The Imperial Age was one of great benevolence if we are willing to give that
name to acts of generosity which were often too showy and ostentatious to merit the
highest praise. The cases here cited are nearly all (except that of Pliny) based upon the
evidence of inscriptions.
1. Ummidia Quadratilla built at Casinum an amphitheater and a temple.
2. Secundus at Bordeaux built an aqueduct costing 2,000,000 sesterces.
3. Perigrinus [a character in Lucian] is represented as giving during his
lifetime his whole property, 30 talents, to his native city.
4. Crinas of Massillia expended 10,000,000 sesterces in rebuilding the walls of
5. The two brothers Stertinus gave a still larger sum than the last for erecting
public buildings in their native Neapolis.
6. Hiero gave 2000 talents to Laodicea, his native town.
7. The younger Pliny spent on his native town of Como 11,000,000 sesterces,
though by no means a very rich man. He founded a library, a school, and a charity
institute for poor children; also a temple to Ceres, with spacious porticoes to shelter
tradespeople who came to the fair held in honor of that goddess. His grandfather had
already built for the town a costly portico, and provided the money for decorating the
From: William Stearns Davis, ed., Readings in Ancient History: Illustrative Extracts
from the Sources, 2 Vols. (Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1912-13), Vol. II: Rome and the
West, pp. 224-225
Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg
has modernized the text.
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