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Library meetings and publishing according to Pliny Mladshemu


UDC 021.6:904:929

A.A. Yelagina


Libraries played a role of the cultural centers in Rima and were closely connected with publishing. The edition of the book was a subject of correspondence of Pliny Mladshy with Svetony. Process of the birth of the book is difficult: writing, retsitation, response review, correction. Donation was one of forms of completing of library meetings. Rome did not know copyright. To the book treated as intellectual value. In the 1st century AD Pliny Mladshy acted as the creator in Rima of society of adherents on a certain subject in literature and history.

In Rome, libraries played the role of cultural centers and were closely linked with publishing. The latter was a subject of correspondence between Pliny the Younger and Suetonius. The way to the birth of a book is complicated: writing, recitation, reference-review, and proofreading. Donation was one of the ways to build up library collections. The copyright was not known to Rome. A book was treated as an intellectual value. Pliny the Younger became the founder of a society of devotees of certain literature works and historical subjects in the 1st century AD.

In the literary work Pliny Mladshy cooperated with the historian Tacitus and with other colleagues. He "expected to find the ally" ("habere socium") [1, with. 107] in the scientific and literary occupations. All of them were united by love for the book. A book role among the Roman intellectuals and also a condition of library and publishing science in Rima the 1st century AD — a subject especially interesting and at the same time a little studied [2 — 5].

In Rima public libraries late gained development. The first of them was founded in 39 on the means taken during a campaign of the Roman army to Dalmatia; in it books were issued, public readings new works were arranged [6, page 138, 171 — 174]. Pliny Mladshy, as we know, for library for the hometown of Komo spent 100 thousand sesterces and as much for its contents. It follows from this that certain individuals of the Roman elite cared for the maintenance of libraries as appropriate, allocated money from the personal funds for their development. However, the state also worried about libraries.

So, on the means received from the war in Dacia Traian's Basilica in which placed library [7, S was constructed. 320 — 321]. Not only large public (Palatinskaya and in Octavia's portico), but also in general any libraries contained a large number of books by both Latin, and Ancient Greek authors. It is not accidental, Ancient Greek language long remained science language in Rima, and the Roman elite was fluent in it practically. Libraries played a role of the cultural centers also because gave an opportunity of intellectual communication. Rome along with Alexandria became one of the centers of prosperity of the Greek literature: Dionysius Galikarnassky, Strabo and others wrote in the city.

Libraries were not only in the capital. From inscriptions it is known of existence of libraries even in absolutely small towns, for example in Volsiniyakh, Suesse [22], and in Tibur the books were issued even for the house. Private knigosobraniye appeared public much earlier. Was considered as sign of good form to have a home library. It was the integral accessory of the good estate, and it contained books not only on an agriculture. In the period of the late Republic and the early Empire historical works and poetry were the most demanded genres.

The statement — Pliny Mladshy — in it — "Letters" — [1 — with-78] about library of ГереннияестнкЗЭийсуШнейш&бт$еннТчолвй®кситтоим remained. ИрШ№® — to mark £10.Slpduyet14 that the Roman intellectuals collected not only books. The private library included busts and portraits of writers and thinkers and also just the sculptures differing in high artistry of execution [8, page 63 — 65]. It satisfied not only scientific, but also esthetic inquiries.

It is known that the Gerenny North wished to place, for example, in the library Cornelius Nepot and Tit Katiya's portraits — fellow countrymen Vibiya Severa. Pliny Mladshy addresses the last in one of the letters: "He [the Gerenny North] asks me if they [portraits] are there, and it is probable, to eat, order from them copies in drawings and in paints [1, page 78]. Pliny asks to invite the most diligent artist that that made copies of portraits for Gerenniya Severa library [12, page 107].

Other owners of libraries gave preference to writers: for example, Virgil's busts and Libya [10, page 114 placed; 3, page 82 — 83], others preferred the famous political figures, in Titiniya Kapiton's house, in particular, there were Brutus's images, the Cassia and Katona. The portrait sculpture of that time strikes with the realism what demonstrates high art taste of the Roman society [11, page 132], modern to Pliny Mladshemu. In "Letters" Pliny Mladshy admires, for example, the Corinthian bronze statue of the standing old man which he bought for big money, and admires as skillfully and expressively it is made [1, page 47].

Pliny Mladshy sought to order copies of portraits of the famous people of the and previous time too [1, page 47]. Portrait images of writers, historians, scientists were as in public (state), and personal private collections. So, the portrait image of Virgil was placed in library Celia Italika, writing verses which he sometimes publicly read, "wishing to learn how judge them" [1, page 47 — 48]. The manor Celia Italika was near Naples where he wrote, spent days in scientific conversations. Sily Italik was a big fan of beauty. He had a passion to buy a set of books, statues, portraits. At the same time for Celia Italika "it were not just things: he honored these images, especially Virgil" [1, page 48].

Along with library meetings also publishing developed. Before the publication the Roman authors read books in parts — in a narrow circle the colleagues invited to a meeting to hear their true opinion on the work, to receive essential remarks during retsitation. The purposes at the same time were the following: "At me — Pliny Mladshy writes — two bases for similar retsitation: first, for fear of listeners I especially will try, secondly, I will be corrected if somewhere the addiction to the creation fails me" [1, page 91]. Pliny Mladshy was happy with the taken place retsitation: "I received what I looked for: found those who shared with me richness of the understanding" [1, page 91]. Similar retsitation were some kind of public review of the book. Then, after independent correction of book contents by the author taking into account the stated remarks, it was possible to train her for the edition. Before the edition of the books to make amendments Pliny Mladshy appealed, for example, to Ariana, often wrote also other adherents. He worked slowly, zealously, remaking and correcting the text so work dragged on for a long time [1, page 5].

So, writing, retsitation, a response review (correspondence of associates or oral remarks in connection with public readings), correction, then the edition — such is a difficult way to the book birth in the Roman society of the 1st century AD. "Me — Pliny Mladshy writes — and my associates are not frightened off by a thought of its edition. It is necessary to publish something... people do not let go books" [1, page 5].

Books not only were published, but also were on sale in Rima and is far beyond its limits, for example in Lugduna. Pliny Mladshy quite reasonably considered "rather trimmed that work which assessment is so identical at the people living in different areas" [1, page 161]. Interesting books extended transfer by the acquaintance, to friends. Pliny Mladshy promises to send the book [1, page 110] to one of the addressees — Kanniny — to the rich land owner in the neighborhood of the city of Komo. In such a way libraries which generally were private collections were replenished with new books. Donations were a form of completing of library meetings also.

The book seller who bought his work from the author [1, page 3 became the publisher of the book in Rima usually; 9, page 286], however he did not acquire the exclusive right to its edition: copyright as it was already specified, Rome did not know. The book which was published became property of all Roman society and everyone, bought the book, could give it to correspondence to the or hired specialists copyists, i.e. republish and open own book-trade. It is clear, that the author could not exist on literary income from sale of books.

It is known that Martsial whose books were sold by three book sellers lived bounties and handouts of the cartridges. Its verses "speak, sing in Britain even", but it did not affect his financial position because ""the lean burse" does not know about that at all" its [13, in any way

page 286]. Due to the material difficulties of Martsial once he was helped by Pliny Mladshy who wrote about it: "I saw off it, gave money for the road: it was the tribute to friendship and also a tribute to verses which he wrote about me" [1, page 59].

The relation to the book as to material value is interesting. Seneca, for example, compares the cost of the slave in hundred thousand sesterces to the cost of the book: "How many book chests you could buy cheaper" [14, page 60 — 61]. Pliny Mladshy testifies to books by Pliny the Elder who left him "hundred sixty notebooks which are used up by the smallest handwriting on both sides; it does their number still large" [1, page 46]. Being a procurator in Spain, Pliny the Elder "could sell these books to Lartsy Litsin for 400 thousand, and then them was slightly less" [1, page 46]. From here it is possible to remove hypothetically the approximate cost of one book of 2500 sesterces.

The intellectual value of the book, brainwork was much more important, however. In the letter to Kanuni Ruff Pliny Mladshy admonishes it to depart from a low jobbing on a villa, to be engaged entirely in studia in a full privacy: "... to them your work, to them leisure, to them work and rest, vigil and dream. Create, shape that will remain to yours forever! Your other possession after you will change the owner more than once; it, having become yours, will never stop being yours... you only try to understand itself what you cost; if you understand it, will understand also others" [1, page 6].

In Rima a lot of work on drawing up catalogs of books was carried out [11, page 134 — 135]. In particular, Pliny Mladshy made the catalog of works of the uncle Pliny the Elder at the request of Bebiya Makr, having reported in what order of the book were written, considering that "it is pleasant to know it that who pursues science" [1, page 45].

Except the catalog of works of the certain author the catalogs recommendations made to reading antique authors with the indication of a genre are known. Pliny Mladshy recommends to read and learn the comedy by Virgil Roman, highly appreciates Tacitus's creativity, advises to read Plavta, Terention, Katulla [1, page 16, 110, 129]. He reminds of the thorough choice of authors of any genre, saying that "it is necessary to read much, but not a lot of things" [1, page 123]. The few worthy he lists these by name: Demosfen, Eskhin, Hyperides, Caesar, Tsely, Tully. Seneca recommends to read Katon, Socrates, Platon, Zenon, admires Virgil [14, page 61]. Plutarch considers that "the management in reading" "is more necessary for young men, than maintenance on walks" [15, page 46].

In the Roman society read much therefore there were catalogs recommendations, canons for reading the Greek and Latin literature. From the Roman literature for many Cicero was a sample at that time. Pliny Mladshy prefers Tulliya, "the best speech of which the longest is considered" [1, page 18]. Tacitus regretted that could not be Cicero's pupil, the Ciceronian phrase, a little modified meets at him: "Quo usque. Caesar?" [16, page 14] instead of "Quo usque. Catilina?" [17, page 13; 18, page 213] which kind of maintains special stylistic reception of oratory of Cicero for descendants.

Cicero's speeches were studied at schools Rima, especially at rhetorical school of Kvintilian. Schools of ritor were base of receiving the higher education, rhetorical in particular, they played a role of the universities of that time. Education and formation of a judicial ritor was carried out in close connection of oratory with practice. In the 1st century AD of school of ritor worked at first as private, then state. Page 35 is told about schools at Tacitus [16, page 397] and Pliny Mladshy, the pupil Kvintilian [1]. Pliny Mladshy peculiar continued business of the teacher of rhetorical education and education of youth, patronizing retsitation and retsitator. Directing public readings works of young Roman authors, Pliny Mladshy created society of adherents on a certain subject in literature and history. Generally a special circle of the best authors read what contributed to the development of historical and literary knowledge in the Roman society [19, page 74].

Along with such, apparently, serious relation in Rima to libraries, books, it is necessary to tell also about such regrettable facts as burning of historical books according to the decision of the senate at Tiberiya or "anti-book" actions of Caligula. Svetony, Tacitus and Pliny Mladshy report about it. At the same time special indignation causes what books had to destroy under the resolution of the senate: senators obliged to burn ethyls works of the most nice minds, but "lists of books were secretly kept" [1, page 128; 16, page 131]. At Tiberiya the similar sentence was pronounced to books Kremution Korda [16, page 130] in spite of the fact that his books were excitedly read at Augustus [10, page 96]. Tacitus reports: "Kremutsy Kord on until then unprecedented and then for the first time shown .privlekatsya to judicial responsibility

to charge for the fact that in the annals published by it he praised Brutus and called the Cassia the last Roman" [16, page 130]. This indisputable certificate that "spiritual" and political censorship in Rima existed [20 of page 751 — 767; 21, page 56 — 68].

In the conditions of the rigid mode imperial Rima the 1st century AD communication between people (adherents), colleagues, associates (contubernales) through libraries, the edition of books, historical and literary communities (socia) was necessary and caused by vital needs of the Roman society.

List of sources and literature


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13. Mark Valery Martsial. Epigrams. SPb., 1994.
14. Lutsy Anney Seneca. Moral letters to Lucilius. Kemerovo, 1986.
15. Plutarch. As to the young man to listen to poetic works (fragments)//Library in a garden. Writers of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance about the book, reading, a bibliofilstvo. M, 1985.
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19. Grevs I.M. Tacitus. M.; L., 1946.
20. Salles C. L&ecrivain romain face au pouvoir imperial. La censura litteraire au 1-er siecle de notre ere//Latomus. Bruxelles, 1986. T. 44. Fasc. 4. C. 751 — 767.
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About the author

A.A. Yelagina — an edging. east. sciences, dots., the Omsk terminological center — Institute of terminology and translation, e-mail:


Dr. A. A. Yelagina, Associate Professor, Omsk Terminological Center — Institute of Terminology and Translation, e-mail:

Mary James
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