The Ancient Library

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On this page: Dione – Dionysia



mand of the Delphic oracle, in distant travels through the northern regions of the Roman empire, as far as the BSrysthenes, or Dnieper, and the Getae. All this time he was study­ing philosophy, to which he had previously been averse, in spite of his friendship with ApoLlonlus of Tyana. His leaning was in the direction of Stoicism. On the accession of his friend Cocceius Nerva (from whom he took the name Cocceius), he returned to Rome, where he spent the remainder of his days, with the exception of a short atay in Prusa. He was greatly honoured both by Nerva and his successor Trajan. His contemporaries called him Chrysostomos (" Golden mouth"), from his powers as a speaker, which he often displayed in pub­lic in Rome and elsewhere. Eighty of his speeches survive. They should rather be called essays on topics of philosophy, morals, and politics. He has talent, and refinement, and healthy moral tone. In his style he imitates the best models, especially Plato and Demosthenes, and his writings are on the whole, in spite of many defects, among the best literary productions of that age.

(2) Dio Cassius (or Cassius Dio) Coc-ceidnus. A Greek historian, grandson of Dio Chrysostomos, born at Nicaaa, in Bithynia, 155 a.d. He came early to Rome with his father, Cassius Apronianus, a senator and high official. Here he received a careful education. In about 180 a.d. he became a member of the senate, and he was a long time in practice as an advocate. In 194 he was praetor, and afterwards consul. As proconsul he administered in succession the provinces of Africa, Dalmatia, and Pan-nonia. The strict order which he had maintained in Pannouia had drawn upon him the hatred of the undisciplined prae­torians, who demanded his life. Alexander Sgverus, however, not only shielded him, but nominated him his colleague in the consulship of 229. At the same time he allowed him, for the sake of his own per­sonal safety, to live outside Rome during his term of office. When this had expired the emperor, in consequence of his age and weak health, gave him leave to quit the public service and retire to his native city, where he ended his days. Here he com­pleted his great work on Roman history, from the arrival of jEneas in Italy, to his own consulship in 229 a.d. This he had undertaken at the divine command, commu­nicated to him in a dream. He spent twenty-two years upon it, ten on the preparation, and twelve on the execution. It contained 80

books, divided into decades. It gives only a sketch of the history down to Csesar, but treats the empire in detail, special care being bestowed upon the events con temporary with the writer. Of the first thirty-five books we have only fragments; book 36 (the wars with the pirates and with Mithridates) is muti­lated at the beginning; books 37-54(down to the death of Agrippa)are tolerably complete; books 55-60, which come down to Claudius, are imperfect. The rest are preserved only in fragments, and in the extracts made by loannes XlphllinSs, a Byzantine monk of the 12th century. These begin with book 35. The model taken by Dio for imitation was Polybius, whom -he only distantly re­sembles. He often repels the reader by his crawling flattery, his affected dislike of the republican champions, such as Cicero, Bru­tus, and Cassius, and his gross superstition. But his book is a work of enormous indus­try, and of great importance, especially for the history of his own time. His narrative is, generally speaking, clear and vivid, and his style is careful.

Dione. In Greek mythology, the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys, or, according to another account, of Uranus and Gaia. By Zeus she was mother of AphrSdite, who was herself called Dione. At Dodona she was worshipped in Hera's place as the wife of Zeus. Her name, indeed, expresses in a feminine form the attributes of Zeus, just as the Latin Juno does those of Jupiter, When the oracle of Dodona lost its former importance, Dione was eclipsed by Hera as the wife of Zeus, and came to be regarded as a nymph of Dodona.

Dlonysla. A celebration in honour of Dionysus, which was held in Athens in a special series of festivals, namely:

(1) The Oschftphdrla, supposed to have been instituted by Theseus on his return from Crete. This was celebrated in the month of Pyanepslon (October to Novem­ber), when the grapes were ripe. It was so called from the shoots of vine with grapes on them, which were borne in a race from the temple of Dionysus in Limnse, a southern suburb of Athens, to the sanctu­ary of Athena Sciras, in the harbour town of Phalerum. The bearers and runners were twenty youths. (gjthebl) of noble descent, whose parents were still living, two being chosen from each of the ten tribes. The victor received a goblet containing a drink made of wine, cheese, meal and honey, and an honorary place in the procession which followed the race. This procession, iu

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