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Pliny (historian)

Battle leader, legal representative and author, Pliny the Elder appears on the Bible Timeline Poster from 23 AD to 70 AD.  His studies on nature molded the foundation of the sciences for centuries.

Pliny passed away August 25, 79 AD after trying to save a friend and his family with his ship from Mount Vesuvius as it erupted. The volcano had already demolished Pompeii and Herculaneum. The persistent wind prevented his ship from leaving the shoreline. His collapse and death were blamed on the toxic fumes; however his companions had no reaction to the vapors. That suggested he might have died from natural influences instead of the volcanic activity.

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Pliny grew up in a wealthy family and joined the army as was the custom for men of his status. He worked his way up through the ranks with his knowledge and influential friendships. It was during this time that he started writing books and became interested in recording history. He started with the wars among the Romans and the Germans.

It took him several years to finish his first project. The next two books he wrote were about his former commander Pomponius Secundus. Pliny also published books on grammar, public speaking, Africa, nature and more.

At the end of Nero’s reign around 69 A.D., Vespasian became emperor and appointed Pliny to be in his administrations as a procurator. June 23, 79 Vespasian died of a disease. Two months later, Pliny was sent to Misenum in the Roman navy to guard against unlawful actions. When Mount Vesuvius erupted, he received a message from his friend Rectina for help. He died shortly after being rescued.

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