Pliny the Younger (A.D. 62?–c.A.D. 113). Letters.
The Harvard Classics. 1909–14.
XXXIX. Trajan to Pliny
SEMPRONIUS CAELIANUS has acted agreeably to my orders, in sending such persons to be tried before you as appear to deserve capital punishment. It is material, however, in the case in question, to enquire whether these slaves enlisted themselves voluntarily, or were chosen by the officers, or presented as substitutes for others. If they were chosen, the officer is guilty; if they are substitutes, the blame rests with those who deputed them; but if, conscious of the legal inabilities of their station, they presented themselves voluntarily, the punishment must fall upon their own heads. That they are not yet entered into any legion, makes no great difference in their case; for they ought to have given a true account of themselves immediately upon their being approved as fit for the service.