Nonfiction > Harvard Classics > Pliny the Younger > Letters
Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113).  Letters.
The Harvard Classics.  1909–14.
XXVI. To the Emperor Trajan
I RECEIVED a letter, Sir, from Apuleius, a military man, belonging to the garrison at Nicomedia, informing me that one Callidromus, being arrested by Maximus and Dionysius (two bakers, to whom he had hired himself), fled for refuge to your statue; 1 that, being brought before a magistrate, he declared he was formerly slave to Laberius Maximus, but being taken prisoner by Susagus 2 in Moesia, 3 he was sent as a present from Decebalus to Pacorus, king of Parthia, in whose service he continued several years, from whence he made his escape, and came to Nicomedia. When he was examined before me, he confirmed this account, for which reason I thought it necessary to send 4 him to you. This I should have done sooner, but I delayed his journey in order to make an enquiry concerning a seal ring which he said was taken from him, upon which was engraven the figure of Pacorus in his royal robes; I was desirous (if it could have been found) of transmitting this curiosity to you, with a small gold nugget which he says he brought from out of the Parthian mines. I have affixed my seal to it, the impression of which is a chariot drawn by four horses.  1
Note 1. Particular temples, altars, and statues were allowed among the Romans as places of privilege and sanctuary to slaves, debtors, and malefactors, This custom was introduced by Romulus, who borrowed it probably from the Greeks;’ but during the free state of Rome, few of these asylums were permitted. This custom prevailed most under the emperors, till it grew so scandalous that the Emperor Pius found it necessary to restrain those privileged places by an edict. See Lipsii Excurs. ad Taciti Ann. iii. c. 36. M. [back]
Note 2. General under Decebalus, king of the Dacians. M. [back]
Note 3. A province in Dacia, comprehending the southern parts of Servia and part of Bulgaria. M. [back]
Note 4. The second expedition of Trajan against Decebalus was undertaken the same year that Pliny went governor into this province; the reason therefore why Pliny sent this Callidromus to the emperor seems to be that some use might possibly be made of him in favour of that design. M. [back]


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