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
- aThe Emperor Titus.
- bEdd. cj. nuncupare, ‘dedicate,’ ‘assign to your name.’
- cCatullus i 3 f.
- dConcerraneum = concerronem or congerronem ‘boon-companion’ (one who congerit, contributes to a feast).
- eCatullus wrote meas esse aliquid putare nugas.
- fPerhaps alter Latin to give ‘made it a little harsher than he wished it to be thought.’
- gCatullus xii. 16, ut Veraniolum meum et Fabullum.