The Intellectual Climate of Cassius Dio

Greek and Roman Pasts


Cassius Dio (c. 160–c. 230) is a familiar name to Roman historians, but still an enigmatic one. His text has shaped our understanding of his own period and earlier eras, but basic questions remain about his Greek and Roman cultural identities and his literary and intellectual influences. Contributors to this volume read Dio against different backgrounds including the politics of the Severan court, the cultural milieu of the Second Sophistic and Roman traditions of historiography and political theory. Dio emerges as not just a recounter of events, but a representative of his times in all their complexity.

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Adam Kemezis, Ph.D. (2006) is Associate Professor in the Department of History, Classics and Religion at the University of Alberta. He is the author of Greek Narratives of the Roman Empire under the Severans: Cassius Dio, Philostratus and Herodian (Cambridge, 2014) and a number of articles on Dio and other authors and topics in Imperial Roman historiography and literature.
Colin Bailey, Ph.D. (2006) is Associate Professor of Classics at MacEwan University. He has published papers on Dio Chrysostom, Plutarch of Chaeronea, and Roman Republican history. His research interests focus on early imperial Greek literature and interactions between Greece and Rome.
Beatrice Poletti, Ph.D. (2018) is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Classics at Queen’s University. She has written several papers on Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Augustan historiography and religion. Her interests include historiography of Rome, Augustan literature, and Roman religion.
List of Figures and Tables
Notes on Contributors
Historiography of Rome and Its Empire Series
Carsten H. Lange and Jesper M. Madsen

Introduction: Conversations with the Author
Adam Kemezis, Colin Bailey and Beatrice Poletti

part 1: Political Theory and Commentary

1 Dio and Pompey: Explaining the Failure of the Republic
David S. Potter

2 “Safety First”: Cassius Dio on the Augustan Senate
Jonathan Scott Perry

3 Cassius Dio and the Ideal Constitution
Jasper Majbom Madsen

4 Monarchy as “True Democracy” in Cassius Dio and the Second Sophistic Authors: Irony, Utopia, or Ideal?
Konstantin V. Markov

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

part 2: Rome and the Imperial Court

6 Contested Constructions: Cassius Dio and the Framing of Female Participation as Builders
Karin S. Tate

7 Dio and the Dowager Empresses, Part 2: Julia Domna, the Senate, and Succession
Julie Langford

8 Cassius Dio and the Imperial Admission
Mads Ortving Lindholmer

9 Cassius Dio and the Imitatio Alexandri
Frances Pownall

10 Cassius Dio, Julia Maesa and the Omens Foretelling the Rise of Elagabalus and Severus Alexander
Riccardo Bertolazzi

11 Imperial Fortunes: Portents, Prodigies and Dio’s Astrology of the State
Selina Stewart

part 3: Literary Heritage

12 The Novel World of Cassius Dio
Brandon Jones

13 Telling Tales of Macrinus: Strategies of Fiction in Dio’s Contemporary History
Joel Allen

14 Dio and the Failed Politician Cicero
Robert Porod

15 Cameo Roles: Dio’s Portrayal of Earlier Senatorial Historians
Adam M. Kemezis

part 4: Hellenic Culture

16 Bilingualism and Authority in Cassius Dio
Sulochana Asirvatham

17 Cassius Dio’s Asia Minor: Biography and Historiography
Christina T. Kuhn

18 Dio, Severus, and the Ludi Saeculares of 204 ce
Jeremy Rossiter and Bethany Brothers

Post-graduate scholars and undergraduate scholars of ancient Roman historiography and society, Greek and Roman literature and culture, and ancient political theory, Academic librarians.