The Letters of Pliny Essay examples

1570 Words 7 Pages
The Letters of Pliny entail of letters written back and forth from the governor; Pliny and the Emperor Trajan. The letters portray the responsibilities of a Roman governor of a province in ancient times. Responsibilities of a governor included matters such as; public defense, construction, celebrations, citizenship, and basic law enforcement. Letters 30, 31, 42, and 43 all discuss public safety. Letters 30 and 31 describe how to deal with guarding the prisons of several cities, the question comes up as to whether Pliny should employ a party of soldiers or just to use public slave as sentries. However, Trajan cleared up the issue by stating that public slaves should be used, Trajan goes on further and states; "...And the fidelity with which …show more content…
From the evidence given, it has become extremely clear that much of the provinces upkeep did lie in the hand of the Roman governor; he was the eyes and the ears of the emperor. The relationship between Governor Pliny and Emperor Trajan was that of a straightforward one. The relationship was merely that of a business one, an employee and his boss; "You cannot but be sensible, my dearest Secundus, how reserved I am in granting favours of the kinds you desire" (95). However, despite how heavily emperor Trajan relies on Pliny, it is obvious as well that Pliny benefited from the role; "I have yielded, however, to your request, and have directed an article to be inserted in my register" (95). Both members gained from the association; the relationship between Emperor Trajan and Governor Pliny was a mutualistic one. Lastly, letters 96 and 97 discuss Christianity through Roman eyes and the fear it caused. Pliny, unsure as to whether he could execute Christians legally for no other crime than their faith, wrote to the Emperor for advice. The Emperor replied that he did the right thing in executing them, but advised him not to seek out Christians for prosecution. I believe Emperor Trajan's actions towards Christianity were extreme and unnecessary. However, fear of the unknown has always seems to bring out the worst

Related Documents