April 24, 2013
DIO CHRYSOSTOM AND DIO CASSIUS (47-247)
Latin DION CHRYSOSTOMUS
From the Greek meaning GOLDEN-MOUTHED, also called DIO PRUSAEUS and DIO COCCEIANUS, Greak rhetorician and philosopher who won fame IN ROME and throughout the empire for his writings and speeches.
He was banished in 82 for political reasons from both Bithynia and Italy. He wandered for 14 years through the lands near the Black Sea, adopting the life of poverty advocated by the Cynics.
With the dead of the emperor Domitian his exile ended and he made a new career as a public speaker and philosopher.
A collection of 80 orations with fragments of other survives, but some are dialogues or moral essays and two are spurious. Four are speeches addressed to Trajan On Kingship; the Olympicus describes followed in his famous statue of Zeus, one passage being supposed by some to have suggested the German Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides Dio compares the treatment of the story of Philoctetes by each tragedian. Best known is the Euboicus, depicting country life on the island of Euboea, an important document for social and economic history.
A patriotic Greek who accepted Roman rule, Dio typifies the revival of Greek self-confidence under the Roman Empire that marks the beginning of the new or second sophistic movement in the 2nd century.
In full CASSIUS DIO COCCEIANUS, Roman administrator and historian, the author of Romaika, a history of Rome, written in Greek, that is a most important authority for the last years of the republic and the early empire.
The son of Cassius Apronianus (governor of Dalmatia an Cicilia under Marcus Aurelius) and grandson of DIO CHRYSOSTOM, he went to Rome in 180 after his father´s death and became a member of the Senate. By Macrinus he was entrusted with the administration of Pergamus and Smyrna and on his return to Rome he was made consul. After this he obtained the proconsulship of Africa and again on his return was sent as legate succesively to Dalmatia and Pannoia.
He was granted a second consulship by Alexander Severus in 229, shortly before retirement.
His history of Rome, Romaika, consisted of 80 books beginning with the landing of Aeneas in Italy and ending in the reign of Alexander Severus (222-235). Much of this work was preserved in later histories by Constantine VII Porphyrogenitus, John VIII Xiphilinus and John Zonaras.
Dio Cassius industry was great and the various offices he held gave him opportunities for historical investigation. His narratives show the hand of the practiced soldier and politician; the language is correct and free from affectation, but his work, although far more than a mere compilation is not remarkable for impartiality, vigour of judgment or critical historical faculty.