Timothy J. Cornell (ed.), The Fragments of the Roman Historians, Vol. 2

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T1 (cf. Aufidius Bassus 78 T3b)Pliny epist. 3.5.1–8; 17 (ad 100–103/4)


pergratum est mihi quod tam diligenter libros auunculi mei lectitas, ut habere omnes uelis quaerasque qui sint omnes. (2) fungar indicis partibus, atque etiam quo sint ordine scripti notum tibi faciam; est enim haec quoque studiosis non iniucunda cognitio. (3) 'de iaculatione equestri unus'; hunc cum praefectus alae militaret, pari ingenio curaque composuit. 'de uita Pomponi Secundi duo'; a quo singulariter amatus hoc memoriae amici quasi debitum munus exsoluit. (4) 'bellorum Germaniae uiginti'; quibus omnia quae cum Germanis gessimus bella collegit. incohauit cum in Germania militaret, somnio monitus: adstitit ei quiescenti Drusi Neronis effigies, qui Germaniae latissime uictor ibi periit, commendabat memoriam suam orabatque ut se ab iniuria obliuionis adsereret. (5) 'studiosi tres', in sex uolumina propter amplitudinem diuisi, quibus oratorem ab incunabulis instituit et perficit. 'dubii sermonis octo': scripsit sub Nerone nouissimis annis, cum omne studiorum genus paulo liberius et erectius periculosum seruitus fecisset. (6) 'a fine Aufidi Bassi triginta unus'. 'naturae historiarum triginta septem', opus diffusum eruditum, nec minus uarium quam ipsa natura. (7) miraris quod tot uolumina multaque in his tam scrupulosa homo occupatus absoluerit? magis miraberis si scieris illum aliquamdiu causas actitasse, decessisse anno sexto et quinquagensimo, medium tempus distentum pg 1014impeditumque qua officiis maximis qua amicitia principum egisse. (8) sed erat acre ingenium, incredibile studium, summa uigilantia.… (9–16) … (17) hac intentione tot ista uolumina peregit electorumque commentarios centum sexaginta mihi reliquit, opisthographos quidem et minutissimis scriptos; qua ratione multiplicatur hic numerus. referebat ipse potuisse se, cum procuraret in Hispania, uendere hos commentarios Larcio Licino quadringentis milibus nummum; et tunc aliquanto pauciores erant.


T1 (cf. Aufidius Bassus 78 T3b)Pliny epist. 3.5.1–8; 17 (ad 100–103/4)

Gaius Pliny greets his friend Baebius Macer.

It gives me great pleasure that you read and reread my uncle's books with such care that you want to possess them all and want to know what they all are. (2) I shall play the part of a catalogue and show you also in what order they were written: this also is information that is not distasteful to students of oratory. (3) The Use of the Javelin in Cavalry Warfare, in one book; he composed this when he was doing military service as prefect of a squadron of cavalry; talent and pains are equally in evidence in it. The Life of Pomponius Secundus, in two books. He was exceptionally dear to Secundus and paid this service as one that he owed to his friend's memory. (4) The Wars in Germany, in twenty books. In this he assembled all the wars that we have waged with the Germans. He began it when he was on military service in Germany, after being told in a dream that he should write it: an apparition of Nero Drusus, who had won victories from one end of Germany to the other, and died there, stood by him as he slept; he was entrusting his posthumous reputation to Pliny and begging him to vindicate him from the wrong that was being done him, that of being forgotten. (5) The Student of Oratory, in three books, but divided into six volumes to accommodate the copious material; in this he trains the orator from his first beginnings and makes him the finished article. Problems in Language, in eight books. He wrote this under Nero, the final years, when loss of freedom had made dangerous every form of intellectual pursuit that was at all independent and spirited. (6) A Continuation of the Work of Aufidius Bassus, in thirty-one books. Natural Histories, in thirty-seven books, a wide-ranging, learned work, with as much variety in it as nature itself has. (7) Are you surprised that a man of affairs should have completed so many books, a high proportion of them so detailed? You will be more surprised if you realize that for a certain length of time he was constantly active at the bar, that he died in his fifty-sixth year, and that he spent the intervening time with his attention elsewhere and hampered both by duties of supreme importance and by the friendship of emperors; pg 1015(8) but he had an acute intellect along with unbelievable enthusiasm for work and the maximum ability to do without sleep.… (9–16) … (17) This was the concentration with which he completed all those numerous volumes, besides leaving to me one hundred and sixty volumes of notes consisting of his excerpts, written on both sides of the papyrus at that, and in the tiniest handwriting; this means that the number given here is smaller by half than the true one. Pliny himself used to report that when he was procurator in Spain he had been in a position to sell these notebooks to Larcius Licinus at a price of four hundred thousand sesterces; and at that time they were considerably fewer in number.

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Critical Apparatus
(2) Salutis Ernesti: Salutis in Etruria M
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