Drip-feed invective: Pliny, self-fashioning, and the Regulus letters

In Anna Marmodoro & Jonathan Hill (eds.), The Author's Voice in Classical and Late Antiquity. Oxford University Press. pp. 207 (2013)

Pliny’s letters generally seem designed to portray an image of Pliny himself as kind and altruistic, fulfilling the obligations of a Roman aristocrat. But in one group of his letters—those about the infamous delator Marcus Aquilius Regulus—the author’s voice instead appears malignant and hostile. If, as seems certain, Pliny carefully planned his letters with the aim of portraying himself in a certain way, why the discrepancy? This chapter argues that these letters serve a deliberate purpose in constructing part of the overall persona Pliny wishes to project—a neo-Ciceronian persona of eloquence, moralizing, and memorializing.
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Reprint years 2014
DOI 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670567.003.0008
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