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The Author's Voice in Classical and Late Antiquity$
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Anna Marmodoro and Jonathan Hill

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199670567

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670567.001.0001

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

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

Chapter:
(p.206) (p.207) 7 Drip-feed invective: Pliny, self-fashioning, and the Regulus letters
Source:
The Author's Voice in Classical and Late Antiquity
Author(s):

Rhiannon Ash

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199670567.003.0008

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.

Keywords:   Pliny, Letters, Marcus Aquilius Regulus

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