Publius Vergilius Maro called Virgil or Vergil in English, was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He wrote three of the most famous poems in Latin literature: the Eclogues, the Georgics, the epic Aeneid. A number of minor poems, collected in the Appendix Vergiliana, are sometimes attributed to him. Virgil is traditionally ranked as one of Rome's greatest poets, his Aeneid has been considered the national epic of ancient Rome since the time of its composition. Modeled after Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the Aeneid follows the Trojan refugee Aeneas as he struggles to fulfill his destiny and reach Italy, where his descendants Romulus and Remus were to found the city of Rome. Virgil's work has had wide and deep influence on Western literature, most notably Dante's Divine Comedy, in which Virgil appears as Dante's guide through Hell and Purgatory. Virgil's biographical tradition is thought to depend on a lost biography by Varius, Virgil's editor, incorporated into the biography by Suetonius and the commentaries of Servius and Donatus, the two great commentators on Virgil's poetry.
Although the commentaries no doubt record much factual information about Virgil, some of their evidence can be shown to rely on inferences made from his poetry and allegorizing. The tradition holds that Virgil was born in the village near Mantua in Cisalpine Gaul. Analysis of his name has led to beliefs. Modern speculation is not supported by narrative evidence either from his own writings or his biographers. Macrobius says, he attended schools in Cremona, Mediolanum and Naples. After considering a career in rhetoric and law, the young Virgil turned his talents to poetry. According to Robert Seymour Conway, the only ancient source which reports the actual distance between Andes and Mantua is a surviving fragment from the works of Marcus Valerius Probus. Probus flourished during the reign of Nero. Probus reports. Conway translated this to a distance of 28 English miles. Little is known about the family of Virgil, his father belonged to gens Vergilia, his mother belonged to gens Magia. According to Conway, gens Vergilia is poorly attested in inscriptions from the entire Northern Italy, where Mantua is located.
Among thousands of surviving ancient inscriptions from this region, there are only 8 or 9 mentions of individuals called "Vergilius" or "Vergilia". Out of these mentions, three appear in inscriptions from Verona, one in an inscription from Calvisano. Conway theorized. Calvisano is located 30 Roman miles from Mantua, would fit with Probus' description of Andes; the inscription in this case is a votive offering to the Matronae by a woman called Vergilia, asking the goddesses to deliver from danger another woman, called Munatia. Conway notes that the offering belongs to a common type for this era, where women made requests for deities to preserve the lives of female loved ones who were pregnant and were about to give birth. In most cases, the woman making the request was the mother of a woman, pregnant or otherwise in danger. Though there is another inscription from Calvisano, where a woman asks the deities to preserve the life of her sister. Munatia, the woman who Vergilia wished to protect, was a close relative of Vergilia or Vergilia's daughter.
The name "Munatia" indicates that this woman was a member of gens Munatia, makes it that Vergilia married into this family. According to the commentators, Virgil received his first education when he was five years old and he went to Cremona and Rome to study rhetoric and astronomy, which he soon abandoned for philosophy. From Virgil's admiring references to the neoteric writers Pollio and Cinna, it has been inferred that he was, for a time, associated with Catullus' neoteric circle. According to Servius, schoolmates considered Virgil shy and reserved, he was nicknamed "Parthenias" or "maiden" because of his social aloofness. Virgil seems to have suffered bad health throughout his life and in some ways lived the life of an invalid. According to the Catalepton, he began to write poetry while in the Epicurean school of Siro the Epicurean at Naples. A group of small works attributed to the youthful Virgil by the commentators survive collected under the title Appendix Vergiliana, but are considered spurious by scholars.
One, the Catalepton, consists of fourteen short poems, some of which may be Virgil's, another, a short narrative poem titled the Culex, was attributed to Virgil as early as the 1st century AD. The biographical tradition asserts that Virgil began the hexameter Eclogues in 42 BC and it is thought that the collection was published around 39–38 BC, although this is controversial; the Eclogues are a group of ten poems modeled on the bucolic hexameter poetry of the Hellenistic poet Theocritus. After his victory in the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, fought against the army led by the assassins of Julius Caesar, Octavian tried to pay off his veterans with land expropriated from towns in northern Italy including, according to the traditi
The Black Sea is a body of water and marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers, such as the Danube, Southern Bug, Dniester and the Rioni. Many countries drain into the Black Sea, including Austria, Belarus and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Moldova, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Ukraine; the Black Sea has an area of 436,400 km2, a maximum depth of 2,212 m, a volume of 547,000 km3. It is constrained by the Pontic Mountains to the south, Caucasus Mountains to the east, Crimean Mountains to the north, Strandzha to the southwest, Dobrogea Plateau to the northwest, features a wide shelf to the northwest; the longest east–west extent is about 1,175 km. Important cities along the coast include Batumi, Constanța, Istanbul, Novorossiysk, Ordu, Rize, Sevastopol, Sukhumi, Varna and Zonguldak; the Black Sea has a positive water balance. There is a two-way hydrological exchange: the more saline and therefore denser, but warmer, Mediterranean water flows into the Black Sea under its less saline outflow.
This creates a significant anoxic layer well below the surface waters. The Black Sea drains into the Mediterranean Sea, via the Aegean Sea and various straits, is navigable to the Atlantic Ocean; the Bosphorus Strait connects it to the Sea of Marmara, the Strait of the Dardanelles connects that sea to the Aegean Sea region of the Mediterranean. These waters separate the Caucasus and Western Asia; the Black Sea is connected, to the North, to the Sea of Azov by the Strait of Kerch. The water level has varied significantly. Due to these variations in the water level in the basin, the surrounding shelf and associated aprons have sometimes been land. At certain critical water levels it is possible for connections with surrounding water bodies to become established, it is through the most active of these connective routes, the Turkish Straits, that the Black Sea joins the world ocean. When this hydrological link is not present, the Black Sea is an endorheic basin, operating independently of the global ocean system, like the Caspian Sea for example.
The Black Sea water level is high. The Turkish Straits connect the Black Sea with the Aegean Sea, comprise the Bosphorus, the Sea of Marmara and the Dardanelles; the International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Black Sea as follows: On the Southwest. The Northeastern limit of the Sea of Marmara. In the Kertch Strait. A line joining Cape Takil and Cape Panaghia. Current names of the sea are equivalents of the English name "Black Sea", including these given in the countries bordering the sea: Abkhazian: Амшын Еиқәа, IPA: Adyghe: Хы шӏуцӏэ, IPA: Bulgarian: Черно море, IPA: Crimean Tatar: Къара денъиз, Qara deñiz IPA: Georgian: შავი ზღვა, translit.: shavi zghva, IPA: Laz and Mingrelian: უჩა ზუღა, IPA:, or ზუღა, IPA:, "Sea" Romanian: Marea Neagră, pronounced Russian: Чёрное мо́рe, IPA: Turkish: Karadeniz, IPA: Ukrainian: Чорне море, IPA: Such names have not yet been shown conclusively to predate the 13th century, but there are indications that they may be older. In Greece, the historical name "Euxine Sea", which holds a different meaning, is still used: Greek: Éfxeinos Póntos.
The principal Greek name "Póntos Áxeinos" is accepted to be a rendering of Iranian word *axšaina-, compare Avestan axšaēna-, Old Persian axšaina-, Middle Persian axšēn/xašēn, New Persian xašīn, as well as Ossetic œxsīn. The ancient Greeks, most those living to the north of the Black Sea, subsequently adopted the name and altered it to á-xenos. Thereafter, Greek tradition refers to the Black Sea as the "Inhospitable Sea", Πόντος Ἄξεινος Póntos Áxeinos, first attested in Pindar; the name was considered to be "ominous" and was changed into the euphemistic name "Hospitable sea", Εὔξεινος Πόντος Eúxeinos Póntos, for the first time attested in Pindar. This became the used designation for the sea in Greek. In contexts related to mythology, the older form Póntos Áxeinos remained favored, it has been erroneously suggested that the name was derived from the color of the water, or was at least related to climatic conditions. Black or dark in this context, referred to a system in which colors represent the cardinal points of the known world.
Black or dark represented the north. The symbolism based on cardinal points was used in multiple occasions and is therefore attested. For example, the "Red Sea", a body of water reported since the time of Herodotus in fact designated the Indian Ocean, together with bodies of water now known as the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea. According to the same explanation and reasoning, it is therefore considered to be impossible
The Roman Empire was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome; the Roman Empire was ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and Ravenna, an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople; the fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages. The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict.
In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC; the following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus making him the first emperor; the first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana. It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan. A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West.
Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD; the Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453. Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, architecture, philosophy and forms of government in the territory it governed Europe; the Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire.
Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of republics such as the United States and France; the corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture. Rome had begun expanding shortly after the founding of the republic in the 6th century BC, though it did not expand outside the Italian peninsula until the 3rd century BC, it was an "empire" long before it had an emperor. The Roman Republic was not a nation-state in the modern sense, but a network of towns left to rule themselves and provinces administered by military commanders, it was ruled, not by annually elected magistrates in conjunction with the senate. For various reasons, the 1st century BC was a time of political and military upheaval, which led to rule by emperors.
The consuls' military power rested in the Roman legal concept of imperium, which means "command". Successful consuls were given the honorary title imperator, this is the origin of the word emperor since this title was always bestowed to the early emperors upon their accession. Rome suffered a long series of internal conflicts and civil wars from the late second century BC onward, while extending its power beyond Italy; this was the period of the Crisis of the Roman Republic. Towards the end of this era, in 44 BC, Julius Caesar was perpetual dictator before being assassinated; the faction of his assassins was driven from Rome and defeated at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC by an army led by Mark Antony and Caesar's adopted son Octavian. Antony and Octavian's division of the Roman world between themselves did not last and Octavian's forces defeated those of Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC, ending the Final War of the Roman Republic. In 27 BC the Senate and People of Rome made Octavian princeps ("first citi
Palekastro is a small village at the east end of the Mediterranean island Crete. It is a historic site. In Minoan times the region was a centre of trade; the port of Itanos, today several meters below sea level, is mentioned in ancient times. The extensive Minoan commercial settlement Roussolakkos close to the Chiona beach, excavated by English archaeologists shows that the region was one of the most important commercial centres of the Minoan culture in the extreme east of the island of Crete; the Palaikastro Kouros is a carved figure of a youth, recovered in fragments between 1987 and 1990. The village remains free from mass tourism; the main business of the 1100 inhabitants continues to be agriculture. Olives and grape vines are cultivated and a few fisherman remain. Commercial fishing however is difficult these days because of the substantial over fishing of the Mediterranean Sea. Tourism is an important source of supplementary income and is to remain so. At the east edge of the village, visible from a distance, there is a flat hill called Kastri.
This hill gave Palekastro its name in the Middle Ages when the region was dominated by the sovereign power of Venice. On its flat summit the Venetians established a fortress. In the course of the centuries the stones were cleared away and used by the people of the region to build houses. Finnish progressive rock band Kingston Wall have a song titled Palékastro on their album II. Ian Swindale. "Palaikastro". Retrieved 4 February 2006. Palaikastro Archaeological Site The Palaikastro kouros
In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages lasted from the 5th to the 15th century. It began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire and merged into the Renaissance and the Age of Discovery; the Middle Ages is the middle period of the three traditional divisions of Western history: classical antiquity, the medieval period, the modern period. The medieval period is itself subdivided into the Early and Late Middle Ages. Population decline, counterurbanisation, collapse of centralized authority and mass migrations of tribes, which had begun in Late Antiquity, continued in the Early Middle Ages; the large-scale movements of the Migration Period, including various Germanic peoples, formed new kingdoms in what remained of the Western Roman Empire. In the 7th century, North Africa and the Middle East—once part of the Byzantine Empire—came under the rule of the Umayyad Caliphate, an Islamic empire, after conquest by Muhammad's successors. Although there were substantial changes in society and political structures, the break with classical antiquity was not complete.
The still-sizeable Byzantine Empire, Rome's direct continuation, survived in the Eastern Mediterranean and remained a major power. The empire's law code, the Corpus Juris Civilis or "Code of Justinian", was rediscovered in Northern Italy in 1070 and became admired in the Middle Ages. In the West, most kingdoms incorporated the few extant Roman institutions. Monasteries were founded; the Franks, under the Carolingian dynasty established the Carolingian Empire during the 8th and early 9th century. It covered much of Western Europe but succumbed to the pressures of internal civil wars combined with external invasions: Vikings from the north, Magyars from the east, Saracens from the south. During the High Middle Ages, which began after 1000, the population of Europe increased as technological and agricultural innovations allowed trade to flourish and the Medieval Warm Period climate change allowed crop yields to increase. Manorialism, the organisation of peasants into villages that owed rent and labour services to the nobles, feudalism, the political structure whereby knights and lower-status nobles owed military service to their overlords in return for the right to rent from lands and manors, were two of the ways society was organised in the High Middle Ages.
The Crusades, first preached in 1095, were military attempts by Western European Christians to regain control of the Holy Land from Muslims. Kings became the heads of centralised nation-states, reducing crime and violence but making the ideal of a unified Christendom more distant. Intellectual life was marked by scholasticism, a philosophy that emphasised joining faith to reason, by the founding of universities; the theology of Thomas Aquinas, the paintings of Giotto, the poetry of Dante and Chaucer, the travels of Marco Polo, the Gothic architecture of cathedrals such as Chartres are among the outstanding achievements toward the end of this period and into the Late Middle Ages. The Late Middle Ages was marked by difficulties and calamities including famine and war, which diminished the population of Europe. Controversy and the Western Schism within the Catholic Church paralleled the interstate conflict, civil strife, peasant revolts that occurred in the kingdoms. Cultural and technological developments transformed European society, concluding the Late Middle Ages and beginning the early modern period.
The Middle Ages is one of the three major periods in the most enduring scheme for analysing European history: classical civilisation, or Antiquity. The "Middle Ages" first appears in Latin in 1469 as media tempestas or "middle season". In early usage, there were many variants, including medium aevum, or "middle age", first recorded in 1604, media saecula, or "middle ages", first recorded in 1625; the alternative term "medieval" derives from medium aevum. Medieval writers divided history into periods such as the "Six Ages" or the "Four Empires", considered their time to be the last before the end of the world; when referring to their own times, they spoke of them as being "modern". In the 1330s, the humanist and poet Petrarch referred to pre-Christian times as antiqua and to the Christian period as nova. Leonardo Bruni was the first historian to use tripartite periodisation in his History of the Florentine People, with a middle period "between the fall of the Roman Empire and the revival of city life sometime in late eleventh and twelfth centuries".
Tripartite periodisation became standard after the 17th-century German historian Christoph Cellarius divided history into three periods: ancient and modern. The most given starting point for the Middle Ages is around 500, with the date of 476 first used by Bruni. Starting dates are sometimes used in the outer parts of Europe. For Europe as a whole, 1500 is considered to be the end of the Middle Ages, but there is no universally agreed upon end date. Depending on the context, events such as the conquest of Constantinople by the Turks in 1453, Christopher Columbus's first voyage to the Americas in 1492, or the Protestant Reformation in 1517 are sometimes used. English historians use the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485 to mark the end of the period. For Spain, dates used are the death of King Ferdinand II in 1516, the death of Queen Isabella I of Castile in 1504, or the conquest of Granada in 1492. Historians from Romance-speaking countries tend to divide the Middle Ages into two parts: an earlier "High" and late
Cato the Elder
Cato the Elder, born Marcus Porcius Cato and known as Cato the Censor, Cato the Wise, Cato the Ancient, was a Roman senator and historian known for his conservatism and opposition to Hellenization. He was the first to write history in Latin, he came from an ancient Plebeian family. Like his forefathers, Cato was devoted to agriculture. Having attracted the attention of Lucius Valerius Flaccus, he was brought to Rome and began to follow the cursus honorum: he was successively military tribune, aedile, junior consul together with Flaccus, censor; as praetor, he expelled usurers from Sardinia. As censor, he tried to combat "degenerate" Hellenistic influences, his epithet "Elder" distinguishes him from his famous great-grandson Cato the Younger, who opposed Julius Caesar. Cato the Elder was born like some generations of his ancestors, his father had earned a reputation as a brave soldier, his great-grandfather had received a reward from the state for having had five horses killed under him in battle.
However, the Tusculan Porcii had never obtained the privileges of the Roman magistracy. Cato the Elder, their famous descendant, at the beginning of his career in Rome, was regarded as a novus homo, the feeling of his unsatisfactory position, working along with the belief of his inherent superiority and drove his ambition. Early in life, he so far exceeded the previous deeds of his predecessors that he is spoken of not only as the leader, but as the founder of the Porcia Gens, his ancestors for three generations had been named Marcus Porcius, it was said by Plutarch that at first he was known by the additional cognomen Priscus, but was afterwards called Cato—a word indicating that special practical wisdom, the result of natural sagacity, combined with the experience of civil and political affairs. Priscus, like Major, may have been an epithet used to distinguish him from the Cato of Utica. There is no precise information as to when he first received the title of Cato, which may have been given in childhood as a symbol of distinction.
The qualities implied in the word Cato were acknowledged by the plainer and less outdated title of Sapiens, by which he was so well known in his old age, that Cicero says, it became his virtual cognomen. From the number and eloquence of his speeches, he was a styled orator, but Cato the Censor, Cato the Elder are now his most common, as well as his most characteristic names, since he carried out the office of Censor with extraordinary standing and was the only Cato who held it. In order to determine the date of Cato's birth, we consider the records as to his age at the time of his death, known to have happened in 149 BC. According to the coherent chronology of Cicero, Cato was born in 234 BC, in the year before the first Consulship of Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, died at the age of 85, in the consulship of Lucius Marcius Censorinus and Manius Manilius. Pliny agrees with Cicero. Other authors exaggerate the age of Cato. According to Valerius Maximus he survived his 86th year; the exaggerated age, however, is inconsistent with a statement recorded by Plutarch on the asserted authority of Cato himself.
Cato is represented to have said that he served his first campaign in his 17th year, when Hannibal was overrunning Italy. Plutarch, who had the works of Cato before him but was careless in dates, did not observe that the estimation of Livy would take back Cato's 17th year to 222, when there was not a Carthaginian in Italy, whereas the computation of Cicero would make the truth of Cato's statement in harmony with the date of Hannibal's first invasion; when Cato was young, after his father's death, he inherited a small property in the Sabine territory, at a distance from his native town. There, he spent most of his childhood hardening his body by exercise and sharing the operations of the farm, learning business and the rural economy. Near this land was a small hut abandoned after the triumphs of its owner Manius Curius Dentatus, whose military feats and rigidly simple character were remembered and admired in the neighborhood. Cato was inspired hoping to match the glory of Dentatus. Soon, an opportunity came for a military campaign in 217 BC, during the Second Punic War against Hannibal Barca.
Experts express some disagreement about Cato's early military life. In 214 BC, he served at Capua, the historian Wilhelm Drumann imagines that at the age of 20, he was a military tribune. Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus had the command in Campania, during the year of his fourth consulship, admitted the young soldier to the honour of intimate friendship. While Fabius communicated the valued results of military experience, he chose not to inculcate Cato with his personal and political values and preferences. At the siege of Tarentum, 209 BC, Cato was again at the side of Fabius. Two years Cato was one of the select group who went with the consul Claudius Nero on his northern march from Lucania to check the progress of Hasdrubal Barca, it is recorded that the services of Cato contributed to the decisive and important victory of Sena at the Battle of Metaurus, where Hasdrubal was slain. He gave several vehement speeches which he ended by saying "Carthago delenda est", or "Carthage must be destroyed."
In the pauses between campaigns Cato returned to his Sabine farm, where he dressed working and behaving like his laborer
Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder was a Roman author and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, friend of emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, which became an editorial model for encyclopedias, his nephew, Pliny the Younger, wrote of him in a letter to the historian Tacitus: For my part I deem those blessed to whom, by favour of the gods, it has been granted either to do what is worth writing of, or to write what is worth reading. In the latter number will be my uncle, of your compositions. Pliny the Younger refers to Tacitus’s reliance upon his uncle's book, the History of the German Wars. Pliny the Elder died in AD 79 in Stabiae while attempting the rescue of a friend and his family by ship from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which had destroyed the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum; the wind caused by the sixth and largest pyroclastic surge of the volcano’s eruption did not allow his ship to leave port, Pliny died during that event.
Pliny's dates are pinned to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79 and a statement of his nephew that he died in his 56th year, which would put his birth in AD 23 or 24. Pliny was the son of an equestrian, Gaius Plinius Celer, his wife, Marcella. Neither the younger nor the elder Pliny mention the names, their ultimate source is a fragmentary inscription found in a field in Verona and recorded by the 16th-century Augustinian monk Onofrio Panvinio at Verona. The form is an elegy; the most accepted reconstruction is PLINIVS SECVNDVS AVGV. LERI. PATRI. MATRI. MARCELLAE. TESTAMENTO FIERI IVSSOThe Vs represent Us, it should say "Plinius Secundus augur ordered this to be made as a testament to his father ler and his mother Marcella"The actual words are fragmentary. The reading of the inscription depends on the reconstruction, but in all cases the names come through. Whether he was an augur and whether she was named Grania Marcella are less certain. Jean Hardouin presents a statement from an unknown source that he claims was ancient, that Pliny was from Verona and that his parents were Celer and Marcella.
Hardouin cites the conterraneity of Catullus. How the inscription got to Verona is unknown, but it could have arrived by dispersal of property from Pliny the Younger's Tuscan estate at Colle Plinio, north of Città di Castello, identified for certain by his initials in the roof tiles, he kept statues of his ancestors there. Pliny the Elder was born at Como, not at Verona: it is only as a native of old Gallia Transpadana that he calls Catullus of Verona his conterraneus, or fellow-countryman, not his municeps, or fellow-townsman. A statue of Pliny on the façade of the Duomo of Como celebrates him as a native son, he had a sister, who married into the Caecilii and was the mother of his nephew, Pliny the Younger, whose letters describe his work and study regimen in detail. In one of his letters to Tacitus, Pliny the Younger details how his uncle's breakfasts would be light and simple following the customs of our forefathers; this shows that Pliny the Younger wanted it to be conveyed that Pliny the Elder was a "good Roman", which means that he maintained the customs of the great Roman forefathers.
This statement would have pleased Tacitus. Two inscriptions identifying the hometown of Pliny the Younger as Como take precedence over the Verona theory. One commemorates the younger's career as the imperial magistrate and details his considerable charitable and municipal expenses on behalf of the people of Como. Another identifies his father Lucius' village as Fecchio near Como. Therefore, Plinia was a local girl and Pliny the Elder, her brother, was from Como. Gaius was a member of the Plinia gens: the insubric root Plina still persists, with rhotacism, in the local surname "Prina", he did not take his father's cognomen, but assumed his own, Secundus. As his adopted son took the same cognomen, Pliny founded the Plinii Secundi; the family was prosperous. No earlier instances of the Plinii are known. In 59 BC, only about 82 years before Pliny's birth, Julius Caesar founded Novum Comum as a colonia to secure the region against the Alpine tribes, whom he had been unable to defeat, he imported a population of 4,500 from other provinces to be placed in Comasco and 500 aristocratic Greeks to found Novum Comum itself.
The community was thus multi-ethnic and the Plinies could have come from anywhere. No record of any ethnic distinctions in Pliny's time is apparent; the population prided themselves on being Roman citizens. Pliny the Elder had no children. In his will, he adopted his nephew; the adoption is called a "testamental adoption" by writers on the topic, who assert that it applied to the name change only, but Roman jurisprudence recognizes no such category. Pliny the Younger thus became the adopted son of Pliny the Elder after the latter's death. Fo