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date: 27 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the Greek imperial writer Dio Chrysostom’s biography, works, and place within the Second Sophistic. Dio’s corpus is broad and eclectic, including advice to emperors, discussions of local politics, literary criticism, philosophical treatises, and fictionalized myths. Moreover, the stories told about his life both in his own works and in those of later interpreters raise questions about just how literally to understand Dio’s autobiography. This chapter tackles these questions surrounding the relationship between Dio’s life and corpus through close readings from selected speeches, focusing particularly on Dio’s rhetorical personas, self-positioning between Greece and Rome, and the contrast between his more political and more literary-critical speeches. As such, this chapter offers models both for understanding these contrasting facets of Dio’s life and corpus and for reading Dio holistically within a Second Sophistic context.

Keywords: Dio Chrysostom, Dio of Prusa, Second Sophistic, imperial Greece, Roman Empire, rhetoric

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