Networking in the Early Roman Empire: Pliny the Younger
Keywords:Principate, Roman empire, epistolography, amicitia, Pliny
Living during the heyday of the Roman Empire, the senator Pliny the Younger (ca. AD 61/62 – 113/114) was in contact with the social and political elite of his time: several Emperors, fellow senators like Cornelius Tacitus, Sosius Senecio, and Arulenus Rusticus, as well as other well-known figures of his time such as Suetonius Tranquillus and Valerius Martialis were part of Pliny's social network in Rome and his native Transpadana. Letters were a main means of staying in contact. Considering the multi-faceted ties of amicitia, ranging from family ties to friendship and patronage, this chapter endeavors to analyze the Epistulae of Pliny, trying to reconstruct cases where Pliny and/or his associates use their own political and social weight to build political alliances in order to procure positions for themselves and their amici. Social network analysis helps to identify clients, brokers, and patrons not only in each particular situation but in Pliny's network as a whole, showing who helped whom and the reasons and means how they did it.
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