Fergus Millar's A Study of Cassius Dio PDF

Medieval

By Fergus Millar

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Extra resources for A Study of Cassius Dio

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49-51. See pp. 102 f. 2 THE C O M P O S I T I O N OF THE HISTORY 31 out, immediately after they had been written. 1 Furthermore, Dio's references to events within his lifetime do nothing to upset the natural inference that it is possible to establish the approximate date at which each book was written by spacing them appropriately between the years 207 and 219. No doubt, as in all literary or scholastic work, there were interruptions and difficulties and periods of better or worse progress. 2 But, if the formula which presents itself as the natural one is applied, it is found to work ; at only two points does Dio refer to things which took place after the relevant part of the History will have been written, while there are two passages, those referring to the attachment of the legion I Adiutrix to Pannonia Inferior and to the introduction of Egyptians into the Senate, which were written within a year or two of the event.

2-3 (409)—'we' must be the Senate, not the Emperor's comités on the expedition. 6 78. 37- 5 (446). 78. 16. 2-17. 4 (419-ai). 7 78. 37- 5 (446). g. 78. 20. 1 (424), the birthday of Diadumenianus—14 September 217 ; 25. 2 (431), the Volcanalia—25 August 217. 1 Dio was still in Rome when the Emperor first wrote concerning the rebellion of Elagabal,2 but must have left soon after this, for the rebellion, which began on 16 May 218, was successful by 8 June. 7 At the beginning of his brief account of Severus Alexander's reign Dio explains that, while he has so far recorded events as fully as possible, from now on he can only give a summary ;8 the reason was his absence from Rome, for on leaving Asia he went to Bithynia (that is, presumably, to his home in Nicaea), was ill there for a time and then went to Africa—as proconsul of the senatorial province, perhaps in 223.

4 69. 17. 3. See p. 70. 38 THE C O M P O S I T I O N OF THE H I S T O R Y public, whether it were true or not. Beyond that Dio could only use his own judgement, on the basis of any further information he had from all that he had read, heard or seen. 1 This comes near to being a complete list of the critical weapons available to a historian in Dio's time. The question of exactly which authorities an ancient historian used in each section of his narrative, while important for those whose sole concern is with the truth or falsehood of the facts he records, is not essential for the study of the historian himself.

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A Study of Cassius Dio by Fergus Millar


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