Tuesday, January 26, 2021

"I Can't Wait to Hold Your Babies!" Pliny the Younger Ep. VI.26 and Roman Masculinity

Roman men could have loving and affectionate friendships with their peers without stigma


1 Gaudeo et gratulor, quod Fusco Salinatori filiam tuam destinasti. Domus patricia, pater honestissimus, mater pari laude; ipse studiosus litteratus etiam disertus, puer simplicitate comitate iuvenis senex gravitate. Neque enim amore decipior. 2 Amo quidem effuse — ita officiis ita reverentia meruit -, iudico tamen, et quidem tanto acrius quanto magis amo; tibique ut qui exploraverim spondeo, habiturum te generum quo melior fingi ne voto quidem potuit. 3 Superest ut avum te quam maturissime similium sui faciat. Quam felix tempus illud, quo mihi liberos illius nepotes tuos, ut meos vel liberos vel nepotes, ex vestro sinu sumere et quasi pari iure tenere continget! Vale.  

--Pliny the Younger, Letters 6.26 

From: Pliny 

To: His Dear Servianus 


(1) I am so happy for you, and I congratulate you that you have betrothed your daughter to Fuscus Salinator. He comes from a noble house, has an extremely honorable father, and an equally honorable mother; he himself is very well educated and refined, with childlike honesty, youthful affability, and the austerity of a man much older.  And I’m not letting my feelings for him delude me. 

(2) For I love him abundantly—as much as he deserves, based on the dignity and respect he has shown me—and nevertheless, because I love him, I might judge his character more keenly. And I promise you, as I have found out about him, you too will see that the son-in-law you are getting is better than you can ever hoped for. 

(3) What else? Hopefully he will make you a grandfather ASAP—and make a grandkid that’s just like him, too! What a great time it will be, when I can take from you+r lap his kids—your grandkids—and cuddle them as if they were my very own!  Take care.  



Name: Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus  

Date:  61 BCE – 113 CE

Works:  Letters



Region 1: Peninsular Italy; Region 2: Western Europe; Region 3: Western Coast of Africa; Region 4: Egypt and Eastern Mediterranean; Region 5: Greece and the Balkans



 Pliny the Younger was an Italian born noble and nephew of the famous natural historian Pliny the Elder. He is best known for publishing his private correspondence, in which he flouts his connections with other illustrious Romans (including the Emperor Trajan and the author Tacitus). Two of the most famous examples of these are his “eyewitness” account of the explosion of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 CE and his letter to the emperor Trajan regarding the treatment of Christians.


Early Roman Lit: through 2nd c BCE: Republican Rome: through 1st c. BCE; Golden Age: 70 BCE to 18 CE; Silver Age: 18 CE to 150 CE; Age of Conflict: 150 CE - 410 CE; Byzantine and Late Latin: after 410 CE

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