By Pliny the Younger; P.G. Walsh (trans.)
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Documents of Nerva, Trajan, and Hadrian (Cambridge, ). , The Christians and the Roman Empire (London, ). , Domitian: Tragic Tyrant (London, ). Stout, S. , ). —— ‘The Coalescence of the Two Plinies’, TAPA (), ﬀ. , Tacitus, vols. (Oxford, ). —— ‘Pliny’s Less Successful Friends’, Historia, (), –. —— ‘People in Pliny’, JRS (), –. Tanzer, H. , The Villas of Pliny the Younger (New York, ). , ‘Carmenque Christo quasi deo dicere’, REL (), –.
Complete Letters I – a mistake on my part. Clearly I must publish something, and I pray that what I have ready may be most suitable; you hear my aspiration to idleness! Several reasons prompt my need to publish, above all the fact that the works which I have already issued* are said to be in men’s hands, though they have lost the glamour of being new. But perhaps the booksellers* are tickling my ears. If so, let them keep at it, so long as this deception of theirs gives me a good impression of my writings.
Esteem ought to be the outcome rather than the motive, and, if by some chance it does not accrue, it is no less noble in having deserved that esteem. Indeed, people who dignify their good deeds by recounting them are thought not to announce them because they have performed them, but to have performed them in order to announce them. In this way, what would have been a ﬁne action when recounted by another fades from view I – Book One when the one who performed it himself recounts it. For when people cannot nullify the deed, they attack the boasting which accompanies it.