The main factors that Augustus attempted to address were: the role the army played in the state, and the ambition of other prominent Romans along with the accumulation of wealth. Emerging from the final civil war with Antony officially a war against Cleopatra to disguise yet another civil war , Octavian was left as the last man standing in Rome. He had systematically defeated all of his enemies by political intrigue and warfare. As Scullard points out, Octavian was in tricky situation. Whereas taking total autocratic power, as his adoptive-father had, would deny the libertas and ambition of other Romans. He did not redesign the system overnight.

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BMCR American classical studies ; no. Oxford: Oxford University Press, Review by Adam Kemezis, University of Michigan. Although he furnishes our most detailed narrative history of events from 35 B.

This volume is targeted toward historians of the Augustan period to whom Dio is of interest primarily as a source of facts rather than as an author in himself. Although S. As has been the case with previous volumes in the APA series, S.

Boissevain Berlin , leaves so little room for improvement. While S. In his introduction, S. He saw his own time as one of decline, but decline that would be arrested if emperors returned to an enlightened style of government.

This view of Dio builds on S. Few scholars give Dio the credit S. He basically sides with the current majority view that what we have now is mostly a product of the s and s.

This is in some ways an attractive idea, and S. The format of the commentary is a very well adapted to the kind of piecemeal consultation mentioned above.

Thus S. As a historical narrator, Dio can be extremely sparing of factual details and vague in his chronology, and one often gets the feeling that S.

In general, anywhere that Dio provides any information on a topic at all, S. Since the number of topics on which Dio touches briefly is very considerable, the potential audience who could find this book useful is a broad one indeed. The number of topics covered by S.

No area of Augustan history that Dio touches is ignored or skimped on by S. The numerous smaller wars described by Dio are also treated in considerable detail. In each of the three cases cited above, S. His presentation of views other than his own is consistently full and fair-minded. Also admirable is S. Dio as a historian is remarkably conscious of the propaganda value of architecture and spectacle, especially in the Augustan era.

This is one area in which Dio seems to resemble his modern counterparts more than do most of his contemporaries. Once again, S. The best example is his excursus on the Forum of Augustus and Temple of Mars Ultor , but many smaller instances exist.

In general, any time Dio happens to mention that an event occurs in a given location in Rome, S. The remainder of the commentary covers a daunting range of topics in consistently painstaking fashion. In several cases S. It is difficult to tell from our sources whether the second law mitigated the first or made it harsher; S. In many other cases, particularly those regarding the various family and succession struggles, S.

The only topics where S. In some instances, one feels that S. For another author, this might seem like overkill, but since there is no demand for concise inexpensive commentaries on Dio for language classes or the casual reader, one is inclined to say that the best commentary is the widest-ranging and most thorough, a principle evidently adopted by S. Many useful details on specific problems can be found in S. One case in which one could ask for better is that of the maps.

They are relatively few in number six , crowded, and of a rudimentary black-line format that makes it hard to tell rivers, coasts and roads apart. In particular, the military narratives of Gaius Caesar and of the Dalmatian Wars are quite complicated and would have benefited greatly from more generous visual aids. One would like to be able to expect more in a book at this price. In addition, while S.

The strict historical focus does also mean that considerably less attention is given to the purely literary aspects of the work than is the case in comparably thorough commentaries on Tacitus or Livy. In this, S. In large part, this is surely because Dio is simply not the literary artist that Tacitus and Livy are. Nevertheless, he is far from a naive or transparent writer. On the contrary, the literary form of his history as a whole has many curious aspects.

On the whole, however, literary scholars of Dio are few, and Augustan historians are many, and clearly S. Moreover, the state of literary analysis of Dio is such that someone who knows Dio as well as S. This commentary has achieved its objective very well indeed.

Scholars on a very wide range of topics within Augustan history have a valuable and well-designed new resource. Thanks to the generous scope S. Anyone who needs to consult the relevant books of Dio for even a small reference ought certainly to consult S.

Notes 1. Its notes are nevertheless of considerable value for historical purposes. In particular, two books published almost simultaneously, Manuwald see n. See Swan in Phoenix n. For detailed references, see Swan 29 n. For example, at p.


Cassius Dio: The Augustan Settlement : Roman History 53.1-55.9

According to Pausanias , the Gauls were motivated by a desire for plunder. Brennus convinced the Gauls that the relative Greek weakness at the time and the great wealth of the Greek cities and temple sanctuaries were opportunities to be exploited. While a Greek coalition force of Aetolians , Boeotians , Athenians, Phocians , and other Greeks north of Corinth mustered at the narrow pass of Thermopylae , on the east coast of central Greece , Brennus pushed southward with his warriors. A Greek attempt to delay the Gauls at the Spercheios failed when a Gallic force of ten thousand swam the river and moved to outflank the outnumbered Greeks.



Shataxe The notes discuss the historical subject matter and Dik treatment of it; particular attention is paid to the way Dio shaped his material in the light of his own values and interests. The specific requirements or preferences of your reviewing publisher, classroom teacher, institution or organization should be applied. Your request to send this item has been completed. Account Options Sign in. Request removal from index. Remember me on this computer.

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