Pliny's Career

Pliny the Younger or Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (62-c.115): Roman senator, nephew of Pliny the Elder, governor of Bithynia-Pontus (109-111), author of a famous collection of letters.

What is left of Pliny's inscription
What is left of Pliny's inscription

At the end of his life, Pliny founded a bath-house in his home town Como. As was usual in his age, the building inscription was made as long as possible, because in that way the founder could show that he was able to read and write, prestigious talents. Therefore, Pliny mentioned all offices he had occupied: consul; augur; legatus Augusti pro praetore consulari potestate for the province of Pontus and Bithynia; curator of the bed and banks of the Tiber and sewers of Rome; prefect of the treasury of Saturn; prefect of the military treasury; praetor; tribune of the people; quaestor of the emperor; commissioner of the Roman knights; tribune of the Third Gallic legion; magistrate on the Board of Ten.

Only a part of the text has survived, but because there's a Renaissance drawing, it can be reconstructed as follows:

Pliny's inscription (reconstruction)


Translation

[CIL 5.5262] Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, son of Lucius, of the Oufentine tribe; consul; augur; legatus Augusti pro praetore consulari potestate for the province of Pontus and Bithynia, sent to that province in accordance with the Senate's decree by the emperor Nerva Trajan Augustus Germanicus Dacicus, the father of his country; curator of the bed and banks of the Tiber and sewers of Rome; prefect of the treasury of Saturn; prefect of the military treasury; praetor; tribune of the people; quaestor of the emperor; commissioner of the Roman knights; tribune of the Third Gallic legion; magistrate on the Board of Ten; left by will public baths at a cost of [lacuna] and an additional 300,000 sesterces for furnishing them, with interest on 200,000 for the upkeep. He also left to his city capital of 1,866,666 sesterces to support a hundred of his freedmen, and subsequently to provide an annual dinner for the people of the city. Likewise in his lifetime he gave 500,000 sesterces for the maintenance of boys and girls of the city, and also 100,000 for the upkeep of the library.note

This page was created in 2002; last modified on 24 August 2015.