For an index with links to all the letters
on this site arranged by topic, click here.
For an index with links to all the letters on this site arranged by Book and Letter number, click here.


A Brief Summary of
the Letters on this Site.



Book 1, Letter 1

Pliny has accepited his friend's advice and collected some of his letters for publication.


Book 1, Letter 3

Pliny is shocked that the people walk out in the middle of recitations. Literature was taken much more seriously in the time of the Emperor Claudius.


Book 8, Letter 21

Pliny has given a two-day reading of his poetry in his dining-room before a small group of friends.




Book 1, Letter 10

Pliny gives a character description of the Syrian philosopher, Euphrates, who acts as his spiritual adviser. He praises him to the skies and recommends him to his friend, Attius Clemens.


Book 1, Letter 15

Pliny's friend went to a fancy party; Pliny describes the simple meal his friend would have enjoyed if he had decided to spend the evening at Pliny's instead.


Book 2, Letter 6

A snobbish host gave different food and drink to his guests, according to their social status. Pliny says he would never behave in this way.


Book 2, Letter 20

Three stories about various tricks used by Regulus to induce elderly people to leave him a legacy.


Book 9, Letter 6

Pliny cannot understand why so many Romans waste their time going to the chariot-races.


Book 9, Letter 19

Pliny justifies the boastful tomb-stone of his friend, Verginius Rufus. It would be more arrogant to assume that people will remember you even if you do not record your deeds on your tomb.




Book 3, Letter 14

Larcius Macedo was beaten to death by his slaves, but lived long enough to have them killed. Although Macedo was a brutal master, Pliny is horrified by his murder.


Book 5, Letter 19

As a kind master, Pliny is worried by the illness of his former slave, Zosimus. He asks his firnd to allow Zosimus stay at his friend's estate in Forum Julii.


SUPERNATURAL (for Halloween)


Book 7, Letter 27

Pliny tells two stroies about ghosts who prophesied the future, and one about a house that was haunted by the ghost of a murder victim who had been buried in the house.




Book 4, Letter 19

Pliny is flattered that Calpurnia, his young wife, follows his literary career with enthusiasm.


Book 7, Letter 24

Ummidia Quadratilla has just died. She loved playing board-games and watching performances by her private troupe of mimes. Her puritanic grandson, Quadratus, avoids such amusements.




Book 9, Letter 36

Pliny spends his summers in Tuscany. He describes how he devotes each day to literary activities.


Book 1, Letter 6

Pliny prefers to write during hunts, but he accidentally caught three boars at a recent hunt.


Book 1, Letter 9

The hectic daily routine at Rome is frustrating, and Pliny is glad to return to his winter estate at Laurentum and spend his time studying instead.




Book 3, Letter 2

Pliny asks Vibius Maximus, the Praefect of Egypt, to find a position for his modest equestrian friend, Maturus Arrianus.


Book 5, Letter 9

The Praetor Nepos issued an edict that he would strictly enforce the law forbidding lawyers to charge fees. His edict has caused consternation at Rome.




Book 7, Letter 33

Pliny wants Tacitus to record an incident from his career in the Senate. During the reign of Domitian, Pliny and his colleague, Senecio, had to prosecute the governor of Baetica, who was a friend of the emperor's. When the governor tried to intimidate Sencecio, Pliny jumped to his defence.


Book 8, Letter 24

Maximus is being sent to govern the Province of Achaea, and Pliny urges him to treat the Greek cities with respect because of their great past.


Book 10, Letter 110

The city of Amisus is trying to reclaim a large grant it gave 20 years ago to a city official, who spent the money on city business.


Book 10, Letter 111

Such grants are technically illegal, but the official cannot be expected to return a 20-year old grant now.


Book 10, Letter 96

Pliny is unsure how he should deal with the Christians in Bithynia. They seem to be harmless people, though he feels obliged to punish those who insist on remaining Christian, even after he has warned them such obstinacy would result in death.


Book 10, Letter 97

Pliny should not hunt Christians out, but if a prosecutor comes before him and accuses people of being Christian, he will have to deal with the case. Even if the accused are Christian, they should be released if they agree to stop.