Cassius Dio the Historian: Methods and Approaches - 07-08-09/12/2016, Odense (Denmark)
The aim of the conference is to focus on Cassius Dio as a historian – the only historian who allows us to follow the developments of Rome’s political institutions during a more than thousand year period, from the foundation of the city to Dio’s retirement from public life in 229 CE. We propose to explore Dio’s methodology and agendas, all of which influenced his approaches to Rome’s history. The aim is a reassessment that will rest on a deeper study of his narrative technique, his relationship with traditions of universal and more Rome-based historiography, and his structural approach to Roman history. One question that will be raised is as follows: can we find common principles for how to use Dio as a source for different periods, events and individuals? What are our main approaches? Most frequently Cassius Dio is used as a handy resource, with scholars looking at isolated sections of his annalistic structure. This piecemeal use of The Roman History makes us forget to reflect on his work in its textual and contextual entirety. Contrary to this approach, we will put 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. We thus propose to accept that Cassius Dio was a figure in his own right and with his own agendas for writing The Roman History, at the same time not forgetting the historian, with his ambition to tell the history of Rome. Part of this ground has already been covered, particularly the reign of Augustus and the contemporary world of Dio. But how for example can we best use Dio as evidence for Republican history? Dio is often disregarded for this period, considered to be either too late or too uninformed in comparison with other surviving historians.
LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: University of Southern Denmark (Odense, Denmark)
ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Adam Kemezis, George Hinge, Carsten H. Lange, Jesper M. Madsen, Josiah Osgood