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4 results for "pliny"
1. Pliny The Younger, Letters, 1.3, 1.9-1.10, 2.11, 3.1, 3.9, 3.14, 5.7, 6.16, 6.33, 7.24, 8.2, 8.15, 8.21, 9.20, 9.23 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •pliny, epistulae Found in books: Hanghan (2019) 28, 37, 71, 74, 77, 87, 162; Hitch (2017) 28, 37, 71, 74, 77, 87, 162
1.3. To Caninius Rufus. How is Comum looking, your darling spot and mine? And that most charming villa of yours, what of it, and its portico where it is always spring, its shady clumps of plane trees, its fresh crystal canal, and the lake below that gives such a charming view? How is the exercise ground, so soft yet firm to the foot; how goes the bath that gets the sun's rays so plentifully as he journeys round it? What too of the big banqueting halls and the little rooms just for a few, and the retiring rooms for night and day? Have they full possession of you, and do they share your company in turn? or are you, as usual, continually being called away to attend to private family business? You are indeed a lucky man if you can spend all your leisure there; if you cannot, your case is that of most of us. But really it is time that you passed on your unimportant and petty duties for others to look after, and buried yourself among your books in that secluded yet beautiful retreat. Make this at once the business and the leisure of your life, your occupation and your rest; let your waking hours be spent among your books, and your hours of sleep as well. Mould something, hammer out something that shall be known as yours for all time. Your other property will find a succession of heirs when you are gone; what I speak of will continue yours for ever - if once it begins to be. I know the capacity and inventive wit that I am spurring on. You have only to think of yourself as the able man others will think you when you have realised your ability. Farewell. 1.9. To Minucius Fundanus. It is surprising how if you take each day singly here in the city you pass or seem to pass your time reasonably enough when you take stock thereof, but how, when you put the days together, you are dissatisfied with yourself. If you ask any one, "What have you been doing to-day?" he will say, "Oh, I have been attending a coming-of-age function; I was at a betrothal or a wedding; so-and-so asked me to witness the signing of a will; I have been acting as witness to A, or I have been in consultation with B." All these occupations appear of paramount importance on the day in question, but if you remember that you repeat the round day after day, they seem a sheer waste of time, especially when you have got away from them into the country; for then the thought occurs to you, "What a number of days I have frittered away in these chilly formalities!" That is how I feel when I am at my Laurentine Villa and busy reading or writing, or even when I am giving my body a thorough rest and so repairing the pillars of my mind. I hear nothing and say nothing to give me vexation; no one comes backbiting a third party, and I myself have no fault to find with anyone except it be with myself when my pen does not run to my liking. I have no hopes and fears to worry me, no rumours to disturb my rest. I hold converse with myself and with my books. It is a genuine and honest life; such leisure is delicious and honourable, and one might say that it is much more attractive than any business. The sea, the shore, these are the true secret haunts of the Muses, and how many inspirations they give me, how they prompt my musings! Do, I beg of you, as soon as ever you can, turn your back on the din, the idle chatter, and the frivolous occupations of Rome, and give yourself up to study or recreation. It is better, as our friend Attilius once very wittily and very truly said, to have no occupation than to be occupied with nothingness. Farewell. 1.10. To Attius Clemens. If ever there was a time when this Rome of ours was devoted to learning, it is now. There are many shining lights, of whom it will be enough to mention but one. I refer to Euphrates the philosopher. * I saw a great deal of him, even in the privacy of his home life, during my young soldiering days in Syria, and I did my best to win his affection, though that was not a hard task, for he is ever easy of access, frank, and full of the humanities that he teaches. I only wish that I had been as successful in fulfilling the hopes he then formed of me as he has been increasing his large stock of virtues, though possibly it is I who now admire them the more because I can appreciate them the better. Even now my appreciation is not as complete as it might be. It is only an artist who can thoroughly judge another painter, sculptor, or image-maker, and so too it needs a philosopher to estimate another philosopher at his full merit. But so far as I can judge, Euphrates has many qualities so conspicuously brilliant that they arrest the eyes and attention even of those who have but modest pretensions to learning. His reasoning is acute, weighty, and elegant, often attaining to the breadth and loftiness that we find in Plato. His conversation flows in a copious yet varied stream, strikingly pleasant to the ear, and with a charm that seizes and carries away even the reluctant hearer. Add to this a tall, commanding presence, a handsome face, long flowing hair, a streaming white beard - all of which may be thought accidental adjuncts and without significance, but they do wonderfully increase the veneration he inspires. There is no studied negligence in his dress, it is severely plain but not austere; when you meet him you revere him without shrinking away in awe. His life is purity itself, but he is just as genial; his lash is not for men but for their vices; for the erring he has gentle words of correction rather than sharp rebuke. When he gives advice you cannot help listening in rapt attention, and you hope he will go on persuading you even when the persuasion is complete. He has three children, two of them sons, whom he has brought up with the strictest care. His father-in-law is Pompeius Julianus, a man of great distinction, but whose chief title to fame is that though, as ruler of a province, he might have chosen a son-in-law of the highest social rank, he preferred one who was distinguished not for social dignities but for wisdom. Yet why describe at greater length a man whose society I can no longer enjoy? Is it to make myself feel my loss the more? For my time is all taken up by the duties of an office - important, no doubt, but tedious in the extreme. I sit on the magistrates' bench; I countersign petitions, I make out the public accounts; I write hosts of letters, but what unliterary productions they are! ** Sometimes - but how seldom I get the opportunity - I complain to Euphrates about these uncongenial duties. He consoles me and even assures me that there is no more noble part in the whole of philosophy than to be a public official, to hear cases, pass judgment, explain the laws and administer justice, and so practise in short what the philosophers do but teach. But he never can persuade me of this, that it is better to be busy as I am than to spend whole days in listening to and acquiring knowledge from him. That makes me the readier to urge you, whose time is your own, to let him put a finish and polish upon you when you come to town, and I hope you will come all the sooner on that account. I am not one of those - and there are many of them - who grudge to others the happiness they are debarred from themselves; on the contrary, I feel a very lively sense of pleasure in seeing my friends abounding in joys that are denied to me. Farewell. 0 2.11. To Arrianus. I know you are always delighted when the senate behaves in a way befitting its rank, for though your love of peace and quiet has caused you to withdraw from Rome, your anxiety that public life should be kept at a high level is as strong as it ever was. So let me tell you what has been going on during the last few days. The proceedings are memorable owing to the commanding position of the person most concerned; they will have a healthy influence because of the sharp lesson that has been administered; and the importance of the case will make them famous for all time. Marius Priscus, on being accused by the people of Africa, whom he had governed as proconsul, declined to defend himself before the senate and asked to have judges assigned to hear the case. * Cornelius Tacitus and myself were instructed to appear for the provincials, and we came to the conclusion that we were bound in honesty to our clients to notify the senate that the charges of inhumanity and cruelty brought against Priscus were too serious to be heard by a panel of judges, inasmuch as he was accused of having received bribes to condemn and even put to death innocent persons. Fronto Catius spoke in reply, and urged that the prosecution should be confined within the law dealing with extortion Well, the witnesses who were summoned came to Rome, viz., Vitellius Honoratus and Flavius Martianus. Honoratus was charged with having bribed Priscus to the tune of three hundred thousand sesterces to exile a Roman knight and put seven of his friends to death; Martianus was accused of having given Priscus seven hundred thousand sesterces to sentence a single Roman knight to still more grievous punishment, for he was beaten with rods, condemned to the mines, and then strangled in prison. Honoratus - luckily for him - escaped the investigation of the senate by dying; Martianus was brought before them when Priscus was not present. Consequently Tuccius Cerealis, a man of consular rank, pleaded senatorial privileges and demanded that Priscus should be informed of the attendance of Martianus, either because he thought that Priscus by being present would have a better chance of awakening the compassion of the senate or to increase the feeling against him, or possibly, and I think this was his real motive, because strict justice demanded that both should defend themselves against a charge that affected them both, and that both should be punished if they could not rebut the accusation. The subject was postponed to the next meeting of the senate, and a very august assembly it was. The Emperor presided in his capacity as consul; besides, the month of January brings crowds of people to Rome and especially senators, † and moreover the importance of the case, the great notoriety it had obtained, which had been increased by the delays that had taken place, and the ingrained curiosity of all men to get to know all the details of an unusually important matter, had made everybody flock to Rome from all quarters. You can imagine how nervous and anxious we were in having to speak in such a gathering and in the presence of the Emperor on such an important case. It was not the first time that I had pleaded in the senate, and there is nowhere where I get a more sympathetic hearing, but then the novelty of the whole position seemed to afflict me with a feeling of nervousness I had never felt before. For in addition to all that I have mentioned above I kept thinking of the difficulties of the case and was oppressed by the feeling that Priscus, the defendant, had once held consular rank and been one of the seven regulators of the sacred feasts, and was now deprived of both these dignities. † So I found it a very trying task to accuse a man on whom sentence had already been passed, for though the shocking offences with which he was charged weighed heavily against him, he yet was protected to a certain extent by the commiseration felt for a man already condemned to punishment that one might have thought final. However, as soon as I had pulled myself together and collected my thoughts, I began my address, and though I was nervous I was on the best of terms with my audience. I spoke for nearly five hours, for, in addition to the twelve water-clocks - the largest I could get - which had been assigned to me, I obtained four others. And, as matters turned out, everything that I thought before speaking would have proved an obstacle in the way of a good speech really helped me during my address. As for the Emperor, he showed me such kind attention and consideration - for it would be too much to call it anxiety on my behalf - that he frequently nodded to my freedman, who was standing just behind me, to give me a hint not to overtax my voice and lungs, when he thought that I was throwing myself too ardently into my pleading and imposing too great a burden on my slender frame. Claudius Marcellinus answered me on behalf of Martianus, and then the senate was dismissed and met again on the following day. For there was no time to begin a fresh speech, as it would have had to be broken off by the fall of night. On the following day, Salvius Liberalis, a man of shrewd wit, careful in the arrangement of his speeches, with a pointed style and a fund of learning, spoke for Marius, and in his speech he certainly brought out all he knew. Cornelius Tacitus replied to him in a wonderfully eloquent address, characterised by that lofty dignity which is the chief charm of his oratory. Then Fronto Catius made another excellent speech on Marius's behalf, and he spent more time in appeals for mercy than in rebutting evidence, as befitted the part of the case that he had then to deal with. The fall of night terminated his speech but did not break it off altogether, and so the proceedings lasted over into the third day. This was quite fine and just like it used to be for the senate to be interrupted by nightfall, and for the members to be called and sit for three days running. Cornutus Tertullus, the consul-designate, a man of high character and a devoted champion of justice, gave as his opinion that the seven hundred thousand sesterces which Marius had received should be confiscated to the Treasury, that Marius should be banished from Rome and Italy, and that Martianus should be banished from Rome, Italy, and Africa. Towards the conclusion of his speech he added the remark that the senate considered that, since Tacitus and myself, who had been summoned to plead for the provincials, had fulfilled our duties with diligence and fearlessness, we had acted in a manner worthy of the commission entrusted to us. The consuls-designate agreed, and all the consulars did likewise, until it was Pompeius Collega's turn to speak. He proposed that the seven hundred thousand sesterces received by Marius should be confiscated to the Treasury, that Martianus should be banished ‡ for five years, and that Marius should suffer no further penalty than that for extortion - which had already been passed upon him. Opinion was largely divided, and there was possibly a majority in favour of the latter proposal, which was the more lenient or less severe of the two, for even some of those who appeared to have supported Cornutus changed sides and were ready to vote for Collega, who had spoken after them. But when the House divided, those who stood near the seats of the consuls began to cross over to the side of Cornutus. Then those who were allowing themselves to be counted as supporters of Collega also crossed over, and Collega was left with a mere handful. He complained bitterly afterwards of those who had led him to make the proposal he did, especially of Regulus, who had failed to support him in the proposal that he himself had suggested. But Regulus is a fickle fellow, rash to a degree, yet a great coward as well. Such was the close of this most important investigation; but there is still another bit of public business on hand of some consequence, for Hostilius Firminus, the legate of Marius Priscus, who was implicated in the matter, had received a very rough handling. It was proved by the accounts of Martianus and a speech he made in the Council of the Town of Leptis that he had engaged with Priscus in a very shady transaction, that he had bargained to receive from Martianus 50,000 denarii and had received in addition ten million sesterces under the head of perfume money - a most disgraceful thing for a soldier, but one which was not at all inconsistent with his character as a man with well-trimmed hair and polished skin. It was agreed on the motion of Cornutus that the case should be investigated at the next meeting of the senate, but at that meeting he did not put in an appearance, either from some accidental reason or because he knew he was guilty. Well, I have told you the news of Rome, you must write and tell me the news of the country. How are your shrubs getting on, your vines and your crops, and those dainty sheep of yours? In short, unless you send me as long a letter I am sending you, you mustn't expect anything more than the scrappiest note from me in the future. Farewell. 3.1. To Calvisius. I don't think I ever spent a more delightful time than during my recent visit at Spurinna's house; indeed, I enjoyed myself so much that, if it is my fortune to grow old, there is no one whom I should prefer to take as my model in old age, as there is nothing more methodical than that time of life. Personally, I like to see men map out their lives with the regularity of the fixed courses of the stars, and especially old men. For while one is young a little disorder and rush, so to speak, is not unbecoming; but for old folks, whose days of exertion are past and in whom personal ambition is disgraceful, a placid and well-ordered life is highly suitable. That is the principle upon which Spurinna acts most religiously; even trifles, or what would be trifles were they not of daily occurrence, he goes through in fixed order and, as it were, orbit. In the morning he keeps his couch; at the second hour he calls for his shoes and walks three miles, exercising mind as well as body. If he has friends with him the time is passed in conversation on the noblest of themes, otherwise a book is read aloud, and sometimes this is done even when his friends are present, but never in such a way as to bore them. Then he sits down, and there is more reading aloud or more talk for preference; afterwards he enters his carriage, taking with him either his wife, who is a model lady, or one of his friends, a distinction I recently enjoyed. How delightful, how charming that privacy is! What glimpses of old times one gets! What noble deeds and noble men he tells you of! What lessons you drink in! Yet at the same time it is his custom so to blend his learning with modesty that he never seems to be playing the schoolmaster. After riding seven miles he walks another mile, then he again resumes his seat or betakes himself to his room and his pen. For he composes, both in Latin and Greek, the most scholarly lyrics. They have a wonderful grace, wonderful sweetness, and wonderful humour, and the chastity of the writer enhances its charm. When he is told that the bathing hour has come - which is the ninth hour in winter and the eighth in summer - he takes a walk naked in the sun, if there is no wind. Then he plays at ball for a long spell, throwing himself heartily into the game, for it is by means of this kind of active exercise that he battles with old age. After his bath he lies down and waits a little while before taking food, listening in the meantime to the reading of some light and pleasant book. All this time his friends are at perfect liberty to imitate his example or do anything else they prefer. Then dinner is served, the table being as bright as it is modest, and the silver plain and old-fashioned; he also has some Corinthian vases in use, for which he has a taste though not a mania. The dinner is often relieved by actors of comedy, * so that the pleasures of the table may have a seasoning of letters. Even in the summer the meal lasts well into the night, but no one finds it long, for it is kept up with such good humour and charm. The consequence is that, though he has passed his seventy-seventh year, his hearing and eyesight are as good as ever, his body is still active and alert, and the only symptom of his age is his wisdom. This is the sort of life that I have vowed and determined to follow, and I shall enter upon it with zest as soon as my age justifies me in beating a retreat. Meanwhile, I am distracted with a thousand things to attend to, and my only solace therein is the example of Spurinna again, for he undertook official duties, held magistracies, and governed provinces as long as it became him to do so, and earned his present leisure by abundant toil. That is why I set myself the same race to run and the same goal to attain, and I now register the vow and place it in your hands, so that, if ever you see me being carried beyond the mark, you may bring me to book, quote this letter of mine against me and order me to take my ease, so soon as I shall have made it impossible for people to charge me with laziness. Farewell. 3.9. To Cornelius Minicianus. I can now give you a full account of the enormous trouble entailed upon me in the public trial brought by the Province of Baetica. It was a complicated suit, and new issues kept constantly cropping up. Why this variety, and why these different pleadings? you well ask. Well, Caecilius Classicus - a low rascal who carries his villainy in his face - had during his proconsulship in Baetica, in the same year that Marius Priscus was Governor of Africa, behaved both with violence and rapacity. Now, Priscus came from Baetica and Classicus from Africa, and so there was a rather good saying among the people of Baetica, for even resentment often inspires wit I was acting for the Province, assisted by Lucceius Albinus, an eloquent and ornate speaker, and though we have long been on terms of the closest regard for one another, our association in this suit has made me feel vastly more attached to him. As a rule, and especially in oratorical efforts, people do not run well in double harness in their striving for glory, but he and I were not in any sense rivals and there was no jealousy between us, as we both did our level best, not for our own hand, but for the common cause, which was of such a serious character and of such public importance that it seemed to demand from us that we should not over-elaborate each single pleading. We were afraid that time would fail us, and that our voices and lungs would break down if we tied up together so many charges and so many defendants into one bundle. Again, we feared that the attention of the judges would not only be wearied by the introduction of so many names and charges, but that they would be confused thereby, that the sum-total of the influence of each one of the accused might procure for each the strength of all, and finally we were afraid lest the most influential of the accused should make a scapegoat of the meanest among them, and so slip out of the hands of justice at the expense of someone else - for favour and personal interest are strongest when they can skulk behind some pretence of severity. Moreover, we were advised by the well-known story of Sertorius, who set two soldiers - one young and powerful, and the other old and weak - to pull off the tail of a horse. You know how it finishes. And so we too thought that we could get the better of even such a long array of defendants, provided we took them one by one. Our plan was first to prove the guilt of Classicus himself; then it was a natural transition to his intimates and tools, because the latter could never be condemned unless Classicus were guilty. Consequently, we took two of them and closely connected them with Classicus, Baebius Probus and Fabius Hispanus, both men of some influence, while Hispanus possesses a strong gift of eloquence. To prove the guilt of Classicus was an easy and simple task that did not take us long. He had left in his own handwriting a document showing what profits he had made out of each transaction and case, and he had even despatched a letter couched in a boasting and impudent strain to one of his mistresses containing the words, "Hurrah! hurrah! I am coming back to you with my hands free; * for I have already sold the interests of the Baetici to the tune of four million sesterces." But we had to sweat to get a conviction against Hispanus and Probus. Before I dealt with the charges against them, I thought it necessary to establish the legal point that the execution of an unjust sentence is an indictable offence, for if I had not done this it would have been useless for me to prove that they had been the henchmen of Classicus. Moreover, their line of defence was not a denial. They pleaded that they could not help themselves and therefore were to be pardoned, arguing that they were mere provincials and were frightened into doing anything that a proconsul bade them do. Claudius Restitutus, who replied to me, a practised and watchful speaker who is equal to any emergency however suddenly sprung up upon him, is now going about saying that he never was so dumbfounded and thrown off his balance as when he discovered that the ground on which he placed full reliance for his defence had been cut from under him and stolen away from him. Well, the outcome of our line of attack was as follows In the third action, we thought our best course was to lump the defendants together, fearing lest, if the trial were to be spun out to undue length, those who were hearing the case would grow sick and tired of it, and their zeal for strict justice and severity would abate. Besides, the accused persons, who had been designedly kept over till then, were all of comparatively little importance, except the wife of Classicus, and, although suspicion against her was strong, the proofs seemed rather weak. As for the daughter of Classicus, who was also among the defendants, she had cleared herself even of suspicion. Consequently, when I reached her name in the last trial - for there was no fear then as there had been at the beginning that such an admission would weaken the force of the prosecution - I thought the most honourable course was to refrain from pressing the charge against an innocent person, and I frankly said so, repeating the idea in various forms. For example, I asked the deputation of the Baetici whether they had given me definite instructions on any point which they felt confident they could prove against her; I turned to the senators and inquired whether they thought I ought to employ what eloquence I might possess against an innocent person, and hold, as it were, the knife to her throat; and, finally, I concluded the subject with these words Well, the conclusion of this trial, with its crowd of defendants, was that a certain few were acquitted, but the majority were condemned and banished, some for a fixed term of years, and others for life. In the same decree the senate expressed in most handsome terms its appreciation of our industry, loyalty, and perseverance, and this was the only possible worthy and adequate reward for the trouble we had taken. You can imagine how worn out we were, when you think how often we had to plead, and answer the pleadings of our opponents, and how many witnesses we had to cross-question, encourage, and refute. Besides, you know how trying and vexatious it is to say "no" to the friends of the accused when they come pleading with you in private, and to stoutly oppose them when they confront you in open court. I will tell you one of the things I said. When one of those who were acting as judges interrupted me on behalf of one of the accused in whom he took a special interest, I replied I have brought you up to date as well as I could. You will say, "It was not worthwhile, for what have I to do with such a long letter?" If you do, don't ask again what is going on at Rome, and bear in mind that you cannot call a letter long which covers so many days, so many trials, and so many defendants and pleadings. I think I have dealt with all these subjects as briefly as I am sure they are exactly dealt with. But no, I was rash to say "exactly"; I remember a point which I had omitted, and I will tell you about it even now, though it is out of its proper place. Homer does this, and many other authors have followed his example - with very good effect too - though that is not my reason for so doing. One of the witnesses, annoyed at being summoned to appear, or bribed by some one of the defendants in order to weaken the prosecution, laid an accusation against Norbanus Licinianus, a member of the deputation, who had been instructed to get up the case, and charged him with having acted in collusion with the other side in relation to Casta, the wife of Classicus. It is a legal rule in such instances that the trial of the accused must be finished before inquiry is made into a charge of collusion, on the ground that one can best form an opinion on the sincerity of the prosecution by noticing how the case has been carried through. However, Norbanus reaped no advantage from this point of law, nor did his position as member of the deputation, nor his duties as one of those getting up the action stand him in good stead. A storm of prejudice broke out against him, and there is no denying that his hands were crime-stained, that he, like many others, had taken advantage of the evil times of Domitian, and that he had been selected by the provincials to get up the case, not as a man of probity and honour, but because he had been a personal enemy of Classicus, by whom, indeed, he had been banished. He demanded that a day should be fixed for his trial, and that the charge against him should be published; both were refused, and he was obliged to answer on the spot. He did so, and though the thorough badness and depravity of the fellow make me hesitate to say whether he showed more impudence or resolution, he certainly replied with great readiness. There were sundry things brought against him which did him much greater damage than the charge of collusion, and two men of consular rank, Pomponius Rufus and Libo Frugi, severely damaged him by giving evidence to the effect that during the reign of Domitian he had assisted the prosecution of Salvius Liberalis before the judge. He was convicted and banished to an island. Consequently, when I was accusing Casta, I especially pressed the point that her accuser had been found guilty of collusion. But I did so in vain, and we had the novel and inconsistent result that the accused was acquitted though her accuser was found guilty of collusion with her. You may ask what we were about while this was going on. We told the senate that we had received all our instructions for this public trial from Norbanus, and that the case ought to be tried afresh if he were proved guilty of collusion, and so, while his trial was proceeding, we sat still. Subsequently Norbanus was present every day the trial lasted, and showed right up to the end the same resolute or impudent front. I wonder if I have forgotten anything else. Well, I almost did. On the last day Salvius Liberalis bitterly assailed the rest of the deputation on the ground that they had not brought accusations against all whom they were commissioned to accuse by the province. He is a powerful and able speaker, and he put them 5.7. To Calvisius Rufus. It is beyond question that a community cannot be appointed heir and cannot take a share of an inheritance before the general distribution of the estate. None the less, Saturninus, who left us his heirs, bequeathed a fourth share to our community of Comum, and then, in lieu of that fourth share, assigned them permission to take 400,000 sesterces before the division of the estate. As a matter of strict law, this is null and void, but if you only look at the intentions of the deceased, it is quite sound and valid. I don't know what the lawyers will think of what I am going to say, but to me the wishes of the deceased seem worthy of more consideration than the letter of the law, especially as regards the sum which he wished to go to our common birthplace. Moreover, I, who gave 1,600,000 sesterces our of my own money to my native place, am not the man to refuse it a little more than a third part of 400,000 sesterces which have come to me by a lucky windfall. I know that you too will not refuse to fall in with my views, as your affection for the same community is that of a thoroughly loyal citizen. I shall be glad, therefore, if at the next meeting of the decurions, you will lay before them the state of the law, and I hope you will do so briefly and modestly. Then add that we make them an offer of the 400,000 sesterces, in accordance with the wishes of Saturninus. But be sure to point out that the munificence and generosity are his, and that all we are doing is to obey his wishes. I have refrained from writing in a public manner on this business, firstly, because I knew very well that our friendship was such, and that your judgment was so ripe, that you could and ought to act for me as well as for yourself, and then again I was afraid that I might not preserve in a letter that exact mean which you will have no difficulty in preserving in a speech. For a man's expression, his gestures, and even the tones of his voice help to indicate the precise meaning of his words, while a letter, which is deprived of all these advantages, is exposed to the malignity of those who put upon it what interpretation they choose. 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. 6.33. To Romanus. Away with it all, cried Vulcan, "and cease the task you have begun." * Whether you are writing or reading, bid your people take away your pens and books, and receive this speech of mine, which is as divine as the arms made by Vulcan. Could conceit go further? But frankly, I think it is a fine speech, as compared with my other efforts, and I am satisfied to try and beat my own record. It is on behalf of Attia Viriola, and is worth attention owing to the lady's high position, the singular character of the case, and the importance of the trial. She was a person of high birth, was married to a man of praetorian rank, and was disinherited by her octogenarian father within eleven days after he had fallen violently in love, married a second time, and given Attia a step-mother. She sued for her father's effects in the Four Courts. ** A hundred and eighty judges sat to hear the case, for that is the number appointed for the Four Chambers ; there was a crowd of advocates on both sides, and the benches were packed, while there was also a dense ring of people standing many deep around the whole spacious court. Moreover, the tribunal was closely filled, and even in the upper galleries of the hall men and women leant over both to see and hear what was going on, the former being easy but the latter difficult of accomplishment. Fathers, daughters, and step-mothers were on the tip-toe of expectation. The fortunes of the day varied, for in two courts we were victorious, and in two we were beaten. It seemed an extraordinary and remarkable thing, that with the same judges and the same advocates there should be such different verdicts at one and the same time, and that this should be due to chance, though it did not so appear to be. The step-mother, who had been made heir to a sixth of the property, lost, and so too did Suberinus, † who, in spite of having been disinherited by his own father, had the amazing impudence to claim the property of someone else's father, but did not dare to claim that of his own. I have entered into these explanations, in the first place to acquaint you by letter of certain facts which you could not gather from the speech, and secondly - for I will be frank, and tell you my little tricks - to make you the more willing to read the speech, by leading you to imagine that you are not merely reading it, but are actually present at the trial. Though the speech is a long one, I am in some hope that it will meet with as kind a reception as a very short one. For the interest is constantly renewed by the fullness of the subject-matter, the neat way in which it is divided, the number of digressions, and the different kinds of eloquence employed. Many parts of it - I would not venture to say so to anyone but yourself - are of sustained dignity, many are controversial, many are closely argued. For constantly, in the midst of my most passionate and lofty passages, I was obliged to go into calculations, and almost had to call for counters and a table to carry them through, the consequence being that the court of law was suddenly turned into a sort of private counting-house. I gave free play to my indignation, to my anger, to my resentment, and so I sailed along, as it were, in this long pleading, as though I were on a vast sea, with a variety of winds to fill my sails. In fine, to say what I said before, some of my intimate friends repeatedly tell me that this speech of mine is as much above my previous efforts as Demosthenes' speech on behalf of Ctesiphon is above his others. Whether they are right in their judgment you will have no difficulty in deciding, for your memory of all my speeches is so good that by merely reading this one you can institute a comparison with them all. Farewell 7.24. To Geminus. Ummidia Quadratilla has died just before reaching her eightieth year. Right up to her last illness she was hale and hearty, for she was physically so strong knit and robust as to be quite an exception to her sex. She died after making a will which does her great credit, as she left two-thirds of her property to her grandson, and the remaining third to her granddaughter. I hardly know the latter, but I am on terms of close friendship with the grandson, a young man of exceptional qualities, who challenges the affection of others besides those who are related to him. In the first place, he is particularly handsome, but he passed through boyhood and youth without a breath of scandal. He married when in his twenty-fourth year, and would now have been a father had Providence permitted. He lived under his grandmother's roof, yet, though she was a woman of luxurious tastes, he never gave way to excesses, and still managed to obey her every whim. She used to keep a troupe of pantomimic artistes, and showed them an extravagant favour which hardly became a lady of her rank. Yet Quadratus never used to witness their performances, either in the theatre or in her house, and she did not require that he should. I have heard the old lady say, when commending her grandson's literary compositions to my notice, * that though she, with a woman's love of indolence, had been in the habit of amusing herself by playing draughts ** and watching the performances of her troupe, she had always urged her grandson to go away and study whenever she intended to amuse herself in either of these two ways. I think she did so from a feeling of shame that her grandson should see her thus engaged, quite as much as from the love she bore him. This will surprise you, as it certainly surprised me. At the last Sacerdotal Games, when, after the pantomimic troupe had appeared on the stage and given their performance, Quadratus and I were leaving the theatre, he said to me I give you these details because I know you like to hear any news that is stirring, and besides, it is a pleasure to me to renew my gratification by writing and telling it to you. For I am delighted at the affection shown by the deceased, at the honour in which this excellent young man is held, and I am pleased to think that the house, which once belonged to Caius Cassius - the Cassius who was the founder and principal of the Cassian school of lawyers - will have another equally distinguished man to rule over it. My friend Quadratus will worthily fill it and be a credit to it, and will restore to it its old dignity, fame, and glory, when he, who is as great an orator as Cassius was a lawyer, is daily seen to leave its doors. Farewell. 0 8.2. To Calvisius. Other people go to their estates to return richer than they went ; I go to come back the poorer. I had sold my vintage to the dealers who bid against one another for the purchase, tempted by the prices quoted at the time and the prices which they thought would be quoted later on. However, their expectations were disappointed. It would have been a simple matter to make certain remissions to all in equal proportions, but it would hardly have met the justice of the case, for it seems to me to be an honourable man's first duty to practise a strict rule of justice, both at home and out-of-doors, in small things as well as in great, and in dealing with one's own as with other people's property. For if, as the Stoics say, all offences are equally serious, all merits should be equally consistent. * Consequently, "in order that no one should go away without a present from me," ** I remitted to each an eighth part of the price at which he had bought, and then I made separate additional remissions for those who had been the largest buyers, inasmuch as they had benefited me more than the others had, and had themselves sustained the greater loss. So to those who had paid more than 10,000 sesterces for their share, I remitted a tenth of the sum paid above 10,000 sesterces, in addition to the other remission of an eighth of the total sum which I had made to all indiscriminately. I am afraid I have not expressed this quite clearly, so I will explain my system more fully. Those, for example, who had purchased 15,000 sesterces' worth of the vintage had remitted to them an eighth of the 15,000 and a tenth of 15,000. Besides this, it struck me that some had actually paid over a considerable share of the purchase money, while others had only paid a fraction, and others none at all, and I thought it was not fair to deal as generously in the matter of remission with the latter as with the former, and place those who had loyally paid up on a level with those who had not. So to those who had paid I remitted a further tenth of the sums paid over. By so doing I made a neat recognition of my acknowledgment of each man's honourable conduct on the old deal, and I also offered them all a bait to make future deals with me, and not only purchase, but pay ready money. This reasonable or generous - whichever you like to call it - conduct on my part has put me to considerable expense, but it was well worth it, for throughout the entire district people are warmly approving this new method of making remissions. As for those whom I graded and classified, without, so to speak, lumping them all together, the more honourable and upright they were, the more devoted to me were they on leaving, since they had discovered that I was not one of those people who "hold in equal honour the good and the bad." † Farewell. 9.20. To Venator. Your letter was all the more agreeable to me on account of its length, and because it referred throughout to my books. I am not surprised that they please you, inasmuch as you extend the love you bear me to my writings. I am at present chiefly occupied in getting in my grape harvest, which, though light, is still more plentiful than I had expected - if you can describe as getting in a grape harvest the plucking of an occasional grape, a visit to the wine-press, a taste of the must from the vat, and surprise visits to the domestic servants I brought from the city, who are now superintending my country servants and have left me to my secretaries and readers. Farewell. 9.23. To Maximus. When I have been pleading, it has often happened that the centumviri, after strictly preserving for a long time their judicial dignity and gravity, have suddenly leaped to their feet en masse and applauded me, as if they could not help themselves but were obliged to do so. I have often again left the senate-house with just as much glory as I had hoped to obtain, but I never felt greater gratification than I did a little while ago at something which Cornelius Tacitus told me in conversation. He said that he was sitting by the side of a certain individual at the last Circensian games, and that, after they had had a long and learned talk on a variety of subjects, his acquaintance said to him
2. Symmachus, Letters, 3.23 (4th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •pliny, epistulae Found in books: Hanghan (2019) 37; Hitch (2017) 37
3. Sidonius Apollinaris, Letters, 1.7, 3.1, 3.12, 4.3, 4.15, 5.6, 7.18, 8.11-8.12, 9.3, 9.9, 9.11 (5th cent. CE - 5th cent. CE)  Tagged with subjects: •pliny, epistulae Found in books: Hanghan (2019) 28, 37, 74, 77, 87, 89, 147, 162, 178; Hitch (2017) 28, 37, 74, 77, 87, 89, 147, 162, 178
4. Fronto, Ad M. Caesarem Et Invicem, 5.27-5.30, 5.32  Tagged with subjects: •pliny, epistulae Found in books: Hanghan (2019) 77; Hitch (2017) 77