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12 “Pliny Country” Revisited: Connectivity and Regionalism in Roman Italy

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Chapter Summary

Pliny's letters stand largely alone in the high empire, but they are not the only sources that can reconstruct the personal networks created by individuals through various forms of interaction, like marriage, business, patronage, or amicitia. This chapter examines one category of these sources, inscriptions on stone or bronze, that (1) provides a fairly large sample size, (2) is fairly well represented across Roman Italy, and (3) provides some evidence of the kinds of regional connections that can be seen in Pliny's letters. Throughout his letters, Pliny shows flashes of a sense of belonging to the regions that his network encompasses. "Pliny country" was a regional network, but it was one conceptually constructed out of municipia and one that replicates the regional networks illustrated by local vestiarii, duoviri, and seviri claiming ties and offices in other municipia.

Keywords: Italian inscriptions; municipia; Pliny's letters; regional connections; Roman Italy



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