Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

Reading the Letters of Pliny the Younger
An Introduction


  • Date Published: March 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521842921

$ 124.00

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Paperback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available for inspection. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an inspection copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • This is the first general introduction to Pliny's Letters published in any language, combining close readings with broader context and adopting a fresh and innovative approach to reading the letters as an artistically structured collection. Chapter 1 traces Pliny's autobiographical narrative throughout the Letters; Chapter 2 undertakes detailed study of Book 6 as an artistic entity; while Chapter 3 sets Pliny's letters within a Roman epistolographical tradition dominated by Cicero and Seneca. Chapters 4 to 7 study thematic letter cycles within the collection, including those on Pliny's famous country villas and his relationships with Pliny the Elder and Tacitus. The final chapter focuses on the 'grand design' which unifies and structures the collection. Four detailed appendices give invaluable historical and scholarly context, including a helpful timeline for Pliny's life and career, detailed bibliographical help on over 30 popular topics in Pliny's letters and a summary of the main characters mentioned in the Letters.

    • Introduces the basic mechanics and contexts of the Letters and focuses on literary qualities and design of whole books
    • Studies notable features, themes and individual letters within the collection
    • Includes detailed appendices on Pliny's life and times, the addressees and subject of every letter in Books 1-9, detailed bibliographical help on over thirty popular topics in Pliny's letters, and information on the identity of the main characters mentioned in or addressed by the Letters
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'Gibson and Morello's volume offers a welcome contribution to recent scholarship on the letters of Pliny the Younger ... [provides] a fresh perspective on Pliny the Younger's letters … The textual analyses will appeal to many and the highly accessible appendices are broadly useful … The greatest contribution of this volume may be the authors' insistence that (re)reading Pliny's letters both linearly and selectively will proffer the greatest appreciation for Pliny's conscientious attention to the organization and thematic development of his epistolary collection. Moreover, Gibson and Morello's reading strategies will significantly benefit readers embarking anew on (re)reading the letters.' Noelle Zeiner-Carmichael, The Journal of Roman Studies

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521842921
    • length: 364 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 160 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 1 map 41 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Reading a life: Letters, Book 1
    2. Reading a book: Letters, Book 6
    3. Epistolary models: Cicero and Seneca
    4. Pliny's elders and betters: the Elder Pliny, Vestricius Spurinna, Corellius Rufus, Verginius Rufus
    5. Pliny's peers: reading for the addressee
    6. Otium: how to manage leisure
    7. Reading the Villa Letters:
    9.7, 2.17, 5.6
    8. The grand design: how to read a collection
    Appendix 1. A Pliny timeline, and the great Comum inscription
    Appendix 2. Letters 1-9: catalogue of contents and addressees
    Appendix 3. Popular topics in the Letters: bibliographical help
    Appendix 4. Index of main characters in the Letters.

  • Authors

    Roy K. Gibson, University of Durham
    Roy K. Gibson is Professor of Latin at the University of Manchester and the author of a commentary on Ovid, Ars Amatoria 3 (Cambridge, 2003) and Excess and Restraint: Propertius, Horace and Ovid's Ars Amatoria (2007). He is co-editor with Ruth Morello of both Re-imagining Pliny the Younger (Arethusa special number 36.2, 2003) and of Pliny the Elder: Themes and Contexts (2011). He plans to work next on a commentary on Pliny, Letters Book 6.

    Ruth Morello, University of Manchester
    Ruth Morello is Lecturer in Latin at the University of Manchester, and co-editor with A. D. Morrison of Ancient Letters: Classical and Late Antique Epistolography (2007). Also in collaboration with Roy Gibson, she is co-editor of Re-imagining Pliny the Younger (Arethusa special number 36.2, 2003) and of Pliny the Elder: Themes and Contexts (2011). She is currently working on a monograph on representations of Julius Caesar in the literature of the triumviral and early imperial periods.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.