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Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113).  Letters.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
X. To the Emperor Trajan
 
 
I WAS greatly obliged, Sir, in my late illness, to Posthumius Marinus, my physician; and I cannot make him a suitable return, but by the assistance of your wonted gracious indulgence. I entreat you then to make Chrysippus Mithridates and his wife Stratonica (who are related to Marinus) denizens of Rome. I entreat likewise the same privilege in favour of Epigonus and Mithridates, the two sons of Chrysippus; but with this restriction, 1 that they may remain under the dominion of their father, and yet reserve their right of patronage over their own freedmen. I further entreat you to grant the full privileges of a Roman to L. Satrius Abascantius, P. Cæsius Phosphorus, and Pancharia Soteris. This request I make with the consent of their patrons.  1
 
Note 1. The extensive power of paternal authority was (as has been observed in the notes above) peculiar to the Romans. But after Chrysippus was made a denizen of Rome, he was not, it would seem, consequentially entitled to that privilege over those children which were born before his denization. On the other hand, if it was expressly granted him, his children could not preserve their right of patronage over their own freedmen, because that right would of course devolve to their father, by means of this acquired dominion over them. The denization therefore of his children is as expressly solicited as his own. But both parties becoming quirites, the children by this creation, and not pleading in right of their father, would be patres fam. To prevent which the clause is added, “ita ut sint in patris potestate:” as there is another to save to them their rights of patronage over their freedmen, though they were reduced in patriam potestatem. M. [back]
 

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