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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a work of
C. Suetonius Tranquillus

published in the Loeb Classical Library,

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


 p505  Suetonius
The Life of Pliny the Elder

[Legamen ad paginam Latinam] Plinius Secundus of Novum Comum, after performing with energy the military service required of members of the equestrian order, administered several important stewardships in succession with the utmost justice. Yet he gave so much attention to liberal studies, that hardly anyone who had complete leisure wrote more than he. For instance, he gave an account in twenty volumes of all the wars which were ever carried on with Germany, besides completing the thirty-seven books of his "Natural History." He lost his life in the disaster in Campania. He was commanding the fleet at Misenum, and setting out in a Liburnian galley​1 during the eruption of Vesuvius to investigate the causes of the phenomenon from nearer at hand, he was unable to return because of head winds. He was suffocated by the shower of dust and ashes, although some think he was killed by a slave, whom he begged to hasten his end when he was overcome by the intense heat.

The Loeb Editor's Note:

1 See Calig. xxxvii.2.

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Page updated: 16 Jul 08