Pliny the Younger, aka Plinius Caecilius Secundus (61-c. 113) Epistolarum Novem Addito nu[n]c et Decimo cum Panegyrico. Venice: Joannes Rubeum, 1519. Folio, large woodcut of the scholar at work on title (repeated on page 154), title printed within a large elaborate woodcut ornamental border, text in roman letter, with commentary of Joannes Maria Catanaeus (Cattaneo) of Novara (d. 1529), bound in full contemporary ?English blind-tooled tanned calf over wooden boards, decorated with rolled tools in compartments with lion and flame tools in innermost compartment, clasps attached to front board, catches on back board (large chip with loss to top outer corner of back board), ink title to fore-edge, rebacked by Fred Shihadel in 1985, 12 x 8 1/4 in.
Pliny the Younger left us a very interesting selection of Epistolae, or letters, personal communications to his friends and associates. In these letters, we find an unprecedented view of ancient Roman history and everyday life. Of special note are the letters in which he describes the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in August 79, which took the life of his famous uncle, Pliny the Elder. In another important letter, Pliny writes to the Roman Emperor Trajan, asking for instructions regarding the official Roman policy toward Christians. Pliny, as a representative of Trajan, was the governor of Bithynia et Pontus on the Black Sea coast of Anatolia Turkey, which was home to a burgeoning population of Christians, beginning circa September 111. The letters from Amisus were likely written before January 113, when Pliny's term ended.
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