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Impetratae civitatis Alexandrinorum pro Harpocrate gaudium.
C. PLINIUS TRAIANO IMPERATORI
Exprimere, domine, verbis non possum quanto me gaudio i adfecerint epistulae tuae, ex quibus cognovi te Harpocrati iatraliptae meo et Alexandrinam civitatem tribuisse, quamvis secundum institutionem principum non temere_eam dare proposuişses. Esse autem Ηarpocran νομού Μεμφιτικού indico tibi. Rogo ergo, indulgentissime imperator, ut mihi ad Pom- 2 peium Plantam, praefectum Aegypti, amicum tuum, sicut promisisti, epistulam mittas. Obviam iturus, quo maturius, domine, exoptatissimi adventus tui gaudio frui possim, rogo permittas mihi quam longissime occurrere tibi. 4 institutiones, B.
νομού Μεμφύτου, Αld. 5 νομού Μεμφιτικού, H. Stephanus. 9 exoptatissime, Ald.
νομού Μεμφίτου, Β.
§ 1. I cannot say how glad I am that you have consented to grant the Alexdrine 'civitas'tq my physician Harpocras. Memphis is his home. § 2. I beg you to write at once as 'you promised to the praefect of Egypt. I should also wish to be allowed to meet you on your welcome return to Rome.
The date of this letter is fixed by the last sentence. Trajan returned from Germany in the second half of 99, in time to canvass personally for the consulship.
νομού Μεμφιτικού. Memphis, the metropolis of the nome, was in Heptanomis or Middle Egypt (see p. 92), Herod. ΙΙ 99 : “ έστι γαρ και η Μέμφις εν τω στεινά της Αιγύπτου.' It was formerly the capital of the Egyptian kings. Tac. Hist. iv 84, Memphin inclutam olim et veteris Aegypti columen’; Plin. Nat. Hist. v 9, 'quondam arx Aegypti regum.' Its climate was very favourable, Hor: Od. III 26, 10, 'Memphin carentem Sithonia nive,' and Mart. vi 80, Navita derisit Pharios Memphiticus hortos.' Even in Strabo's time (p. 807, ed. Casaubon) it was 'Tólis megáln Te kai εύανδρος, δευτέρα μετ' 'Αλεξανδρείαν. There were two pyramids in the nomos Memphites, Plin. Nat. Hist. xxxvi 12, and a number of ancient temples in Memphis itself. Pliny gives a list of the nomes, Nat. Hist. v 9, and says that
that of Memphis extends ‘usque ad summum delta.
exoptatissimi adventus tui (see above, and life of Trajan, p. 5). Trajan had spent almost two years in Germany since his adoption by Nerva, and a year and a half since Nerva's death. He was engaged in the rectification of the Rhine frontier, and it was in connection with this important work, and to draw attention to the affairs beyond the Rhine, that Tacitus published the Germania in 98 (see c. 37). But although Trajan's absence was acquiesced in, there was naturally some impatience for his return. Thus Martial, x 7, addressing the Rhine, says, "Traianum populis suis et urbi, Tibris te dominus rogat, remittas.' Pliny (Panegyr. § 20) contrasts the moderation which marked his progress through Italy with the luxury and exactions of Domitian. Quam dissimilis nuper alterius principis transitus ! si tamen transitus illa, non populatio fuit’; and Trajan himself published the expenses of the two journeys, 'Itaque non tam pro tua gloria quam pro utilitate communi edicto subiecisti quid
utrumque vestrum esset impensum.' The entry into the city, the demonstrations of the crowd, and the courtesy of Trajan, are described in Panegyr. § 22.
Proxima infirmitas mea, domine, obligavit me. Postumio Marino medico; cui parem gratiam referre beneficio tuo 'possum, si precibus meis ex consuetudine .bonitatis tupe indulseris. Rogo ergo, ut propinquis eius des civitatem, Chrysippo Mithridatis uxorique Chrysippi Stratonicae Epigoni,
i-item liberis § 1. My recent illness has put me sary that his wife and sons should also under obligation Postumius receive it. Marinus, my physician, whom I can only utque iis in libertos servetur ius adequately reward by your help. § 2. patronorum. This is an exceptional My petition therefore is that you will privilege granted to the sons. grant the Roman civitas to some of his grini they had the usual rights over their relations, viz. to Chrysippus and his wife freedmen, with which the father could Stratonice and his children Epigonus and not interfere, but on coming under the Mithridates; and the ‘ius Quiritium'to L. patria potestas, the son would naturally Satrius Abascantus, P. Caesius Phos- Iose not only his right of testamentary porus, and Pancharia Soteris. I make disposition and owning property, but this request at the desire of their patrons. also his rights over his freedmen. These
The reference to the illness approxi- consisted (1) in the general obsequium, mately determines the date of the letter. reverentia, or honour, which the freedman
§ 1. proxima infirmitas mea. See had to render to his patron, Cic. ad above, in Ep. 5, 1, and 8, 3.
Quint. frat. i 1, 4, Dionys. iv 24; Postumio Marino. He evidently and (2) in the fulfilment of certain prohad the civitas himself, having probably mises made on the manumission to supply received the iusta manumissio from one dona, munera, bona, operae. Cic. ad of the Postumian gens. He was, how- Attic. vii 2, ad fam. xiv 4; (3) the ever, a peregrinus by origin, as the condi. right of guardianship over the wives, tion of his relatives proves.
daughters, and infants of their freedmen; 2. des civitatem. See above in (4) claims on the intestate succession to Ep. 5, 2.
the estates of their freedmen; (5) the Chrysippo Mithridatis. The ordin
right in case of ingratitude or impiety to ary way of stating the name of a pere- make the manumission void. Suet. grinus, see above, p. 90.
Claud. 25 ‘Ingratos (libertinos) et de Epigono et Mithridati. The child.
quibus patroni quererentur revocavit in ren according to the ordinary Greek servitutem.' This was, however, appar. custom were named after their grand- ently a temporary measure, as we find fathers.
the same proposal made under Nero, ita ut sint in patris potestate. Tac. Ann. xiii 26: 'Per idem tempus This is, of course, the natural conse- actum in senatu de fraudibus libertorum, quence of the father and mother receiving efflagitatumque ut adversus male meritos the civitas, which involved conubium. revocandae libertatis ius patronis daretur.' Gaius, i 67, quia non aliter quisquam It was, however, finally settled that they ad patris conditionem accedit, quam si should decide each case upon its merits inter patrem et matrem eius conubium 'quotiens (liberti) a patronis arguerensit,' and he adds, 'when wife and son tur.' enter into the Romana civitas " ex eo ius Quiritium. See on Ep. 5, 2. tempore incipit filius in potestate patris volentibus patronis. See on petente
In order that Chrysippus might patrona, Ep. 5, 3. have the 'patria potestas,' it was neces
eiusdem Chrysippi, Epigono et Mithridati, ita ut sint in patris potestate utque iis in liberto's servetur ius patronorum. Item rogo indulgeas ius Quiritium L. Satrio Abascanto et P. Caesio Phosphoro et Panchariae Soteridi ; quod a te volentibus patro
4 Panchay:ae:ac, B.
Praeturam amico petit
C. PLINIUS TRAIANO IMPERATORI
Scio, domine, memoriae tuae, quae est bene faciendi tenacissima, preces nostras inhaerere. Quia tamen in hoc quoque indulsisti, admoneo simul et inpense rogo ut Attium Suram praețura exornare digneris, cum locus vacet.
Ad quam spem I am aware, sire, that our petitions had done what they liked in this respect never escape your memory.
But I am as in others, was again placed by Augustemboldened by your previous indulgence us in the hands of the popular assemto remind you of my request that you blies. Suet. Aug. 40,
comitiorum should confer the first praetorship vacant pristinum ius reduxit’; and Tac. Ann. on Attius Sura. Though naturally re- iii 28, 'Sexto demum consulatu Caesar tiring, he is encouraged to hope for your Augustus, potentiae securus, quae triumindulgence both by the prestige of his viratu iusserat abolevit.' He, however, birth and the integrity which he has seems to have looked upon the popular shown amid comparative poverty.
a necessary evil, and on bene faciendi tenacissima. Cf. several occasions when popular feeling Ep. 85; 'disciplinae tenacissimum'; about the elections ran high, he himself Quint. i 1, 19, 'memoria tenacissi- appointed to the consulships (Dio Cass. ma'; also Juv. viii 25; Verg. Aen. iv 54, 10), or even to all the magistracies, 188.
Dio Cass, 55, 34, πάντας τους άρξοντας in hoc, so far.
αυτός, επειδήπερ εστασιάζετο, απέδειξε.' admoneo simul et inpense rogo. The need for this exceptional action I remind you and at the same time add passed away when Tiberius, perhaps as a urgency to my request.
part of the Augustan policy, transferred Attium Suram. Mommsen thinks in 14 A.D. the comitia from the campus he may be identified with the Suberinus to the senate, Tac. Ann. i 15. But both or Suburanus mentioned in vi 33 as lay- before and after this change, which placed ing claim to the property of the father of the election to the consulship, praetorship, Attia Viriola, who had disinherited her tribunate, aedileship, and quaestorship in favour of a stepmother. Although in the hands of the senate, there were two there is an inscription cited, Hermes, iii ways by which the emperors could exer132, naming a Sex. Attius Suburanus, cise considerable influence on the elections: the identification seems hardly made out, (1) by the right which as presiding magisespecially as the Suberinus mentioned in trate he shared with the consuls of testing vi 33 was disinherited by his own father, the qualifications of candidates. Those and is described as 'singulari impudentia who were approved were 'nominati,' i.e. alieni patris bona vindicans, non ausus allowed to receive votes, Dio Cass. 53, sui patris.'
21. The emperors had not the sole right praetura exornare. Election to the of nominatio, as appears from Tac. Ann. old republican magistracies, after the ex- i 81, 'plerumque eos tantum apud se ceptional period in which the triumvirs professos disseruit, quorum nomina conalioqui quietissimum hortatur et natalium splendor et summa integritas in paupertate et ante omnia felicitas temporum, quae sulibus edidisset ; posse et alios profiteri also Vell. Paterc. ii 124, 'Quo tempore si gratiae aut meritis confiderent.' But mihi patrique meo candidatis Caesaris, as a matter of fact the emperor's nominees proxime a nobilissimis ac sacerdotibus would always stand the best chance of viris destinari praetoribus contigit, conelection, and if he chose to nominate secutis, ut neque post nos quemquam exactly the number of vacancies, the Divus Augustus neque ante nos Caesar election was practically decided by his commendaret Tiberius.' Pliny, Panegyr. nomination. Tac. Ann. i 14, 'Candi- 69, describes, as Mommsen shows, the datos praeturae duodecim nominavit, praetorian comitia, Staatsrecht, vol. ii numerum ab Augusto traditum : et hor- p. 879. In this case Trajan introduces tante senatu ut augeret, iureiurando ob- his candidati in person, being himself strinxit, se non excessurum.' Also in consul, ‘alii cum laetitia' (i.e. the comii 36, Asinius Gallus proposes that the mendati) 'alii cum spe' (i.e. the nominati) emperor duodecim candidatos in singulos "recesserunt.' annos nominaret.' There was sometimes, The number of praetors varied at difhowever, a real contest in the senate, ferent times. Under Augustus it was Tac. Ann. ii 51; and Suet. Vesp. 2, usually 12, Dio Cass. 56, 25, all' and the number of the emperor's nomin- οι δώδεκα επί πολύ κατέστησαν, but someees, no doubt, varied from time to time. times sixteen. Cf. also Dio Cass. 58, 20.
Under Tiberius some extraordinary (2) By a development from the old praetorships were conferred upon delaRepublican custom of commendatio, the tores. Tac. Ann. ii 32, 'praeturae extra emperors had the right of recommending ordinem datae iis qui senatorii ordinis a certain number of candidates (candidati erant'; and, accordingly, Dio Cass. Caesaris), who were, as a matter of course, 58, 20, πεντεκαίδεκα στρατηγοί εγένοντος elected without any opposition, Tac. και τούτο επί πολλά έτη συνέβη. So, Ann. i 25, 'moderante Tiberio ne plures too, under Caligula, Dio Cass. 59, 20. quam quatuor candidatos commendaret, Under Claudius it varied from fourteen to sine repulsa et ambitu designandos.' eighteen, Dio Cass. 60, 10, 'åvwuálws This passage (referring to the praetorship) δε δή οι στρατηγοί απεδείκνυντο" και γάρ proves that out of twelve appointments τεσσαρακαίδεκα και οκτωκαίδεκα, διά μέσου only four were absolutely at the disposal
éyévovto.' Under Nero there was of the emperor, who did not, however, a fixed number, probably seventeen, Tac. himself appoint, but merely recommended Ann. xiv 28; while Nerva added one to the senate. It is noticeable that no to preside over cases of dispute between instance is known of the emperor's com
individuals and the fiscus, Dig. 1, 2, 2, 32; mendatio for the consulship, until the Panegyr. 36. The judicial functions of the end of Nero's reign, Tac. Hist. i 77, praetors were diminished (1) by the judicial
ceteri consulatus ex destinatione Neronis power of the princeps ; (2) of the senate; aut Galbae mansere,' and Hist. ii. 71, (3) of the praefectus urbi. But the after which the consulship was absolutely praetor urbanus and praetor peregrinus at the disposal of the emperor, to a much still retained their judicial functions, Tac. greater extent than any of the subordinate Ann. i 15, 'mox celebratio ad praetorem magistracies. With regard to these latter translata cui inter cives et peregrinos the right of commendatio remained un- iurisdictio evenisset'; others presided altered. It is mentioned but indefinitely over the various iudicia, Tac. Ann. i 75, in the 'lex regia de imperio,' previous to nec patrum cognitionibus satiatus iudiciis Vespasian's reign, 'uti quos magistratum
adsidebat in cornu tribunalis, ne praepotestatem imperium curationemve cuius torem curuli depelleret,' and Suet. Tiber. rei petentes senatui populoque Romano 33; one at least presided over cases of commendaverit quibusque suffragationem fidei commissa, Suet. Claud. 23, and suam dederit promiserit, eorum comitiis Orelli, 3135, “praetori de fidei commissis,' quibusque extra ordinem ratio habeatur.' and one after Nerva over cases connected Those who were thus commended usually with the fiscus. But by the time of Nero received the honorary title of praetor or
there was not sufficient judicial work for all, quaestor candidatus. Thus Orelli, 133, Tac. Agric. vi 4, 'idem praeturae tenor et 2759, 3151, also I.N. 5983, 'per omnes silentium: nec enim iurisdictio obvenerat.' honores candidatus Augustorum.' See
But the number of praetorian appoint
bonam conscientiam civium tuorum ad usum indulgentiae tuae provocat et attollit.
ments was so large, e.g. the less import- would be appointed, but it seems uncerant provincial commands both senatorial tain whether the emperor's commendatio and imperial, the legateship of the legions, applied in these cases (see Tac. Ann. ii etc. etc., that the number of praetors 51, 'de praetore in locum Vipsanii Galli could not be diminished. But a large
quem mors abstulerat subrogando cerproportion of them probably had chiefly to tamen incessit). It is, therefore, better provide for, and to preside at, the various to take it as a vacancy in the list of those games and festivals, Tac. Ann. i 15; Agric. to whom the emperor had promised his vi 4: 'ludos et inania honoris'; Suet. commendatio.' Vesp. 2: ‘Praetor ... ludos extra- natalium splendor. Cf. Ep. 4, 5. ordinarios pro victoria eius Germanica summa integritas in paupertate. depoposcit; Dio Cass., 54, 2: 'kal tois As pointed out above, this is hardly conμεν στρατηγούς τας πανηγύρεις πάσας sistent with Mommsen's hypothesis that i poobražev'; also Juv. x 36, xi 191, xiv the poverty was caused by his 'exhere256. See Mommsen's Staatsrecht, vol. datio.' ii pp. 193 ff., and pp. 877-887, and bonam conscientiam. Pauly, Real Encyclop. vol. vi pp. 23 ff. 3, 'optimam conscientiam ; Tac. Agric. i Pliny, therefore, requests Trajan to use bonae tantum conscientiae pretio'; also his commendatio for Attius Sura.
Sen. Ep. 43, 5, 'bona conscientia turbam cum locus vacet. This might refer advocat, mala etiam in solitudine anxia to a possible vacancy during the year by
est.' death, in which case a praetor suffectus
Cf. i 12,
Sacerdotium sibi petit
C. PLINIUS TRAIANO IMPERATORI
Cum sciam, domine, ad testimonium laudemque morum meorum pertinere tam boni principis iudicio exornari, rogo
Knowing as I do, sire, how much my Henzen, 5431. The letters, however, in reputation is increased by marks of favour Book iv imply Trajan's presence in Rome, from you, I beg you to appoint me either Ep. iv 22; and he was away on the first an augur or a septemvir, both which posts Dacian war from early in ioi till the end are vacant. I shall then be able to offer of 102. See life of Trajan, pp. 7-8. The in a sacred and public capacity the prayers augurship was, therefore, probably confor your prosperity which I now offer in
ferred in 103. private.
tam boni principis iudicio: cf. iv 8, The date of this letter is approximately
quoted above. fixed by comparison with iv 8, where he dignitati ad quam, etc., with special says, Gratularis mihi quod acceperim reference to the consulship which Pliny auguratum, primum quod gravissimi prin- held in September 100. cipis iudicium in minoribus etiam rebus auguratum vel septemviratum. consequi pulchrum est
Both these belonged to the four maiora illud etiam gratulatione dignum videtur collegia of sacerdotes, Dio Cass. 53, 1, quod successi Iulio Frontino,' etc. (1) ταις τέταρσιν ιερωσύναις.. λέγω δε Frontinus, the author of De agrorun τούς τε ποντίφικας, και τους οιωνιστάς τούς qualitate and De aquaeductibus, had been τε έπτα και τους πεντεκαίδεκα άνδρας καpraetor in 70 (Tac. Hist. iv 39), and lovuévous,' and Tac. Ann. iii 62. On Consul III in 100. (2) The augurship the number, functions, dignity, etc., of was generally conferred after the consul. the augurs, see Marquadt, Staatsverw. ship; Tac. Agric. 9; Hist. i 77, and vol. iii pp. 397 ff. ; Mommsen, Staats