Pliny the Younger

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the life and work of Pliny the Younger, famous for his letters. A prominent lawyer in Rome in the first century AD, Pliny later became governor of the province of Bithynia, on the Black Sea coast of modern Turkey. Throughout his career he was a prolific letter-writer, sharing his thoughts with great contemporaries including the historian Tacitus, and asking the advice of the Emperor Trajan. Pliny’s letters offer fascinating insights into life in ancient Rome and its empire, from the mundane details of irrigation schemes to his vivid eyewitness account of the eruption of Vesuvius.

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  • Catharine Edwards 9 episodes
    Professor of Classics and Ancient History at Birkbeck, University of London
  • Roy Gibson No other episodes
    Professor of Latin at the University of Manchester
  • Alice Konig 2 episodes
    Lecturer in Latin and Classical Studies at the University of St Andrews

Reading list

  • Pliny's Women: Constructing Virtue and Creating Identity in the Roman World
    Jacqueline Carlon (Cambridge University Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Reading the Letters of Pliny the Younger: An Introduction
    Roy Gibson and Ruth Morello (Cambridge University Press, 2012) Google Books →
  • Pliny's Statue: The Letters, Self-Portraiture and Classical Art
    John Henderson (Liverpool University Press, 2002) Google Books →
  • The Anxieties of Pliny the Younger
    Stanley Hoffer (Oxford University Press, 1999) Google Books →
  • Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire: A Study of Elite Communities
    William Johnson (Oxford University Press, 2010) Google Books →
  • The Art of Pliny's Letters: A Poetics of Allusion in the Private Correspondence
    Ilaria Marchesi (Cambridge University Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Ancient Letters: Classical and Late Antique Epistolography
    Ruth Morello & A. D. Morrison (eds.) (Oxford University Press, 2007) Google Books →
  • The Complete Letters
    Pliny the Younger, P. G. Walsh (trans.) (Oxford University Press, 2009) Google Books →
  • Epistles Book II
    Pliny the Younger, Christopher Whitton (ed.) (Cambridge University Press, 2013)
  • Pliny: Correspondence with Trajan from Bithynia (Epistles X)
    Pliny the Younger, Wynne Williams (ed.) (Aris & Phillips, 1990)
  • Vesuvius: A Biography
    Alwyn Scarth (Terra Publishing, 2009) Google Books →
  • Pliny: A Life in Roman Letters
    Rex Winsbury (Bloomsbury, 2013) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 870 (Latin literature)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. After a fire which destroyed several houses and two public buildings, a local government official wrote to his superior asking for permission to set up a fire brigade.