Pliny the Younger

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Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 AD – ca. 112 AD), better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate him and they were both witnesses to the eruption of Vesuvius on 24 August 79 AD.

Pliny is known for his hundreds of surviving letters, which are an invaluable historical source for the period. Many are addressed to reigning emperors or to notables such as the historian, Tacitus. Pliny himself was a notable figure, serving as an imperial magistrate under Trajan (reigned AD 98–117).[1] Pliny was considered an honest and moderate man and rose through a series of Imperial civil and military offices, the cursus honorum (see below). He was a friend of the historian Tacitus and employed the biographer Suetonius in his staff. Pliny also came into contact with many other well-known men of the period, including the philosophers Artemidorus and Euphrates during his time in Syria.[citation needed]

Contents

Background

Childhood

Pliny the Younger was born in Novum Comum (Como, Northern Italy), the son of Lucius Caecilius Cilo, born there, and wife Plinia Marcella, a sister of Pliny the Elder.[2] He was the grandson of Senator and landowner Gaius Caecilius, born in Como around 61 AD. He revered his uncle, Pliny the Elder, and provides sketches of how his uncle worked on the Naturalis Historia.[3]

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