Cassius Dio: Greek Intellectual and Roman Politician


Winner of the 2017 Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award

Cassius Dio: Greek Intellectual and Roman Politician, a collection of essays on this historian, is the first to appear in the new Brill series Historiography of Rome and Its Empire. The volume brings together case studies that highlight various aspects of Dio’s Roman History, focusing on previously ignored or misunderstood aspects of his narrative. The main purpose of the volume is to pursue a combined historiographic, literary and rhetorical analysis of Dio’s work and of its political and intellectual agendas. Dio's work is often used as a handy resource, with scholars looking at isolated sections of his annalistic structure. Contrary to this approach, the volume puts emphasis on Cassius Dio and his Roman History in its historiographical setting, thus allowing us to link and understand the different parts of his work.

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Carsten Hjort Lange, Ph.D. (2008), University of Nottingham, is Assistant Professor at Aalborg University, and co-editor of Brill's Historiography of Rome and Its Empire series. He is the author of two monographs: Res Publica Constituta: Actium, Apollo and the Accomplishment of the Triumviral Assignment (Brill, 2009) and Triumphs in the Age of Civil War: The Late Republic and the Adaptability of Triumphal Tradition (Bloomsbury, 2016).
Jesper Majbom Madsen, Ph.D. (2006), Aarhus University, is Associate Professor and Director of Teaching at the University of Southern Denmark, and co-editor of Brill’s Historiography of Rome and Its Empire series. He is the author of Eager to be Roman: Greek Response to Roman Rule in Pontus and Bithynia (Duckworth, 2009) and is the co-editor of Roman Rule in Greek and Latin Writing: Double Vision (Brill, 2014).

Contributors are: Christopher Burden-Strevens, Jesper Carlsen, Marianne Coudry, Andriy Fomin, Alain Gowing, Brandon Jones, Adam Kemezis, Carsten Hjort Lange, Jesper Majbom Madsen, Christopher Mallan, Josiah Osgood, Jussi Rantala, Verena Schulz, Søren Lund Sørensen, Gianpaolo Urso and Richard Westall.
"Cassius Dio, a Roman imperial official and historian who wrote in Greek in the third century CE, is an indispensable authority for the study of Roman history. He has nevertheless not been the subject of the same degree of sustained scholarly inquiry that has advanced understanding of other ancient historians’ contexts, aims, and methods. The present volume, the inaugural contribution to the editors’ Historiography of Rome and its Empire series, represents a superb correction of that deficiency. The 16 chapters (written by a combination of international experts and more junior scholars) explore such topics as Dio’s political philosophy, his use of rhetoric, and ancient strategies of resistance to tyranny and present new historical interpretations of the most important sections of his work to survive. Individual chapters shine light on Dio’s complex engagement with issues of cultural identity and the historian’s duty to ideals of freedom. Taken as a whole, the volume illuminates Dio’s literary and historical methods and his place in later Roman society. The book is welcoming to nonspecialists (all Greek is translated) but does not sacrifice the level of detail and is very-well-produced overall." - J. Clark, Florida State University, in: CHOICE (AWARD 2017)
"The editors are to be commended on marshalling such an impressive range of material. This monograph will be of great value to those interested in the historiography of the Principate, but it also has much to recommend to historians of the High Empire and beyond, containing a wealth of material on political matters as much as literary. Overall, then, this book is a success and will hopefully prove to be the first of many new publications reconsidering Dio’s position within the ancient literary pantheon." - Alex Imrie, in: The Classical Review (4 December 2017), pp. 1-3
"Il n'est pas possible de rendre compte ici de toutes les contributions de ce riche volume mais nul doute qu'elles intéresseront un large public au-delà des seuls spécialistes de Cassius Dion. Ce n'est d'ailleurs qu'une première livraison puisque le Cassius Dio Network fondé et animé par Carsten H. Lange et Jesper M. Madsen a déjà organisé deux autres colloques depuis celui d'Odense (2014) dont sont issus les textes ici rassemblés : un deuxième volume, intitulé Cassius Dio's Secret History or Early Rome et portant sur les deux premières décades, fragmentaires, de l'Histoire romaine, est annoncé dans la même collection pour la fin 2017." - Valérie Fromentin, in: Sehepunkte 17 (2017), Nr. 9
"(...) Come spero di avere chiarito, il livello medio di questi contributi è molto buono e il volume raggiunge quindi il duplice scopo di fornire importanti materiali alla conoscenza dell’opera di Cassio Dione e di suggerire, anche attraverso la presenza di tesi opposte al suo interno, ulteriori linee di ricerca per approfondire la personalità di uno dei più complessi storici del mondo antico." - Giuseppe Zecchini, in: Histos 11 (2017), lxxvi–lxxx
"Es genügt, an dieser Stelle festzuhalten, dass der besprochene Sammelband für ein wachsendes Interesse am Literaten Cassius Dio steht, dessen ‚Römische Geschichte‘, wie von den Autoren gezeigt wurde, mehr als nur eine Fundgrube zur historischen Rekonstruktion der römischen Geschichte sein kann." - Jack W.G. Schropp, in: Plekos v.20 (2018)
"Nell’insieme il risultato è di sicuro e grandemente positivo: il libro promuove con successo una immagine nuova (almeno in parte) e aggiornata di Cassio Dione [...] Tutti i contributi sono assai stimolanti e di alta qualità." - Tommaso Leoni, in: Bollettino di Studi Latini, v.1 (2019)
"(...) this is a collection which highlights very effectively Dio’s control over what was an enormous literary undertaking. (...) I cannot stress enough this volume’s importance as a project. (...) What is beyond question, (...), is its transformative role in our understanding of a historiographical narrative which is vital to reconstructions of so much of Roman history." - Graham Andrews, in The Journal of Roman Studies 110 (2020)
All interested in Roman history and Roman / Ancient historiography, especially Cassius Dio and his Roman History, and a combined historiographic, literary and rhetorical analysis of his work and of its political and intellectual agendas.
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