Pliny the Younger
(61 - 112)
Having served as a consul, a senatorial treasurer, and an administrator of the drainage board of Rome, Pliny was in Bithynia, in present-day Turkey, investigating municipal corruption when he came across followers of what was then considered a secret sect. There was no official Roman policy concerning Christians. Trajan replied to Pliny, commending his initial investigation but counseling that “these people are not to be sought out; if they are brought before you and found guilty, they must be punished.” Pliny’s letters to politicians, military officials, and the historian Tacitus offer an intimate portrait of Roman life in his day.