Pliny the Younger

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Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus (63 – c. 113), better known as Pliny the Younger, was a lawyer, an author and a natural philosopher of Ancient Rome.



  • Modestus said of Regulus that he was "the biggest rascal that walks upon two legs."
    • Book I, letter 5, 14.
  • There is nothing to write about, you say. Well, then, write and let me know just this,—that there is nothing to write about; or tell me in the good old style if you are well. That's right. I am quite well.
    • Book I, letter 11, 1.
  • The living voice is that which sways the soul.
    • Book II, letter 3, 9.
  • Rarum id quidem nihil enim aeque gratum est adeptis quam concupiscentibus.
    • An object in possession seldom retains the same charm that it had in pursuit.
    • Book II, letter 15, 1.
  • Dicere etiam solebat nullum esse librum tam malum ut non aliqua parte prodesset..
    • He used to say that "no book was so bad but that some good might be got out of it."
    • Book III, letter 5, 10, referring to Pliny the Elder.
  • By then day had broken everywhere, but here it was still night-no, more than night.
    • Book IV, letter 16.
  • Poetis mentiri licet
    • It is allowed to poets to lie.
      • Book VI, letter 21
  • Everything was done.
    • Book VII, letter 27.
  • That indolent but agreeable condition of doing nothing.
    • Book VIII, letter 9, 3.
  • Objects which are usually the motives of our travels by land and sea are often overlooked and neglected if they lie under our eye...We put off from time to time going and seeing what we know we have an opportunity of seeing when we please.
    • Book VIII, letter 20, 1.
  • Nihil peccat, nisi quod nihil peccat.
    • His only fault is that he has no fault.
    • Book IX, letter 26, 1.
  • I contemplate the sort of friend, the sort of man I am now without. He completed his sixty-seventh year, a reasonable age for the sturdiest of us; I acknowledge that. He escaped from an interminable illness; I acknowledge that. He died with his dear ones surviving him, and at a time of prosperity for the state, which was dearer to him than all else; that too I acknowledge. Yet I lament his death as though he were young and in glowing health. I lament it—you can consider me a weakling in this—on my own account, for I have lost the witness, guardian and teacher of my life.
    • On the death of his friend Cornelius Rufus.

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