City Readers Digital Historic Collections at the New York Society Library
Pliny the Younger
Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, born Gaius Caecilius or Gaius Caecilius Cilo (61 – c. 113), better known as Pliny the Younger (/ˈplɪni/), was a lawyer, author, and magistrate of Ancient Rome. Pliny's uncle, Pliny the Elder, helped raise and educate him. Both Pliny the Elder and Younger were witnesses to the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, in which the former died.
Pliny wrote hundreds of letters, many of which still survive, that are of great historical value for the time period. Some are addressed to reigning emperors or to notables such as the historian Tacitus. Pliny served as an imperial magistrate under Trajan (reigned 98–117), and his letters to Trajan provide one of the few surviving records of the relationship between the imperial office and provincial governors.
Pliny was considered an honest and moderate man. He rose through a series of Imperial civil and military offices, the cursus honorum. He was a friend of the historian Tacitus and employed the biographer Suetonius on his staff. Pliny also came into contact with other well-known men of the period, including the philosophers Artemidorus and Euphrates the Stoic during his time in Syria.