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Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113).  Letters.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
LXXVII. To the Emperor Trajan
 
 
I HAVE been pressed by some persons to take upon himself the enquiry of causes relating to claims of freedom by birth-right, agreeably to a rescript of Domitian’s to Minucius Rufus, and the practice of former proconsuls. But upon casting my eye on the decree of the senate concerning cases of this nature, I find it only mentions the proconsular provinces. 1 I have therefore, Sir, deferred interfering in this affair, till I shall receive your instructions as to how you would have me proceed.  1
 
Note 1. The Roman provinces in the times of the emperors were of two sorts: those which were distinguished by the name of the provinciæ Cæsaris and the provinciæ senatus. The provinciæ Cæsaris, or imperial provinces, were such as the emperor, for reasons of policy, reserved to his own immediate administration, or of those whom he thought proper to appoint: the provinciæ senatus, or proconsular provinces, were such as he left to the government of proconsuls or prætors, chosen in the ordinary method of election. (Vid. Suet. in Aug. c. 47.) Of the former kind was Bithynia, at the time when our author presided there. (Vid. Masson, Vit. Plin. p. 133.) M. [back]
 

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