Pliny the Younger

History of Pliny the Younger

Pliny the Younger ( 61 - 112 A.D.) was the nephew of Pliny the Elder (23 - 79 A.D.) the author of the 37 volumes 'Natural History.' Pliny the Younger had an incredible political career, he was a renowned lawyer or orator, and historic writer.

Pliny the Younger was born into wealthy Roman family from the town of Cornum in Italy. He served on staff of a Syrian legion, serving emperor Domitian, Nerva and Trajan from 81 A.D to 98 A.D. Under Trajan he became Governor of Bithynia-Pontus, a Roman province on the Black Sea off the coast of modern-day Turkey.

Pliny the Youngers Writings

Pliny had a number of writings that substantiate the history of Jesus, his mission and of the workings of the early church Christians. In one of his letters to Emperor Trajan he sought advice for something he considered to be a major problem, how to deal with Christians.

" It is my practice, my lord [Trajan], to refer to you all matters concerning which I am in doubt...I have never participated in trials of Christians. I therefore do not know what offenses it is the practice to punish or investigate, and to what extent. And I have been not a little hesitant as to whether there should be any distinction on account of age or no difference between the very young and the more mature, whether pardon is to be granted for repentance, or, if a man has once been a Christian….I have interrogated these as to whether they were Christians; those who confessed a second and a third time; threatening them with punishment; those who persisted I ordered executed."

- Letters 10.96-97