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Carsten Hjort Lange and Jesper Majbom Madsen

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Edited by Carsten Hjort Lange and Jesper Majbom Madsen

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Alain M. Gowing

Abstract

The presence of the physical city of Rome in Livy and Tacitus in particular has been discussed in the scholarship (e.g., Jaeger 1997, Ash 2007, Rouveret 1991), but despite the fact that he references the monuments and buildings of Rome more frequently than his Latin predecessors, Dio’s interest in the city has not received similar attention. This paper argues that an appreciation of Dio’s perspective on Rome, and of how the city works itself into his narrative, deepens our understanding not only of Dio’s experience of Rome, but also of the ways in which this important historian draws on the Roman historiographical tradition in which he worked…and the ways in which he departed from it. The significance of Rome and its buildings for Dio is seen to lie chiefly in their function as both a symbol and theater of power; as a place where divine displeasure may be made manifest; and as a device for establishing Dio’s own authority, as he impresses on the reader that he is describing the city from personal experience of the place in which the action occurs, in narratives of both his own time and of the past (e.g., 55.8.4; 74[73].1.3–5; 74[73].4.3; 75[74].4.6–7; cf. 73[72].18.4). Because he lived in Rome under Septimius Severus and the greatest transformation of the city since the time of Augustus, whose building program Severus is believed to have consciously imitated (e.g., Cooley 2007, Barnes 2008), Dio’s experience of Rome must have had something in common with that of Livy (cf. 77[76].16.3) and yet the city does not imprint itself on his History in precisely the same way as Livy’s did on his.

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Søren Lund Sørensen

Abstract

In his account of the introduction of the imperial cult in Asia Minor Cassius Dio implies that Octavian distinguished between Roman citizens and foreigners. While the Romans had to worship Julius Caesar and Dea Roma, the foreigners are said by Cassius Dio to have been entrusted with the worship of the ruler of the Romans. Cassius Dio’s description of these foreigners is somewhat nebulous, and this paper undertakes an investigation into their identity, arguing that Cassius Dio can only have been referring to the provincial assemblies, the so-called koina. Reviewing recent epigraphic material does, however, lead to the conclusion that Cassius Dio’s account of the genesis of the imperial cult is a gross distortion of historical facts, since no division between Romans and foreigners ever seems to have existed with regards to the imperial cult in Asia Minor. Rather, Roman citizens appear to have been involved in the cult from the outset.

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Marianne Coudry

Abstract

In book 36 of his Roman History Cassius Dio devotes about one third of the whole book, which covers the events of four years, to one particular event: the vote in 67 BC of the well-known lex Gabinia, which provided Pompey with an imperium extending over the whole Mediterranean sea and its coasts, in order to crush the overwhelming spread of piracy. This unusually extensive passage, which includes several speeches, betokens a conscious choice of Dio to shed light on one of the extraordinary commands of Pompey. The inquiry I propose tries to elucidate the meaning of that choice, by examining the relations between these long chapters about the lex Gabinia and other passages devoted to similar matters in different parts of the Roman History. By focusing on Dio’s view of some turning points in the last years of the Roman Republic, such a comparison will make manifest for us the particulars of his reflection about the passage from Republic to Empire. It should also exemplify the coherence of his thought throughout his work, in the wider perspective of his understanding of the politeiai of Rome.