Front Page Titles (by Subject) CXVII: To the Emperor Trajan - Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero
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CXVII: To the Emperor Trajan - Marcus Tullius Cicero, Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero 
Letters of Marcus Tullius Cicero: with his Treatises on Friendship and Old Age, trans. E.S. Shuckburgh. And Letters of Gaius Plinius Caecilius Secundus, trans. William Melmoth, revised by F.C.T. Bosanquet (New York: P.F. Collier, 1909).
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To the Emperor Trajan
It is customary here upon any person taking the manly robe, solemnising his marriage, entering upon the office of a magistrate, or dedicating any public work, to invite the whole senate, together with a considerable part of the commonalty, and distribute to each of the company one or two denarii.1 I request you to inform me whether you think proper this ceremony should be observed, or how far you approve of it. For myself, though I am of opinion that upon some occasions, especially those of public festivals, this kind of invitation may be permitted, yet, when carried so far as to draw together a thousand persons, and sometimes more, it seems to be going beyond a reasonable number, and has somewhat the appearance of ambitious largesses.
[1 ]The denarius=17 cents. The sum total, then, distributed among one thousand persons at the rate of, say, two denarii a piece would amount to about $350.