Pliny (Death 6.16) Notes and Stylistic Points

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The Death of Pliny the Elder


  • 'tibi' – refers to the Historian Tacitus
  • 'imperio praesens'; in person – magnifies P the E's prescence
  • 'nonum kal. septembres hora fere septima'; 24/08 @ 7 – time frame is vivid and exact, and increases the story-like quality of this letter
  • 'indicat'; indicate(s/d) – historic present creates the sense of an event unfolding now
  • 'eruditissimo' – superlative, again elevates P the E
  • 'mirabilem', 'magna prpiusque noscenda' – intriguing, used to draw in the reader with suspense of the unknown
  • 'iubet' – emphatic positioning to convey the sense of speed
  • 'me si venire una vellum rogat' – poignant detail in retrospect
  • iubet liburnicum parari; me si venire una vellum rogat; respondere studere me malle' – stacatto phrases add to sense of speed. Asyndeton also controls pace and increases spead.
  • 'egrediebatur...accipit' – present tense interrupts imperfect, sense of speed
  • 'imminenti periculo' – hyperbolic language used to portray Pliny as strong
  • 'tanto' – magnifies danger
  • 'vertit ille consilium' – vertit is E.P. increases speed and sense of immediacy; also a literal turning point in the story as importance is given to vertit. 
  • 'studioso animo...maximo' – juxtaposition of qualities and E.P increases effect of heroic characteristic
  • 'deducit quadririmes, ascendit ipse... auxilium' – asyndetic list for speed; ipse emphasises and magnifies prescence and bravery
  • 'festinat illuc unde alii fugiunt' – chaismus / chiastic phrase where two opposites are juxtaposed to elevate his heroic character. 
  • 'rectumque cursum recta' – polyptoton emphasises his methodical and organised mindset
  • ' periculum' – so brave he does not hesitate, word choice to evoke reader incredulity
  • 'adeo solutus metu' – heroic quality, admirable bravery


  • 'iam, iam, iam' – anaphora / repetition / tricolon shows the rapid worsening of the situation.
  • 'calidior, densior, propius' – comparatives demonstrating 'worsening'; propius shows the relativity between danger and distance
  • 'subitum' – pace increases, shows instability of the situation
  • 'haesitat paulisper' – only for a short while, also the situation must be dire



Wow, this is so helpful! Was wondering if you by any chance had any Arria notes? Thanks :)


Thankyou so much, these have been extremely helpful - really appreciated 


Detailed and thorough analysis


This helpedid me latin speka


This helpedid me latin speka

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