Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113). Letters.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
CXV. To the Emperor Trajan
THE POMPEIAN law, Sir, allows the Bithynians to give the freedom of their respective cities to any person they think proper, provided he is not a foreigner, but native of some of the cities of this province. The same law specifies the particular causes for which the censors may expel any member of the senate, but makes no mention of foreigners. Certain of the censors, therefore, have desired my opinion whether they ought to expel a member if he should happen to be a foreigner. But I thought it necessary to receive your instructions in this case; not only because the law, though it forbids foreigners to be admitted citizens, does not direct that a senator shall be expelled for the same reason, but because I am informed that in every city in the province a great number of the senators are foreigners. If, therefore, this clause of the law, which seems to be antiquated by a long custom to the contrary, should be enforced, many cities, as well as private persons, must be injured by it. I have annexed the heads of this law to my letter.