When the Emperor was in Dacia, the heirs had written a joint letter, asking him to undertake an inquiry into the will, and he had consented. On his return he appointed a day, and when some of the heirs were in favour of letting the accusation drop, as though out of consideration for Eurythmus, he very finely said, "Eurythmus is not Polyclitus, and I am not Nero." ** Yet at their request he favoured them with a postponement, and when the day had at length arrived, he took his seat to hear the case. On the side of the heirs only two put in an appearance, and they demanded that as all had joined in the accusation, they should all be forced to go on with the action, or else that they too should be allowed to withdraw. Caesar spoke with great gravity and moderation, and when the advocate for Senecio and Eurythmus remarked that the accused would be left open to suspicion unless they were heard in their own behalf, he said, "I don't care whether they are left open to suspicion or not, I certainly am myself." Then turning to us, he said You see in what a strictly honourable and arduous manner we spent our days, though they were followed by the most agreeable relaxations. Every day we were summoned to dine with the Emperor, and modest dinners they were for one of his imperial position. Sometimes we listened to entertainers, sometimes we had delightful conversations lasting far into the night. On the last day, just as we were setting out, Caesar sent us parting presents, such is his thoughtfulness and courtesy. As for myself, I delighted in the importance of the cases heard, in the honour of being summoned to the Council, and in the charm and simplicity of his mode of life, while I was equally pleased with the place itself. The villa, which is exquisitely beautiful, is surrounded by meadows of the richest green; it abuts on the sea-shore, in the bight of which a harbour is being hastily formed, the left arm having been strengthened by masonry of great solidity, while the right is now in course of construction. In the mouth of the harbour an island rises out of the sea, which by its position breaks the force of the waves that are carried in by the wind, and affords a safe passage to ships on either side. The island has been artificially constructed, and is not a natural formation, for a broad barge brings up a number of immense stones, which are thrown into the water, one on top of the other, and these are kept in position by their own weight, and gradually become built up into a sort of breakwater. The ridge of stones already overtops the surface, and when the waves strike upon it, it breaks them into spray and throws them to a great height. That causes a loud-resounding roar, and the sea all round is white with foam. Subsequently concrete will be added to the stones, to give it the appearance of a natural island as time goes on. This harbour will be called - and indeed it already is called - after the name of its constructor, and it will prove a haven of the greatest value, inasmuch as there is a long stretch of shore which has no harbour, and the sailors will use this as a place of refuge. Farewell. 0 7.17. To Celer. Every author has his own reasons for giving recitals; mine, as I have often said before, is that I may discover any slip I may have made, and I certainly do make them. So I am surprised when you say that some people have found fault with me for giving recitals of speeches at all, unless, indeed, they think that speeches are the only kind of composition which requires no emendations. I should be very glad if they were to tell me why they allow - if they do allow it - that history is a proper subject for recitation, seeing that history is written not for display but in the interests of strict truth, or why they should consider a tragedy a fit subject, seeing that it requires not an audience room but a stage and actors, or lyric verses, which need not a reader but the accompaniment of a chorus and a lyre. Perhaps they will say that long established custom sanctions the practice. Then is the originator of it to be blamed ? Besides, not only our own countrymen but the Greeks as well have constantly read speeches. But, they say, it is a waste of time to give a reading of a speech which has already been delivered. So it would be if the speech remained identically the same, and you read it to the same audience and immediately after its delivery; but if you make a number of additions, if you recast numerous passages, if you have a new audience, or if the audience be the same and yet a considerable time has elapsed, why should one hesitate more about giving a reading of an already delivered speech than about publishing it ? It may be argued that it is difficult to make a speech convincing when it is read. True, but that is a point connected with the difficulty of reciting, and has no bearing on the argument that a speech should not be read at all. For my own part I desire applause, not when I am reciting but when other people are reading my book, and that is why I let no opportunity of emending a passage escape me. In the first place, I go carefully over what I have written again and again; then I read it to two or three friends; subsequently I pass it on to others to make marginal criticisms, and, if I am in doubt, I once more call in a friend or two to help me in weighing their value. Last of all, I read it to a large audience, and it is then, if you can credit the statement, that I make the severest corrections, because the greater my anxiety to please, the more diligent I am in application. But the best judges of all are modesty, respect, and awe. Consider the matter in this light. If you are going to enter into conversation with some one person, however learned he may be, are you not less flurried than you would be if you were entering into conversation with a number of people or with persons who know nothing ? Is not your diffidence the greatest just at the moment when you rise to plead, and is it not then that you wish not only a large part of your speech but the whole of it were cast in a different mould ? Especially is this the case if the scene of the encounter is a spacious one and there is a dense ring of spectators, for we feel nervous even of the meanest and commonest folk who crowd there. If you think your opening points are badly received, does it not weaken your nerve and make you feel like collapse? I fancy so, the reason being that there exists a considerable weight of sound opinion in mere numbers simply, and though, if you take them individually, their judgment is worth next to nothing, taken collectively, it is worth a great deal. Hence it was that Pomponius Secundus, who used to write tragedies, was in the habit of exclaiming, " I appeal to the people," whenever he thought that a passage should be retained, which some one of his intimate friends considered had better be expunged, and so he either stuck to his own opinion or followed that of his friend, according as the people received the passage in silence or greeted it with applause. Such was the high estimate he formed of the popular judgment; whether rightly or wrongly does not affect me. For my custom is to call in, not the people, but a few carefully selected friends, whose judgment I respect and have confidence in, and whose faces I can watch individually, yet who are numerous enough collectively to put me in some awe. For I think that although Marcus Cicero says, "Composition is the keenest critic in the world," * this applies even more to the fear of speaking in public. The very fact that we keep thinking we are going to give a reading sharpens our critical taste, so too does our entry into the audience-hall, so too do our pale looks, anxious tremors, and our glances from side to side. Hence I am far from repenting of my practice, which I find of the greatest value to me, and so far am I from being deterred by the idle talk of my critics that I beg of you to point out to me some additional method of criticism in addition to those I have enumerated. For though I take great pains I never seem to take enough. I keep thinking what a serious matter it is to place anything in the hands of the public for them to read, nor can I persuade myself that' any work of mine, which you are always anxious should get a welcome everywhere, does not stand in need of constant revision by myself and a number of my friends. Farewell. 7.33. To Tacitus. I venture to prophesy - and I know my prognostics are right - that your histories will be immortal, and that, I frankly confess, makes me the more anxious to figure in them. For if it is quite an ordinary thing for us to take care to secure the best painter to paint our portrait, ought we not also to be desirous of getting an author and historian of your calibre to describe our deeds ? That is why though it could hardly escape your careful eye, as it is to be found in the public records - I bring the following incident before your notice, and I do so in order to assure you how pleased I shall be, if you will lend your powers of description and the weight of your testimony to setting forth the way I behaved on an occasion when I reaped credit, owing to the dangers to which I exposed myself. The senate had appointed me to act with Herennius Senecio on behalf of the province of Baetica in the prosecution of Baebius Massa, * and, when Massa had been sentenced, it decreed that his property should be placed under public custody. Senecio came to me, after finding out that the consuls would be at liberty to hear petitions, and said My conduct on this occasion, whatever its worth may have been, will be made even more famous, more distinguished, and more noble if you describe it, although I do not ask of you to go beyond the strict letter of what actually occurred. For history ought never to transgress against truth, and an honourable action wants nothing more than to be faithfully recorded. Farewell. %%%
9. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.1, 3.5.7-3.5.9, 5.6, 6.10, 6.16, 6.16.4, 6.16.21, 6.20, 6.20.5, 6.20.20, 6.31, 7.17, 7.33, 8.13, 9.27 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

1.1. To Septicius. You have constantly urged me to collect and publish the more highly finished of the letters that I may have written. I have made such a collection, but without preserving the order in which they were composed, as I was not writing a historical narrative. So I have taken them as they happened to come to hand. I can only hope that you will not have cause to regret the advice you gave, and that I shall not repent having followed it; for I shall set to work to recover such letters as have up to now been tossed on one side, and I shall not keep back any that I may write in the future. Farewell.. 5.6. To Domitius Apollinaris. I was charmed with the kind consideration which led you, when you heard that I was about to visit my Tuscan villa in the summer, to advise me not to do so during the season when you consider the district unhealthy. Undoubtedly, the region along the Tuscan coast is trying and dangerous to the health, but my property lies well back from the sea; indeed, it is just under the Apennines, which are the healthiest of our mountain ranges. However, that you may not have the slightest anxiety on my account, let me tell you all about the climatic conditions, the lie of the land, and the charms of my villa. It will be as pleasant reading for you as it is pleasant writing for me. In winter the air is cold and frosty The contour of the district is most beautiful. Picture to yourself an immense amphitheatre, such as only Nature can create, with a wide-spreading plain ringed with hills, and the summits of the hills themselves covered with tall and ancient forests. There is plentiful and varied hunting to be had. Down the mountain slopes there are stretches of timber woods, and among these are rich, deep-soiled hillocks - where if you look for a stone you will have hard work to find one - which are just as fertile as the most level plains, and ripen just as rich harvests, though later in the season. Below these, along the whole hillsides, stretch the vineyards which present an unbroken line far and wide, on the borders and lowest level of which comes a fringe of trees. Then you reach the meadows and the fields - fields which only the most powerful oxen and the stoutest ploughs can turn. The soil is so tough and composed of such thick clods that when it is first broken up it has to be furrowed nine times before it is subdued. The meadows are jewelled with flowers, and produce trefoil and other herbs, always tender and soft, and looking as though they were always fresh. For all parts are well nourished by never-failing streams, and even where there is most water there are no swamps, for the slope of the land drains off into the Tiber all the moisture that it receives and cannot itself absorb. The Tiber runs through the middle of the plain; it is navigable for ships, and all the grain is carried downstream to the city, at least in winter and spring. In summer the volume of water dwindles away, leaving but the name of a great river to the dried-up bed, but in the autumn it recovers its flood. You would be delighted if you could obtain a view of the district from the mountain height, for you would think you were looking not so much at earth and fields as at a beautiful landscape picture of wonderful loveliness. Such is the variety, such the arrangement of the scene, that wherever the eyes fall they are sure to be refreshed. My villa, though it lies at the foot of the hill, enjoys as fine a prospect as though it stood on the summit; the ascent is so gentle and easy, and the gradient so unnoticeable, that you find yourself at the top without feeling that you are ascending. The Apennines lie behind it, but at a considerable distance, and even on a cloudless and still day it gets a breeze from this range, never boisterous and rough, for its strength is broken and lost in the distance it has to travel. Most of the house faces south; in summer it gets the sun from the sixth hour, and in winter considerably earlier, inviting it as it were into the portico, which is broad and long to correspond, and contains a number of apartments and an old-fashioned hall. In front, there is a terrace laid out in different patterns and bounded with an edging of box; then comes a sloping ridge with figures of animals on both sides cut out of the box-trees, while on the level ground stands an acanthus-tree, with leaves so soft that I might almost call them liquid. Round this is a walk bordered by evergreens pressed and trimmed into various shapes; then comes an exercise ground, round like a circus, which surrounds the box-trees that are cut into different forms, and the dwarf shrubs that are kept clipped. Everything is protected by an enclosure, which is hidden and withdrawn from sight by the tiers of box-trees. Beyond is a meadow, as well worth seeing for its natural charm as the features just described are for their artificial beauty, and beyond that there stretches an expanse of fields and a number of other meadows and thickets. At the head of the portico there runs out the dining-room, from the doors of which can be seen the end of the terrace with the meadow and a good expanse of country beyond it, while from the windows the view on the one hand commands one side of the terrace and the part of the villa which juts out, and on the other the grove and foliage of the adjoining riding-school. Almost opposite to the middle of the portico is a summer-house standing back a little, with a small open space in the middle shaded by four plane-trees. Among them is a marble fountain, from which the water plays upon and lightly sprinkles the roots of the plane-trees and the grass plot beneath them. In this summer-house there is a bed-chamber which excludes all light, noise, and sound, and adjoining it is a dining-room for my friends, which faces upon the small court and the other portico, and commands the view enjoyed by the latter. There is another bed-chamber, which is leafy and shaded by the nearest plane-tree and built of marble up to the balcony; above is a picture of a tree with birds perched in the branches equally beautiful with the marble. Here there is a small fountain with a basin around the latter, and the water runs into it from a number of small pipes, which produce a most agreeable sound. In the corner of the portico is a spacious bed-chamber leading out of the dining-room, some of its windows looking out upon the terrace, others upon the meadow, while the windows in front face the fish-pond which lies just beneath them, and is pleasant both to eye and ear, as the water falls from a considerable elevation and glistens white as it is caught in the marble basin. This bed-chamber is beautifully warm even in winter, for it is flooded with an abundance of sunshine. The heating chamber for the bath adjoins it, and on a cloudy day we turn in steam to take the place of the sun's warmth. Next comes a roomy and cheerful undressing room for the bath, from which you pass into a cool chamber containing a large and shady swimming bath. If you prefer more room or warmer water to swim in, there is a pond in the court with a well adjoining it, from which you can make the water colder when you are tired of the warm. Adjoining the cold bath is one of medium warmth, for the sun shines lavishly upon it, but not so much as upon the hot bath which is built farther out. There are three sets of steps leading to it, two exposed to the sun, and the third out of the sun though quite as light. Above the dressing-room is a ball court where various kinds of exercise can be taken, and a number of games can be played at once. Not far from the bath-room is a staircase leading to a covered passage, at the head of which are three rooms, one looking out upon the courtyard with the four plane-trees, the second upon the meadow, and the third upon the vineyards, so each therefore enjoys a different view. At the end of the passage is a bed-chamber constructed out of the passage itself, which looks out upon the riding-course, the vineyards, and the mountains. Connected with it is another bed-chamber open to the sun, and especially so in winter time. Leading out of this is an apartment which adjoins the riding-course of the villa. Such is the appearance and the use to which the front of my house is put. At the side is a raised covered gallery, which seems not so much to look out upon the vineyards as to touch them; in the middle is a dining-room which gets the invigorating breezes from the valleys of the Apennines, while at the other side, through the spacious windows and the folding doors, you seem to be close upon the vineyards again with the gallery between. On the side of the room where there are no windows is a private winding staircase by which the servants bring up the requisites for a meal. At the end of the gallery is a bed-chamber, and the gallery itself affords as pleasant a prospect from there as the vineyards. Underneath runs a sort of subterranean gallery, which in summer time remains perfectly cool, and as it has sufficient air within it, it neither admits any from without nor needs any. Next to both these galleries the portico commences where the dining-room ends, and this is cold before mid-day, and summery when the sun has reached his zenith. This gives the approach to two apartments, one of which contains four beds and the other three, and they are bathed in sunshine or steeped in shadow, according to the position of the sun. But though the arrangements of the house itself are charming, they are far and away surpassed by the riding-course. It is quite open in the centre, and the moment you enter your eye ranges over the whole of it. Around its borders are plane-trees clothed with ivy, and so while the foliage at the top belongs to the trees themselves, that on the lower parts belongs to the ivy, which creeps along the trunk and branches, and spreading across to the neighbouring trees, joins them together. Between the plane-trees are box shrubs, and on the farther side of the shrubs is a ring of laurels which mingle their shade with that of the plane-trees. At the far end, the straight boundary of the riding-course is curved into semi-circular form, which quite changes its appearance. It is enclosed and covered with cypress-trees, the deeper shade of which makes it darker and gloomier than at the sides, but the inner circles - for there are more than one - are quite open to the sunshine. Even roses grow there, and the warmth of the sun is delightful as a change from the cool of the shade. When you come to the end of these various winding alleys, the boundary again runs straight, or should I say boundaries, for there are a number of paths with box shrubs between them. In places there are grass plots intervening, in others box shrubs, which are trimmed to a great variety of patterns, some of them being cut into letters forming my name as owner and that of the gardener. Here and there are small pyramids and apple-trees, and now and then in the midst of all this graceful artificial work you suddenly come upon what looks like a real bit of the country planted there. The intervening space is beautified on both sides with dwarf plane-trees; beyond these is the acanthus-tree that is supple and flexible to the hand, and there are more boxwood figures and names. At the upper end is a couch of white marble covered with a vine, the latter being supported by four small pillars of Carystian marble. Jets of water flow from the couch through small pipes and look as if they were forced out by the weight of persons reclining thereon, and the water is caught in a stone cistern and then retained in a graceful marble basin, regulated by pipes out of sight, so that the basin, while always full, never overflows. The heavier dishes and plates are placed at the side of the basin when I dine there, but the lighter ones, formed into the shapes of little boats and birds, float on the surface and travel round and round. Facing this is a fountain which receives back the water it expels, for the water is thrown up to a considerable height and then falls down again, and the pipes that perform the two processes are connected. Directly opposite the couch is a bed-chamber, and each lends a grace to the other. It is formed of glistening marble, and through the projecting folding doors you pass at once among the foliage, while both from the upper and lower windows you look out upon the same green picture. Within is a little cabinet which seems to belong at once to the same and yet another bed-chamber. This contains a bed and it has windows on every side, yet the shade is so thick outside that very little light enters, for a wonderfully luxuriant vine has climbed up to the roof and covers the whole building. You can fancy you are in a grove as you lie there, only that you do not feel the rain as you do among trees. Here too a fountain rises and immediately loses itself underground. There are a number of marble chairs placed up and down, which are as restful for persons tired with walking as the bed-chamber itself. Near these chairs are little fountains, and throughout the whole riding-course you hear the murmur of tiny streams carried through pipes, which run wherever you please to direct them. These are used to water the shrubs, sometimes in one part, sometimes in another, and at other times all are watered together. I should long since have been afraid of boring you, had I not set out in this letter to take you with me round every corner of my estate. For I am not at all apprehensive that you will find it tedious to read about a place which certainly would not tire you to look at, especially as you can get a little rest whenever you desire, and can sit down, so to speak, by laying down the letter. Moreover, I have been indulging my affection for the place, for I am greatly attached to anything that is mainly the work of my own hands or that someone else has begun and I have taken up. In short - for there is no reason is there? why I should not be frank with you, whether my judgments are sound or unsound - I consider that it is the first duty of a writer to select the title of his work and constantly ask himself what he has begun to write about. He may be sure that so long as he keeps to his subject-matter he will not be tedious, but that he will bore his readers to distraction if he starts dragging in extraneous matter to make weight. Observe the length with which Homer describes the arms of Achilles, and Virgil the arms of Aeneas - yet in both cases the description seems short, because the author only carries out what he intended to. Observe how Aratus hunts up and brings together even the tiniest stars - yet he does not exceed due limits. For his description is not an excursus, but the end and aim of the whole work. It is the same with myself, if I may compare my lowly efforts with their great ones. I have been trying to give you a bird's eye view of the whole of my villa, and if I have introduced no extraneous matter and have never wandered off my subject, it is not the letter containing the description which is to be considered of excessive size, but rather the villa which has been described. However, let me get back to the point I started from, lest I give you an opportunity of justly condemning me by my own law, by not pursuing this digression any farther. I have explained to you why I prefer my Tuscan house to my other places at Tusculum, Tibur and Praeneste. For in addition to all the beauties I have described above, my repose here is more profound and more comfortable, and therefore all the freer from anxiety. There is no necessity to don the toga, no neighbour ever calls to drag me out; everything is placid and quiet; and this peace adds to the healthiness of the place, by giving it, so to speak, a purer sky and a more liquid air. I enjoy better health both in mind and body here than anywhere else, for I exercise the former by study and the latter by hunting. Besides, there is no place where my household keep in better trim, and up to the present I have not lost a single one of all whom I brought with me. I hope Heaven will forgive the boast, and that the gods will continue my happiness to me and preserve this place in all its beauty. Farewell. 6.16. To Tacitus. You ask me to send you an account of my uncle's death, so that you may be able to give posterity an accurate description of it. I am much obliged to you, for I can see that the immortality of his fame is well assured, if you take in hand to write of it. For although he perished in a disaster which devastated some of the fairest regions of the land, and though he is sure of eternal remembrance like the peoples and cities that fell with him in that memorable calamity, though too he had written a large number of works of lasting value, yet the undying fame of which your writings are assured will secure for his a still further lease of life. For my own part, I think that those people are highly favoured by Providence who are capable either of performing deeds worthy of the historian's pen or of writing histories worthy of being read, but that they are peculiarly favoured who can do both. Among the latter I may class my uncle, thanks to his own writings and to yours. So I am all the more ready to fulfil your injunctions, nay, I am even prepared to beg to be allowed to undertake them. My uncle was stationed at Misenum, where he was in active command of the fleet, with full powers. On the 24th of August *, about the seventh hour, my mother drew his attention to the fact that a cloud of unusual size and shape had made its appearance. He had been out in the sun, followed by a cold bath, and after a light meal he was lying down and reading. Yet he called for his sandals, and climbed up to a spot from which he could command a good view of the curious phenomenon. Those who were looking at the cloud from some distance could not make out from which mountain it was rising - it was afterwards discovered to have been Mount Vesuvius - but in likeness and form it more closely resembled a pine-tree than anything else, for what corresponded to the trunk was of great length and height, and then spread out into a number of branches, the reason being, I imagine, that while the vapour was fresh, the cloud was borne upwards, but when the vapour became wasted, it lost its motion, or even became dissipated by its own weight, and spread out laterally. At times it looked white, and at other times dirty and spotted, according to the quantity of earth and cinders that were shot up. To a man of my uncle's learning, the phenomenon appeared one of great importance, which deserved a closer study. He ordered a Liburnian galley to be got ready, and offered to take me with him, if I desired to accompany him, but I replied that I preferred to go on with my studies, and it so happened that he had assigned me some writing to do. He was just leaving the house when he received a written message from Rectina, the wife of Tascus, who was terrified at the peril threatening her - for her villa lay just beneath the mountain, and there were no means of escape save by shipboard - begging him to save her from her perilous position. So he changed his plans, and carried out with the greatest fortitude the task, which he had started as a scholarly inquiry. He had the galleys launched and went on board himself, in the hope of succouring, not only Rectina, but many others, for there were a number of people living along the shore owing to its delightful situation. He hastened, therefore, towards the place whence others were fleeing, and steering a direct course, kept the helm straight for the point of danger, so utterly devoid of fear that every movement of the looming portent and every change in its appearance he described and had noted down by his secretary, as soon as his eyes detected it. Already ashes were beginning to fall upon the ships, hotter and in thicker showers as they approached more nearly, with pumice-stones and black flints, charred and cracked by the heat of the flames, while their way was barred by the sudden shoaling of the sea bottom and the litter of the mountain on the shore. He hesitated for a moment whether to turn back, and then, when the helmsman warned him to do so, he exclaimed, "Fortune favours the bold ; try to reach Pomponianus." The latter was at Stabiae, separated by the whole width of the bay, for the sea there pours in upon a gently rounded and curving shore. Although the danger was not yet close upon him, it was none the less clearly seen, and it travelled quickly as it came nearer, so Pomponianus had got his baggage together on shipboard, and had determined upon flight, and was waiting for the wind which was blowing on shore to fall. My uncle sailed in with the wind fair behind him, and embraced Pomponianus, who was in a state of fright, comforting and cheering him at the same time. Then in order to calm his friend's fears by showing how composed he was himself, he ordered the servants to carry him to the bath, and, after his ablutions, he sat down and had dinner in the best of spirits, or with that assumption of good spirits which is quite as remarkable as the reality. In the meantime broad sheets of flame, which rose high in the air, were breaking out in a number of places on Mount Vesuvius and lighting up the sky, and the glare and brightness seemed all the more striking owing to the darkness of the night. My uncle, in order to allay the fear of his companions, kept declaring that the country people in their terror had left their fires burning, and that the conflagration they saw arose from the blazing and empty villas. Then he betook himself to rest and enjoyed a very deep sleep, for his breathing, which, owing to his bulk, was rather heavy and loud, was heard by those who were waiting at the door of his chamber. But by this time the courtyard leading to the room he occupied was so full of ashes and pumice-stones mingled together, and covered to such a depth, that if he had delayed any longer in the bedchamber there would have been no means of escape. So my uncle was aroused, and came out and joined Pomponianus and the rest who had been keeping watch. They held a consultation whether they should remain indoors or wander forth in the open; for the buildings were beginning to shake with the repeated and intensely severe shocks of earthquake, and seemed to be rocking to and fro as though they had been torn from their foundations. Outside again there was danger to be apprehended from the pumice-stones, though these were light and nearly burnt through, and thus, after weighing the two perils, the latter course was determined upon. With my uncle it was a choice of reasons which prevailed, with the rest a choice of fears. They placed pillows on their heads and secured them with cloths, as a precaution against the falling bodies. Elsewhere the day had dawned by this time, but there it was still night, and the darkness was blacker and thicker than any ordinary night. This, however, they relieved as best they could by a number of torches and other kinds of lights. They decided to make their way to the shore, and to see from the nearest point whether the sea would enable them to put out, but it was still running high and contrary. A sheet was spread on the ground, and on this my uncle lay, and twice he called for a draught of cold water, which he drank. Then the flames, and the smell of sulphur which gave warning of them, scattered the others in flight and roused him. Leaning on two slaves, he rose to his feet and immediately fell down again, owing, as I think, to his breathing being obstructed by the thickness of the fumes and congestion of the stomach, that organ being naturally weak and narrow, and subject to inflammation. When daylight returned - two days after the last day he had seen - his body was found untouched, uninjured, and covered, dressed just as he had been in life. The corpse suggested a person asleep rather than a dead man. Meanwhile my mother and I were at Misenum. But that is of no consequence for the purposes of history, nor indeed did you express a wish to be told of anything except of my uncle's death. So I will say no more, except to add that I have given you a full account both of the incidents which I myself witnessed and of those narrated to me immediately afterwards, when, as a rule, one gets the truest account of what has happened. You will pick out what you think will answer your purpose best, for to write a letter is a different thing from writing a history, and to write to a friend is not like writing to all and sundry. Farewell. 6.31. To Cornelianus. I was greatly delighted when our Emperor sent for me to Centum Cellae - for that is the name of the place - to act as a member of his Council. For what could be more gratifying than to be privileged to witness the justice, dignity, and charming manners of the Emperor in his country retreat, where he allows these qualities the freest play? There were a variety of cases to be heard, and they were of a kind to bring out the virtues of the judge in different ways and forms. Claudius Aristo, the leading citizen at Ephesus, a man of great generosity, and who had won popularity by innocent means, pleaded his own case. His popularity had made people envious of him, and some of his enemies, who were utterly unlike him in character, had suborned a man to lay information against him. So he was acquitted, and his reputation vindicated. On the following day was taken the case of Galitta, who was accused of adultery. She was the wife of a military tribune, who was about to stand for public office, and she had compromised her own reputation and her husband's by intriguing with a centurion. The husband had reported the matter to the consular legate, and the latter had reported it to Caesar. After carefully examining the proofs, the Emperor degraded the centurion, and even banished him. Still the punishment was not complete, for adultery is an offence in which two perils are necessarily concerned, but the husband's affection for his wife, whom he allowed to remain in his house even I after discovering her adultery - content as it were to have trot his rival out of the way - led him to delay the prosecution, in spite of the scandal to which his forbearance gave rise. He was summoned to carry the charge through, and did so against his will. However, it was necessary that she should be condemned, even though her accuser did not wish her to be, and she was declared guilty, and sentenced to the punishment inflicted by the Julian Law. * Caesar affixed to the sentence both the name of the centurion and a statement of the rules of military discipline on the point, lest people should think that he reserved the right to hear all such cases himself. On the third day began the inquiry into the will of Julius Tiro, a case which had been greatly talked about, and had given rise to conflicting reports, inasmuch as it was known that the will was genuine in part, and in part a forgery. The accused were Sempronius Senecio, a Roman knight, and Eurythmus, one of Caesar's freedmen and agents. When the Emperor was in Dacia, the heirs had written a joint letter, asking him to undertake an inquiry into the will, and he had consented. On his return he appointed a day, and when some of the heirs were in favour of letting the accusation drop, as though out of consideration for Eurythmus, he very finely said, "Eurythmus is not Polyclitus, and I am not Nero." ** Yet at their request he favoured them with a postponement, and when the day had at length arrived, he took his seat to hear the case. On the side of the heirs only two put in an appearance, and they demanded that as all had joined in the accusation, they should all be forced to go on with the action, or else that they too should be allowed to withdraw. Caesar spoke with great gravity and moderation, and when the advocate for Senecio and Eurythmus remarked that the accused would be left open to suspicion unless they were heard in their own behalf, he said, "I don't care whether they are left open to suspicion or not, I certainly am myself." Then turning to us, he said You see in what a strictly honourable and arduous manner we spent our days, though they were followed by the most agreeable relaxations. Every day we were summoned to dine with the Emperor, and modest dinners they were for one of his imperial position. Sometimes we listened to entertainers, sometimes we had delightful conversations lasting far into the night. On the last day, just as we were setting out, Caesar sent us parting presents, such is his thoughtfulness and courtesy. As for myself, I delighted in the importance of the cases heard, in the honour of being summoned to the Council, and in the charm and simplicity of his mode of life, while I was equally pleased with the place itself. The villa, which is exquisitely beautiful, is surrounded by meadows of the richest green; it abuts on the sea-shore, in the bight of which a harbour is being hastily formed, the left arm having been strengthened by masonry of great solidity, while the right is now in course of construction. In the mouth of the harbour an island rises out of the sea, which by its position breaks the force of the waves that are carried in by the wind, and affords a safe passage to ships on either side. The island has been artificially constructed, and is not a natural formation, for a broad barge brings up a number of immense stones, which are thrown into the water, one on top of the other, and these are kept in position by their own weight, and gradually become built up into a sort of breakwater. The ridge of stones already overtops the surface, and when the waves strike upon it, it breaks them into spray and throws them to a great height. That causes a loud-resounding roar, and the sea all round is white with foam. Subsequently concrete will be added to the stones, to give it the appearance of a natural island as time goes on. This harbour will be called - and indeed it already is called - after the name of its constructor, and it will prove a haven of the greatest value, inasmuch as there is a long stretch of shore which has no harbour, and the sailors will use this as a place of refuge. Farewell. 0 7.17. To Celer. Every author has his own reasons for giving recitals; mine, as I have often said before, is that I may discover any slip I may have made, and I certainly do make them. So I am surprised when you say that some people have found fault with me for giving recitals of speeches at all, unless, indeed, they think that speeches are the only kind of composition which requires no emendations. I should be very glad if they were to tell me why they allow - if they do allow it - that history is a proper subject for recitation, seeing that history is written not for display but in the interests of strict truth, or why they should consider a tragedy a fit subject, seeing that it requires not an audience room but a stage and actors, or lyric verses, which need not a reader but the accompaniment of a chorus and a lyre. Perhaps they will say that long established custom sanctions the practice. Then is the originator of it to be blamed ? Besides, not only our own countrymen but the Greeks as well have constantly read speeches. But, they say, it is a waste of time to give a reading of a speech which has already been delivered. So it would be if the speech remained identically the same, and you read it to the same audience and immediately after its delivery; but if you make a number of additions, if you recast numerous passages, if you have a new audience, or if the audience be the same and yet a considerable time has elapsed, why should one hesitate more about giving a reading of an already delivered speech than about publishing it ? It may be argued that it is difficult to make a speech convincing when it is read. True, but that is a point connected with the difficulty of reciting, and has no bearing on the argument that a speech should not be read at all. For my own part I desire applause, not when I am reciting but when other people are reading my book, and that is why I let no opportunity of emending a passage escape me. In the first place, I go carefully over what I have written again and again; then I read it to two or three friends; subsequently I pass it on to others to make marginal criticisms, and, if I am in doubt, I once more call in a friend or two to help me in weighing their value. Last of all, I read it to a large audience, and it is then, if you can credit the statement, that I make the severest corrections, because the greater my anxiety to please, the more diligent I am in application. But the best judges of all are modesty, respect, and awe. Consider the matter in this light. If you are going to enter into conversation with some one person, however learned he may be, are you not less flurried than you would be if you were entering into conversation with a number of people or with persons who know nothing ? Is not your diffidence the greatest just at the moment when you rise to plead, and is it not then that you wish not only a large part of your speech but the whole of it were cast in a different mould ? Especially is this the case if the scene of the encounter is a spacious one and there is a dense ring of spectators, for we feel nervous even of the meanest and commonest folk who crowd there. If you think your opening points are badly received, does it not weaken your nerve and make you feel like collapse? I fancy so, the reason being that there exists a considerable weight of sound opinion in mere numbers simply, and though, if you take them individually, their judgment is worth next to nothing, taken collectively, it is worth a great deal. Hence it was that Pomponius Secundus, who used to write tragedies, was in the habit of exclaiming, " I appeal to the people," whenever he thought that a passage should be retained, which some one of his intimate friends considered had better be expunged, and so he either stuck to his own opinion or followed that of his friend, according as the people received the passage in silence or greeted it with applause. Such was the high estimate he formed of the popular judgment; whether rightly or wrongly does not affect me. For my custom is to call in, not the people, but a few carefully selected friends, whose judgment I respect and have confidence in, and whose faces I can watch individually, yet who are numerous enough collectively to put me in some awe. For I think that although Marcus Cicero says, "Composition is the keenest critic in the world," * this applies even more to the fear of speaking in public. The very fact that we keep thinking we are going to give a reading sharpens our critical taste, so too does our entry into the audience-hall, so too do our pale looks, anxious tremors, and our glances from side to side. Hence I am far from repenting of my practice, which I find of the greatest value to me, and so far am I from being deterred by the idle talk of my critics that I beg of you to point out to me some additional method of criticism in addition to those I have enumerated. For though I take great pains I never seem to take enough. I keep thinking what a serious matter it is to place anything in the hands of the public for them to read, nor can I persuade myself that' any work of mine, which you are always anxious should get a welcome everywhere, does not stand in need of constant revision by myself and a number of my friends. Farewell. 7.33. To Tacitus. I venture to prophesy - and I know my prognostics are right - that your histories will be immortal, and that, I frankly confess, makes me the more anxious to figure in them. For if it is quite an ordinary thing for us to take care to secure the best painter to paint our portrait, ought we not also to be desirous of getting an author and historian of your calibre to describe our deeds ? That is why though it could hardly escape your careful eye, as it is to be found in the public records - I bring the following incident before your notice, and I do so in order to assure you how pleased I shall be, if you will lend your powers of description and the weight of your testimony to setting forth the way I behaved on an occasion when I reaped credit, owing to the dangers to which I exposed myself. The senate had appointed me to act with Herennius Senecio on behalf of the province of Baetica in the prosecution of Baebius Massa, * and, when Massa had been sentenced, it decreed that his property should be placed under public custody. Senecio came to me, after finding out that the consuls would be at liberty to hear petitions, and said My conduct on this occasion, whatever its worth may have been, will be made even more famous, more distinguished, and more noble if you describe it, although I do not ask of you to go beyond the strict letter of what actually occurred. For history ought never to transgress against truth, and an honourable action wants nothing more than to be faithfully recorded. Farewell. %%% 9.27. To Paternus. I have often felt the dignity, the majesty, and, in a word, the divine splendour of history, and quite lately I had another proof thereof. A certain person had given a reading of a book, which he had compiled with the greatest devotion to truth, and he had reserved part of it for another day. When lo and behold! the friends of a certain other party begged and implored him not to read the remainder; such was the shame they felt at hearing a recital of their deeds, though they had felt none at committing actions which they blushed to hear spoken of. He granted their request, as he was perfectly entitled to do. But the book remains just as it was written, and will remain so, and it will always find readers, the more so because it was not immediately published, inasmuch as delay only sharpens the curiosity of men to know. Farewell.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
allusion Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 30, 37, 42
augustan poetry book Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 30, 37
augustus (emperor) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
biography Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 30, 37, 42
brevity Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
caninius rufus Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
cataclysmic change, pliny the younger and vesuvius Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48, 49
celts Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
chrysippus Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48
cicero, corresponded with posidonius Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48
cicero Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 143
cluvius rufus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 143
comet marks caesars, assassination (sidus iulium) Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 49
comum Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
cornelius nepos Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 143
dead sea Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 258
dicaearchus Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48
domitius corbulo, c. Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
epistolary exchange, definitions of Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 30
etruscan culture Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48
exile Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
fictionalising strategies Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37, 42
gallia narbonensis Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
genre Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
germania Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
golden age, in posidonius Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48
intertextuality Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 30, 42
judea Bloch, Ancient Jewish Diaspora: Essays on Hellenism (2022) 258
julius caesar, apotheosis of Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 49
julius caesar, assassination heralds a new saeculum Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 49
julius caesar Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 144
livy Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 144
ludi saeculares Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 49
memoirs, augustus Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 49
meta-literariness Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
metakosmesis, never seen as imminent by stoics Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48
metakosmesis Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48, 49
misenum Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 144; Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
nero (emperor) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
ovid Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 10; Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
philosophy, greek, in rome Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48, 49
plinia Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
pliny the younger, and the eruption of vesuvius Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48, 49
pliny the younger Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 143, 144; Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1; Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 30, 37, 42
posidonius Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48
realism Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
rhetoric Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
septicius clarus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 143
style Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 37
suetonius Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 144
tacitus Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 10, 143
tarraconensis Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
tiberius Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 10
titus (emperor) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
verginius Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 143
vespasian (emperor) Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
vesuvius, mt. Roller, A Guide to the Geography of Pliny the Elder (2022) 1
vesuvius Baumann and Liotsakis, Reading History in the Roman Empire (2022) 143; Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 48, 49
villa description' Soldo and Jackson, ›Res vera, res ficta‹: Fictionality in Ancient Epistolography (2023) 30
vulcanius (or vulcatius) Hay, Saeculum: Defining Historical Eras in Ancient Roman Thought (2023) 49