Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Pliny the Younger

PLINY THE YOUNGER (Roman, 61-113 CE)

Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus is called Pliny the Younger because his uncle (not his father) was Pliny the Elder. In fact the Elder played a closer-than-usual avuncular role when the boy's father died and, not unusually, he came under the care of his mother's brother. In 79 CE Mount Vesuvius erupted (burying the town of Pompeii), and the Elder was killed trying to make observations of the volcano's effect (and also to rescue victims). The Younger was at that time just 18, and his uncle left him his estate, while in the same will formally adopting him. He was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Rome who wrote hundreds of letters; 247, of great historical value, survive, including some addressed to reigning emperors or to famous men like the historian Tacitus.


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