Domitian's Lightning Bolts and CLose Shaves In Pliny

Thomas E. Strunk, Xavier University - Cincinnati


Pliny's portrayal of his public life under Domitian has often come under fire from both those who approach Pliny'sLettersfrom a historical perspective and those who study them as a literary production. This article reevaluates Pliny's experiences in five significant areas: public speaking,amicitia, political promotion, threats of political persecution, and survival and reconciliation. In all of these circumstances, Pliny is found to be an honest narrator of his own political struggles under Domitian and an eloquent voice for his generation's endurance.