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Buy for $24.47
When Pliny the Elder perished at Stabiae during the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79, he left behind an enormous compendium of knowledge, his 37-volume Natural History, and a teenaged nephew who revered him as a father. Grieving his loss, Pliny the Younger inherited the Elder's notebooks - filled with pearls of wisdom - and his legacy. At its heart, The Shadow of Vesuvius is a literary biography of the younger man, who would grow up to become a lawyer, senator, poet, collector of villas, and chronicler of the Roman Empire from the dire days of terror under Emperor Domitian to the gentler times of Emperor Trajan. A biography that will appeal to lovers of Mary Beard books, it is also a moving narrative about the profound influence of a father figure on his adopted son. Interweaving the younger Pliny's Letters with extracts from the Elder's Natural History, Daisy Dunn paints a vivid, compelling portrait of two of antiquity's greatest minds.
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- Joshua Miller
Enjoyable but lost track at times
The lives of both Pliny the elder and younger are intertwined in this story and at times the narrator jumps between them with references that aren’t clear who is being discussed. It also jumps around in time in a confused manner. Despite this, I still enjoyed it because I find Roman life fascinating. I also wish I had the dedication to achieving something in my life as the way both of them felt compelled to do so. There are a number of quotes that I found enlightening and surprisingly relevant to my life.
4 people found this helpful
- Kindle Customer
Well known yet obscure.
Most students of Rome have heard of Pliny the Elder and the Younger, but would struggle to describe their achievements. Ms Dunn does a commendable job in enlivening their lives for us. Her erudition is evident on every page, while wrapped in a fluid prose. One hopes she will go on to portray other important figures in the early empire. My nominee would be Trajan.
3 people found this helpful