- Purchase/rental options available:
In a pair of letters (1.23, 6.2), Pliny offers an extended discussion of time limits on speaking in the courts. In particular, he shows a preference for earlier (notably republican) days before the coming of short, imperial time limits. Somewhat surprisingly, his nostalgia is not so much for the days when orators had freer rein, as for days when judges had more complete control of their own courtrooms. The water-clock becomes, in these letters, a figure for the increased authority of abstract rules and systems, itself a mechanism for draining power from individual aristocrats like Pliny to the emperor.