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Title: Cassius Dio, human nature and the late Roman Republic
Author: Rees, William J.
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis builds on recent scholarship on Dio’s φύσις model to argue that Dio’s view of the fall of the Republic can be explained in terms of his interest in the relationship between human nature and political constitution. Chapter One examines Dio’s thinking on Classical debates surrounding the issue of φύσις and is dedicated to a detailed discussion of the terms that are important to Dio’s understanding of Republican political life. The second chapter examines the relationship between φύσις and Roman theories of moral decline in the late Republic. Chapter Three examines the influence of Thucydides on Dio. Chapter Four examines Dio’s reliance on Classical theories of democracy and monarchy. These four chapters, grouped into two sections, show how he explains the downfall of the Republic in the face of human ambition. Section Three will be the first of two case studies, exploring the life of Cicero, one of the main protagonists in Dio’s history of the late Republic. In Chapter Five, I examine Dio’s account of Cicero’s career up to the civil war between Pompey and Caesar. Chapter Six explores Cicero’s role in politics in the immediate aftermath of Caesar’s death, first examining the amnesty speech and then the debate between Cicero and Calenus. Chapter Seven examines the dialogue between Cicero and Philiscus, found in Book 38. In Section Four is my other case study, Caesar. Chapter Eight discusses Caesar as a Republican politician. In Chapter Nine, I examine Dio’s version of the mutiny at Vesontio and Caesar’s speech. Chapter Ten examines Dio’s portrayal of Caesar after he becomes dictator and the speech he delivers to the senate. The Epilogue ties together the main conclusions of the thesis and examines how the ideas explored by Dio in his explanation of the fall of the Republic are resolved in his portrait of the reign of Augustus.
Supervisor: Pelling, Christopher ; Clark, Anna Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Intellectual History ; Classical Greek ; Latin ; Hellenic (Classical Greek) literature ; Ancient philosophy ; History of other areas ; Cassius Dio ; Roman Republic ; Roman History