Gaius Plinius Secundus was born into the equestrian class of Roman citizens in the year 23. He is better known today as Pliny the Elder. He began his career in the military, but he is well known as a writer of works about natural history. After a long time enlisted, he returned to Rome, and while the emperor Nero was in power, he retired from public offices. When Vespasian took over as emperor, he restarted his career in the public and was made prefect of the section of the Roman navy that was in Misenium in the year 79, which was the year of the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius. Upon realizing that the volcano was endangering the citizens, he turned the warships into rescue boats and evacuated as much as the surrounding area as he could, but died during the eruption while in an attempt to save his fellow citizens of Rome.