A Lesson on Role Models From Pliny the Younger

A Lesson on Role Models From Pliny the Younger

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