Pliny the Younger

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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.


Catharine Edwards
Professor of Classics and Ancient History at Birkbeck, University of London

Roy Gibson
Professor of Latin at the University of Manchester

Alice König
Lecturer in Latin and Classical Studies at the University of St Andrews

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Release date:

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 12 Dec 2013 21:30


Catharine Edwards at Birkbeck, University of London


Roy Gibson at the University of Manchester


Alice König at the University of St Andrews


The Villas of Pliny - Architecture in the Classical Tradition


Pliny the Younger - Wikipedia





Jacqueline Carlon, Pliny’s Women: Constructing Virtue and Creating Identity in the Roman World (Cambridge University Press, 2009)


Roy Gibson and Ruth Morello, Reading the Letters of Pliny the Younger: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2012)


John Henderson, Pliny’s Statue: The Letters, Self-Portraiture and Classical Art (Liverpool University Press, 2002)


Stanley Hoffer, The Anxieties of Pliny the Younger (Oxford University Press, 1999)


William Johnson, Readers and Reading Culture in the High Roman Empire: A Study of Elite Communities (Oxford University Press, 2010)


Ilaria Marchesi, The Art of Pliny's Letters: A Poetics of Allusion in the Private Correspondence (Cambridge University Press, 2009)


Ruth Morello & A. D. Morrison (eds.), Ancient Letters: Classical and Late Antique Epistolography (Oxford University Press, 2007)


Pliny the Younger, P. G. Walsh (trans.), The Complete Letters (Oxford University Press, 2009)


Pliny the Younger, Christopher Whitton (ed.), Epistles Book II (Cambridge University Press, 2013)


Pliny the Younger, Wynne Williams (ed.), Pliny: Correspondence with Trajan from Bithynia (Epistles X) (Aris & Phillips, 1990)


Alwyn Scarth, Vesuvius: A Biography, (Terra Publishing, 2009)


Rex Winsbury, Pliny: A Life in Roman Letters (Bloomsbury, 2013)



Role Contributor
PresenterMelvyn Bragg
Interviewed GuestCatharine Edwards
Interviewed GuestRoy Gibson
Interviewed GuestAlice Koenig
ProducerThomas Morris

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