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Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113).  Letters.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
XXX. To the Emperor Trajan
 
 
I BEG your determination, Sir, on a point I am exceedingly doubtful about: it is whether I should place the public slaves 1 as sentries round the prisons of the several cities in this province (as has been hitherto the practice) or employ a party of soldiers for that purpose? On the one hand, I am afraid the public slaves will not attend this duty with the fidelity they ought; and, on the other, that it will engage too large a body of the soldiery. In the meanwhile I have joined a few of the latter with the former. I am apprehensive, however, there may be some danger that this method will occasion a general neglect of duty, as it will afford them a mutual opportunity of throwing the blame upon each other.  1
 
Note 1. Slaves who were purchased by the public. M.” [back]
 

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