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Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113).  Letters.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
 
CXIX. To the Emperor Trajan
 
 
THE ATHLETIC victors, Sir, in the Iselastic 1 games, conceive that the stipend you have established for the conquerors becomes due from the day they are crowned: for it is not at all material, they say, what time they were triumphantly conducted into their country, but when they merited that honour. On the contrary, when I consider the meaning of the term Iselastic, I am strongly inclined to think that it is intended the stipend should commence from the time of their public entry. They likewise petition to be allowed the treat you give at those combats which you have converted into Iselastic, though they were conquerors before the appointment of that institution: for it is but reasonable, they assert, that they should receive the reward in this instance, as they are deprived of it at those games which have been divested of the honour of being Iselastic, since their victory. But I am very doubtful whether a retrospect should be admitted in the case in question, and a reward given, to which the claimants had no right at the time they obtained the victory, I beg, therefore, you would be pleased to direct my judgment in these points, by explaining the intention of your own benefactions.  1
 
Note 1. These games are called Iselastic from the Greek word [Greek], invehor, because the victors, drawn by white horses, and wearing crowns on their heads, were conducted with great pomp into their respective cities, which they entered through a breach in the walls made for that purpose; intimating, as Plutarch observes, that a city which produced such able and victorious citizens, had little occasion for the defence of walls (Catanæus). They received also annually a certain honorary stipend from the public. M. [back]
 

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