Pliny the Younger was a GREAT MAN of ancient Rome. And like all great men, he had a prolific role model that was inhabiting his spirit world: his uncle.

Pliny’s uncle was a busy statesman; yet in his spare time, the uncle manged to write the following works:

  • A treatise in one volume, “On the Use of the Dart by Cavalry”
  • Two volumes entitles “The Life of Pomponius Secundus”
  • Thirty-seven books on Natural History
  • Thirty books on the history of Aufidius Bassus
  • Twenty books on “The History of the Wars in Germany”
  • Eight Books entitled “Questions of Grammar and Style”
  • Six volumes of a work entitled “The Student,” on the attributes of successful oration

Pliny was in awe. He reflected on his uncle by stating the following:

It amuses me then when I hear myself called a studious man, who in comparison with him am the merest idler.

Summary: The role model is a man of high achievement. We stand in the shadow of his lofty ascension. He hovers atop a mountain, looking down on the mediocre masses. To stand beside him, we too must ascend! We must burn away the degenerate part of our self…the conscience of a humiliated half-man.

To be a GREAT MAN is painful; for it means that we must kill the drug dealer that hides in our soul: we must destroy the charlatan within.

Pliny had a GREAT MAN beside him: his uncle. But not everyone is so fortunate. The rest need to look for these men, wherever they may be…

See Related Article: The “Nice” Man is Not a Great Man

 

 

2 thoughts on “A Lesson on Role Models From Pliny the Younger

  1. I am very fortunate to have had a role model pre university and in my early business career who based everything on morality and values rather than competence even, which could be developed. I subsequently developed teams and individuals the same way especially in our Nepal education work

    1. You are lucky in that regard, Dr. B. He sounds like an admirable chap. When you are values-centered, you rarely have to worry about the actions in your past.

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