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Photius, on the other hand, writing about Dio's History in his Bibliotheca, seems to imply that the 80 books went up to the death of Elagabal, 4 the 1 53* *9* 6 : TTpooearai poivrot Ti avToîs Kal rrjs èfiijs SoÇamas . . evov Tjhvvrjdr]v eV TTOXXWV thv àvêyvwv T) Kal rjKovaa T) Kal eîSov TSKp^Tjpaadai. v. Aiwv, 6 Kâoaws (ed. A d l e r vol. 2, p p . aÏKr)v loTopîav ev ßißXlois it'' StatpowTat Se Kara Se/caSas. 3 4 See p. 74. Photius, Bib. 71 àvçyvatadr] ßißXiov . . iv Xoyoïs tr'' a p x 6 T a l V*v • • • Stcp^CTat Se KadeÇijs aTrorravofievos ets rr)v rov ÄVTÜJVLVOV, OU 'EXayaßaXov àneKÔiXovv, <7ayrjv .

2 32 THE C O M P O S I T I O N OF T H E HISTORY came to their place in his work unless there is evidence to the contrary. In considering the political background to his writing it is therefore necessary to dismiss Severus Alexander and the 'senatorial reaction' from the scene. Dio's History, and his thinking as it is reflected there, is the product of the age of Severus and Caracalla. The First Stage: the Collection of Material The enormous task which Dio imposed on himself set severe limits on the quality of his performance in detail.

2 THE C O M P O S I T I O N OF THE HISTORY 31 out, immediately after they had been written. 1 Furthermore, Dio's references to events within his lifetime do nothing to upset the natural inference that it is possible to establish the approximate date at which each book was written by spacing them appropriately between the years 207 and 219. No doubt, as in all literary or scholastic work, there were interruptions and difficulties and periods of better or worse progress. 2 But, if the formula which presents itself as the natural one is applied, it is found to work ; at only two points does Dio refer to things which took place after the relevant part of the History will have been written, while there are two passages, those referring to the attachment of the legion I Adiutrix to Pannonia Inferior and to the introduction of Egyptians into the Senate, which were written within a year or two of the event.

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A Study of Cassius Dio by Fergus Millar


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