Deeds Worth Writing, Writings Worth Reading

Pliny the Younger, Epistles 6.16 (To Tacitus)

“You ask that I write about the death of my uncle so that you can give a more faithful account to posterity. I thank you, for I see that immortal glory awaits his death if it be recorded by you. Although, although he continued working in the destruction of the most beautiful lands, just like the peoples and cities in that memorable crisis, he died in such a way that he will live on forever, and though he himself set down many works which will remain, the eternal duration of your writings will add much to his legacy. Indeed, I consider those as truly blessed to whom the divine gift was given either to do things worth writing or to write things worth reading – but the most blessed of all are those who do both. My uncle will be among these thanks to his books and yours. And so all the more cheerfully do I undertake what you have enjoined, and even beg for the privilege of doing it.”

Image result for pliny the elder pompeii

Petis ut tibi avunculi mei exitum scribam, quo verius tradere posteris possis. Gratias ago; nam video morti eius si celebretur a te immortalem gloriam esse propositam. Quamvis enim pulcherrimarum clade terrarum, ut populi ut urbes memorabili casu, quasi semper victurus occiderit, quamvis ipse plurima opera et mansura condiderit, multum tamen perpetuitati eius scriptorum tuorum aeternitas addet. Equidem beatos puto, quibus deorum munere datum est aut facere scribenda aut scribere legenda, beatissimos vero quibus utrumque. Horum in numero avunculus meus et suis libris et tuis erit. Quo libentius suscipio, deposco etiam quod iniungis.

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