Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 330: 2-3

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Pliny: Natural History

Plinii Naturalis Historia


Plinius Secundus Vespasiano Suo S

Libros Naturalis Historiae, novicium Camenis Quiritium tuorum opus, natos apud me proxima fetura licentiore epistula narrare1 constitui tibi, iucundissime imperator—sit enim haec tui praefatio, verissima, dum maximi consenescit in patre—

namque tu solebas nugas esse aliquid meas putare2

ut obiter emolliam Catullum concerraneum3 meum—agnoscis et hoc castrense verbum—(ille enim, ut scis, permutatis prioribus syllabis duriusculum se4 fecit quam volebat existimari a Veraniolis suis et 2Fabullis), simul ut hac mea petulantia fiat quod proxime non fieri questus es in alia procaci epistula



Pliny Natural History


Plinius Secundus to His Dear Vespasiana Greeting

Most Gracious Highness (let this title, a supremely true one, be yours, while that of ‘Most Eminent’ grows to old age with your sire)—I have resolved to recountb to you, in a somewhat presumptuous letter, the offspring of my latest travail, my volumes of Natural History (a novel task for the native Muses of your Roman citizens)— For ‘twas e’er your way To deem my trifles something worthc —to give a passing touch of polish to my ‘opposite number’d—you recognize even this service slang—Catullus (for he, as you know, by interchanging the first syllablese made himself a trifle harsherf than he wished to be considered by his ‘darling Veraniuses and Fabulluses’)g and at the same time that my present sauciness may effect what in the case of another impudent letter of mine lately you complained

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938