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Pliny the Elder

Gaius Plinius Secundus, called Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, a naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, a friend of emperor Vespasian. He wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, he spent most of his spare time studying and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field. 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 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 IVSSO The 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. 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 de

Martha P. Falconer

Martha Platt Falconer was a pioneer social reformer. She was born in 1862 in Ohio, to Cyrus and Janette Platt, she moved to Philadelphia after the death of her mother. She was married to Cyrus Falconer, she died in East Aurora, New York, aged 79, was survived by children Helen, Douglas Platt and Cyrus Jr. In 1906 she was appointed head of the House of Refuge, a girls' institution at 22nd Street and Girard Avenue, Pennsylvania, she became superintendent of the Sleighton Farm School for Girls, an institution "hailed as a major prison reform for women."In 1906 she was assistant superintendent of the Illinois Children's Home and Aid Society. During World War I, she had oversight of all reformatories and detention homes for girls in the United States. Falconer was superintendent of the girls' department of the Glen Mills, schools in 1919 and left to take the superintendency of the department for delinquent girls and women in the American Social Hygienic Association, connected with the Rockefeller Foundation.

In that job she was to "devote considerable attention to the establishing bureaus of women police" throughout the country. In 1919 the Martha P. Falconer Infirmary was dedicated at the Samarcand Manor State Industrial Training School for Girls in North Carolina, the construction cost of $12,000 having been obtained by Mrs. Falconer from the federal government. In 1933, Falconer was living in New York and was awarded an honorary master of arts degree by Elmira College

Dravo Gravel Site

The Dravo Gravel Site is an archaeological site located above the Great Miami River in Miami Township, Hamilton County, United States. Discovered in the middle of a gravel pit, the site is a leading example of the local manifestation of the Archaic period; the site lies atop a Miami River terrace outside the village of Cleves, occupying a soil location with a small layer of silty loam that covers a deep deposit of gravel. Contributing to the site's desirability for ancient occupation is a small stream, which inhabitants could have used as a source for water instead of climbing down to the riverside; the extensive deposit of gravel had prompted the Dravo Corporation to open a gravel pit before the site's discovery, because of ongoing commercial operations, archaeologists conducted a salvage excavation and were unable to examine the large majority of the site. Their hurried excavation revealed groups of features comprising cooking and trash pits, prompting the excavation team to suggest that each group of features had been used by a separate family.

Observing that the trash pits had been covered by soil after being dug, the excavators posited that the inhabitants had exhibited a sense of sanitation, burying garbage in pits rather than piling it on the ground, although evidence from sites demonstrates that growing populations forced generations to abandon the creation of trash pits in favor of building large middens on the ground. Aside from these cuts and fills, findings at the site included tools. Ten human bodies, ranging in age from a girl no older than seven to a woman in her late thirties, were found in various positions, two canine burials distinguished Dravo from similar sites in the region; some of the bodies had been buried with scrapers and other stone tools, while other bodies were placed with animal bones and teeth. Elsewhere at the site, many more stone tools were discovered, including implements such as axes, atlatl components and celts. Measuring 2.3 hectares in area, the site's dating is dependent on the technological level of the inhabitants, as radiocarbon dating yielded results centering on the fifth century BC, radically than those of similar sites in the region.

The inhabitants' technology prompted their classification as a people of the middle of the Late Archaic Period. In 1978, the Dravo site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places, qualifying because of its archaeological significance