This book provides a new understanding of Pliny's letters by combining historical analysis of the social pressures that shape Pliny's authorial pose with close literary analysis of the letters themselves. It demonstrates how ruling-class ideology is disseminated and how it shapes the literary persona and personal identity of a ruling-class member. The powerful heuristic tool of examining the interplay between confidence and anxieties in the letters will help restore Pliny's relatively neglected masterpiece to a more prominent place in undergraduate Latin and Roman Civilization courses.
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