The Complete Letters of Pliny the Younger
Read by Russell Bentley with Ben Onwukwe
The extant letters of Pliny, written between AD 97 and 112, give us a unique insight into Imperial Rome under the early Antonine emperors. Organised into 10 books, the letters reflect a wide range of topics, mirroring Pliny’s own public and private interests. Among many other subjects, the letters also include an eye-witness account of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, with the final book containing the exchange of letters between the writer (whose career culminated as Governor of Bithynia) and the emperor Trajan.
A fascinating document of the career and interests of a politician and imperial official.
Running Time: 14 h 25 m
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Digital ISBN: 978-1-78198-415-4 Cat. no.: NA0551 Produced by: Chris Barstow for Tall Story Audiobooks at The Perfumery Translated by: J.B. Firth (updated) BISAC: HIS002020 BIC: HBJD, HBLA1 Released: September 22
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Pliny’s 240-odd letters reveal the Roman world of roughly 100 CE in all its complexity and sophistication. Russell Bentley enters into Pliny’s many roles – lawyer, judge, landowner, poet, government official – not only by expressing the sense of the letters clearly, but also by illuminating Pliny’s varied moods and emotions, often implicit and only subtly indicated. Bentley’s voice and British accent are likable and his pacing good. His tone becomes notably deferential in the last section, when Pliny corresponds with his emperor, Trajan. Ben Onwukwe’s deep, incisive-sounding voice is suitably authoritative in Trajan’s responses, and his narration is illuminatingly sensitive to the text. The two adept actors give an intelligent, expressive rendering of these historically important and, to the patient listener, fascinating documents.