Chapter 5 Antoninum habemus, omnia habemus: The nomen Antoninorum Issue between the Historia Augusta and Cassius Dio

In: The Intellectual Climate of Cassius Dio
Antonio Pistellato
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Starting from the topic of Antonine-Severan dynastic change and continuity, this paper elaborates on the controversial problem of emperors’ use of the name “Antoninus” as seen in the Historia Augusta and offers a reassessment of it through a comparative analysis with Cassius Dio’s Roman History. In Dio’s work, the nomen Antoninorum issue is omitted or just alluded to, but a political role played by the name Antoninus in the transition from the Antonines to the Severans seems to be genuine. Dio adds indirect but significant clues to confirm it. On the one hand, he pays unparalleled attention to the meaning of the nomen Augustum, which focuses on the legitimacy issue. On the other hand, through reticence, he mirrors the political and intellectual climate of his own time. As a distinguished member of the Severan Senate and as a historian, Dio preferred not to treat explicitly a topic that was still “hot” when he was finishing his work.

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