In these letters to his friends and relations, Pliny the Younger, lawyer, author, and natural philosopher, provides a fascinating insight into Roman life in the period 97 to 112 AD. Part autobiography, part social history, they document the career and interests of a senator and leading imperial official whose friends include the historians Tacitus and Suetonius. Pliny's letters cover a wide range of topics, from the contemporary political scene to domestic affairs, the educational system, the rituals and conduct of Roman religion, the treatment of slaves, and the phenomena of nature. He describes in vivid detail the eruption of Vesuvius, which killed his uncle, and the daily routines of a well-to-do Roman in the courts and at leisure, in the city, or enjoying rural pursuits at his country estates. This is a lively new translation by eminent scholar Peter Walsh, based on the Oxford Classical Text and drawing on the latest scholarship. In his introduction, Walsh considers the political background of the letters, the span of Pliny's career, the range of topics covered in the letters, and Pliny's literary style. Invaluable notes identify the letters' recipients and explain allusions to historical events and terms. A general index is supplemented by two specific indexes on aspects of social life and Pliny's correspondents. This classic will make great reading for those with an interest in classical literature and ancient history.
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