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Pliny the Younger
Pliny the Younger (c 61-113 CE) was an accomplished Roman orator, letter writer, and public official. He was adopted by his uncle, Pliny the Elder, at which time he took the name of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus. He wrote and published nine books of letters from 97 to 109. He became governor of Bithynia in Asia Minor in 111, compiling a tenth book of letters while in office, though these were not published until after his death. Letter 96 was written to the Emperor Trajan and concerned the question of how Pliny should treat those who were known to be Christians and were, therefore, members of a secret society, an act prohibited by imperial edict. Letter 97 was written by Trajan to Pliny. Trajan responded that while it was true that the Christians were guilty of membership in a secret group, they should only be punished when formal charges were filed, something that Trajan's policies discouraged. This correspondence indicates that neither Pliny nor Trajan regarded the Christians as a serious threat to the Roman Empire.
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