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date: 17 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Thucydides was very popular among Roman rhetoricians and historians of the first century bce. The Greek critic Dionysius of Halicarnassus, however, criticizes Thucydides for his unnatural style and his inappropriate treatment of subject matter. This chapter explains Dionysius’ criticisms by taking into account the later writer’s rhetorical perspective on the writing of history, as well as the character of his Roman audience, which included the addressee of the treatise, the historian Quintus Aelius Tubero. Dionysius’ criticisms of Thucydides’ anti-Athenian attitude ( Letter to Pompeius 3.15), and his apparently conflicting praise (On Thucydides 8.1) of Thucydides’ commitment to the truth can be reconciled if we take into account Dionysius’ concept of “truth,” his intended audience, and his rhetorical concept of historiography.

Keywords: Dionysius of Halicarnassus, Quintus Aelius Tubero, reception, rhetoric, Rome, Thucydides, truth

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