La carriera politica di Cassio Dione e la genesi della sua Storia Romana


  • Cesare Letta


Cassius Dio’s political career and the genesis of his Roman HistoryA thorough analysis of the studies published after 1979 allows the Authorto reaffirm the main conclusions of his previous contributions.1) Cassius Dio’s political career knew an abrupt interruption after hispraetorship in 194 till 217. He was consul suffectus only in 222, legatusof Dalmatia in 222-223, and legatus of Pannonia Superior in 223-228.The first protests of the Praetorian Guard against him (80, 4, 2) happenedin 223, at the very beginning of his Pannonic legation, beforeUlpian’s death.2) As Carlo Slavich convincingly demonstrated since 2004, Dio’s monographyon the πόλεμοι καὶ στάσεις, clearly recognizable in the textof his Roman History from 73 [72], 23 to 75 [74], 8 (that is from thedeath of Commodus to the death of Niger), was published at the latestin early 195. This confirms the existence of a long interval between itspublication and the beginning of Dio’s work on his Roman History.The ten years period Dio devoted to gather evidence on the history tillthe death of Severus (211) started immediately afterwards, thanks toan intervention of Tyche (73 [72], 23, 4). Pace Swan, this interventionis almost certainly the dream of 79 [78], 10, 1-2, clearly datable afterthe death of Severus (February 4, 211: τεθνηκότος αὐτοῦ) and beforeCaracalla’s sole rulership (μοναρχία), that is before Geta’s assassination(December 211). Many references to Severus Alexander’s time inthe pre-severan books, together with many clues of non-revision of theentire work, confirm the late chronology the Author had proposed for its composition (from late 211 or early 212 till late 233 or early 234) andits posthumous publication.