It has been a good and bad week for the family Pliny. The "elder" was that unsufferable polymath who wrote the multi-volume Natural History and was killed in the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79 (a combination of curiosity about the eruption and a rescue mission for some stranded friends). The "younger" was his nephew, the eye-witness of the eruption. It is his letters to Tacitus about the event that give us our best account of it -- even though, they were written almost 30 years later (Angelica Kauffman's reinvention of the scene preceding the eruption, with young Pliny and his mother, is at the top of this post).
As for Pliny himself, he would no doubt be disappointed to find himself best remembered for witnessing a natural disaster. The highspots of his career must have been his consulship in AD 100, plus his special imperial commission in Bithynia. He seems to have allowed the letters he exchanged with the emperor during that commission into the public domain -- and a crawling collection they are, with Trajan scarcely able to contain his irritation at Pliny constantly bothering him with trivia (one of the bits of trivia being the inconvenient Christians in his province).
Anyway both "elder" and "younger" got an outing on Radio 4 this week.