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Pliny: Regulus

1. Regulus the Legacy-Hunter

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About this Lecture


In this module, we provide some of the cultural and historical context for the story of Regulus, focusing in particular on: (i) the contents of the letter itself (Ep. 2.20); (ii) the concept of ‘legacy-hunting’ (Latin: captatio) and why it was such ‘big business’ in Rome; and (iii) the figure of Regulus himself.


In this course, Dr Chris Whitton (University of Cambridge) explores the story of Regulus found in Pliny’s Epistles that forms one of the prose set texts for OCR GCSE Latin (J282). In the first module, we provide some of the social, cultural and historical context for the story of Regulus – particularly the concept of ‘legacy-hunting’ (Latin: captatio) – before turning in the second module to think about Pliny’s letters more broadly as a work of literature. In short final section, we provide some suggestions for further reading, including a translation, commentary and two works of secondary literature.


Christopher Whitton is Professor of Latin Language at the University of Cambridge. He works on Latin literature of the early Roman Empire, especially Pliny the Younger and Tacitus, with particular interests in prose style, intertextuality and the intersection of literature and history. His main research projects at the moment are a 'green and yellow' commentary on Tacitus Annals 14 and a monograph provisionally entitled Tacitus Revoiced: Reading the Histories with Pliny the Younger.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Whitton, C. (2021, February 16). Pliny: Regulus - Regulus the Legacy-Hunter [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Whitton, C. "Pliny: Regulus – Regulus the Legacy-Hunter." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 16 Feb 2021,