Abstract

This paper explores the character of Calpurnia in Pliny the Younger’s Epistles and argues that her representation is a carefully crafted literary persona modeled on the elegiac puella docta. Pliny creates her persona intentionally, developing it over the course of six letters. Moreover, Pliny also employs elegiac themes and language in the immediate contexts of the Calpurnia letters, which reveals that an elegiac Calpurnia is less a reflection of reality and more a result of Pliny’s poetic capabilities and sensibilities.

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