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Plutarch and his Roman Readers$
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Philip A. Stadter

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198718338

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198718338.001.0001

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The Justice of Trajan in Pliny Epistles 10 and Plutarch

The Justice of Trajan in Pliny Epistles 10 and Plutarch

(p.179) 12 The Justice of Trajan in Pliny Epistles 10 and Plutarch
Plutarch and his Roman Readers

Philip A. Stadter

Oxford University Press

In this chapter it is shown that study of Pliny’s artful correspondence with Trajan (Epistles 10) and Plutarch’s statements reveals that Plutarch shared the ideology of the just ruler articulated by Pliny, his Roman contemporary, and that Trajan’s public stance reflected Plutarch’s own ideals. Plutarch stressed the necessity of justice in a true ruler in several lives, including Numa, Demetrius, Agesilaus, Alexander, and Antony. Pliny’s tenth book of letters also constructs an ideology of rule, presenting a constructed ideal exchange between a faithful senator and governor and the emperor, based on the real-life situation of Pliny’s service in Bithynia. The relation appears as one of respect and friendship. The emperor shows paternal care for his provincial subjects, but stresses that they must manage their finances carefully. Although they use different methods, both Pliny and Plutarch seek to encourage a commitment to governing justly and with concern for the governed.

Keywords:   Plutarch, Pliny the Younger, justice, just ruler, leader, Trajan, correspondence, Numa, Bithynia

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