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Announcement For my own amusement, I am preparing a slightly different form of Pliny the Younger's letters for publication here later this year.  Why bother? There are already sound technical, literal, or plain-English translations (Betty Radice, 1962, is a childhood favorite). An answer might be that the English language does not easily shape to the art of the rhetor, and that in striving for perfection of meaning, we are doomed to loose momentum: force and passion trickle away.  In recommending the Syrian teacher Isaeum, Pliny told how the rhetor starts: preludes are to the point, narratives clear, attacks vigorous: he teaches, delights and moves you. Isaeum changes the unchangeable mind. Prohoemiatur apte, narrat aperte, pugnat acriter, colligit fortiter, ornat excelse. Postremo docet delectat afficit; quid maxime, dubites. Crebra ἐνθυμήματα crebri syllogismi, circumscripti et effecti, quod stilo quoque assequi magnum est. Incredibilis memoria: repetit altius quae dixit ex tempo

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