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Discourse 39

This webpage reproduces one of the

Dio Chrysostom

published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1946

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
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Discourse 41

(Vol. IV) Dio Chrysostom

 p106  The Fortieth Discourse:
Delivered in his Native City
on Concord with the Apameians

As indicated by the title, the background of this Discourse is a quarrel between Prusa, the home of the speaker, and its near neighbour, Apameia. The precise nature of the quarrel remains in doubt, but it seems to have involved business relations, and possibly also property rights. The relations between the two cities were extremely intimate. Prusa used the port of Apameia, and Apameia looked to Prusa for its timber. There was constant intercourse of many kinds between the two, and citizens of the one not infrequently were citizens also of the other, sometimes even receiving a seat and vote in the Council of the second city. Dio's own connexion with Apameia was especially close. As we learn from Or. 41, not only had he himself been honoured with citizenship there, but also his father before him; his mother and her father too had been awarded citizenship in Apameia along with the grant of Roman citizenship; and, finally, it would appear that Dio's household had found a refuge in that city during his exile.

Whatever the nature of the quarrel, it had lasted for some time prior to the date of our Discourse (A.D. 101), and it had been so bitter that Dio had feared to accept the invitation of Apameia to pay a visit joint upon his return from exile, lest by doing so he might offend the city of his birth, and for the same reason he had resisted a request to intervene in behalf of Apameia in its quarrel. He had, to be sure, urged upon his fellow citizens, as occasion offered, the desirability of reconciliation with Apameia, and negotiations to that end were  p107 actually in progress when Dio, responding with some reluctance to the summons of his fellow townsmen, appeared in town-meeting and pleaded afresh the cause of concord. It would appear that his words received a favourable hearing, for in the next Discourse in our collection, delivered at Apameia shortly afterwards, he speaks as a member of an official delegation to arrange terms of agreement.

This Discourse, as well as several to follow, is valuable both as shedding light upon doings in Bithynia, doings about which we get supplementary information from the correspondence of Pliny the Younger written during his term as proconsul of that province, and also as supplying biographical data regarding the speaker.

 p109  The Fortieth Discourse:
Delivered in his Native City
on Concord with the Apameians

I used to think, fellow citizens, that now at least, if not before — now that I am home again — I could look forward to enjoying complete leisure, and that I was not going to engage in any public business, either voluntarily or otherwise.1 One reason was because I see that many older men, by the grace of God, and many younger men as well, are ever ready and able to direct the city and to defend your interests rightly, being deficient in neither speech nor action, and what is more, being thoroughly acquainted with your form of government, while, on the other hand, I suspected — for the truth will out — that some were vexed with me as being an outsider and a nuisance.2 2 A second reason is that, in my opinion, I should take some thought, not only for my body, exhausted as it is from great and unremitting hardship, but also for my domestic affairs, now in thoroughly bad condition, affairs which, though so long in ruinous state, have met with no improvement.  p111 For when a proprietor's absence from home, if protracted, suffices to ruin even the greatest estate, what should one expect in the course of so many years of exile? From such an exile no one could have expected me to come home safe except yourselves — because of your extreme partiality for me. And yet as long as poverty was the only risk confronting me, that was nothing to be afraid of. For I am not unprepared, I may say, to cope with that, having wandered so long, not only without hearth and home, but even without a single servant to bear me company. Furthermore, I did not expect my son to find poverty a grievous thing to bear either, since his nature is not inferior to my own.

3 But since the question before us concerns my not proving false toward my native land and not defrauding you of the promise I made under no compulsion, a promise by no means easy to make good and involving no small outlay of money, this I conceive to be a difficult matter and one calling for much serious cogitation.3 For there is nothing more weighty, no debt bearing higher interest, than a favour promised. Moreover, this is the shameful and bitter kind of loan, when, as one might say, because of tardy payment the favour turns into an obligation, an obligation the settlement of which those who keep silent demand altogether more sternly than those who cry aloud. 4 For nothing has such power to remind those who owe you such obligations as your having utterly forgotten them. For these reasons, therefore, I felt it had become necessary for me to devote myself to my own affairs and not to any  p113 public business, not even to the extent of making a speech, until, as the poet says, I shall perceive

What ill or good has happened in my halls.4

5 The fact is that hitherto I had not had even a moment's leisure, possibly because of my own officiousness, when I ought merely to have met you and given you friendly greetings and sacrificed to the gods, and, of course, read the letter from the Emperor, since that was a matter of necessity, and then to have retired immediately and turned to my own affairs,5 instead I made a speech in behalf of a certain undertaking,6 not on my own responsibility alone, but with the backing of the proconsuls as well, who possibly were minded to do you a favour, and perhaps me as well, and also to put the city into better shape and make it more impressive as a whole.7 For formerly, as you doubtless are aware, we were behind even our neighbours in such matters.

6 Well, when I made that speech on the occasion referred to, not only was the Assembly aroused with enthusiasm for it — for you are not illiberal or insensible in your nature — but also many of the citizens were even moved to patriotic fervour in its support. And again, when later on I repeatedly laid the matter before you, now in the council chamber and now  p115 in the theatre,8 to make sure that I should not offend anyone in case you did not approve or desire the project — for I had my misgivings as to the hard work which would be connected with the enterprise — the proposal was repeatedly sanctioned by you and by the proconsuls too with not a dissenting voice.

7 However, when the work was started, all the trouble to which I myself was put in taking measurements and allotting space and making computations, to insure that the project should not be unbecoming or useless — as in other cities many public works have been ruined for lack of planning — and finally in making a cursed excursion to the mountains,9 though I was not at all experienced in such matters and did not lack for something to do either, but might rather have occupied myself with other activities, possibly more important, from which I was likely to enjoy renown with others besides yourselves — all this I now refrain from narrating in detail; for nothing was too burdensome for me, seeing that I bore it for your sake.

8 But there was a lot of talk — though not on the part of many persons — and very unpleasant talk too, to the effect that I am dismantling the city; that I have laid it waste, virtually banishing the inhabitants; that everything has been destroyed, obliterated, nothing left. And there were some who were violent in their lamentations over the smithy of So-and‑so,10 feeling bitter that these memorials of the good old days were not to be preserved. One might have supposed that the Propylaea at Athens were being tampered with, or the Parthenon, or that we were wrecking the Heraeum of the Samians, or the Didymeium of the Milesians, or the temple of  p117 Artemis at Ephesus,11 9 instead of disgraceful, ridiculous ruins, much more lowly than the shed under which the flocks take shelter, but which no shepherd could enter nor any of the nobler breeds of dogs, structures that used to make you blush, aye, be utterly confounded when the proconsuls essayed to enter,12 while men who bore you malice would gloat over you and laugh at your discomfiture — hovels where even the blacksmiths were scarcely able to stand erect but worked with bowed head; shanties, moreover, in tumbledown condition, held up by props, so that at the stroke of the hammer they quivered and threatened to fall apart. And yet there were some who were distressed to see the signs of their former poverty and ill-repute disappearing, who, far from being interested in the columns which were rising, or in the eaves of the roof,13 or in the shops under construction in a different quarter,14 were interested only in preventing your ever feeling superior to that crew.

10 For, let me assure you, buildings and festivals and independence in the administration of justice and exemption from standing trial away from home or from being grouped together with other communities like some village,15 if you will pardon the expression — all these things, I say, make it natural for the  p119 pride of the cities to be enhanced and the dignity of the community to be increased and for it to receive fuller honour both from the strangers within their gates and from the proconsuls as well. But while these things possess a wondrous degree of pleasure for those who love the city of their birth and are not afraid lest some day they may be found to be not good enough for it, to those who take the opposite stand and wish to wield authority over weak men and who deem the glory of the city to be their own ignominy, these things necessarily bring pain and jealousy. 11 And yet, while it is true that the shoe must fit the wearer and his own special foot, and if the shoe is judged to be too large it must be trimmed down, one must never curtail a city or reduce it to one's own dimensions or measure it with regard to one's own spirit, if one happens to have a small and servile spirit, particularly in the light of existing precedents — I mean the activities of the men of Smyrna, of the men of Ephesus, of those men of Tarsus, of the men of Antioch.16

Again, I know perfectly that on former occasions too certain persons were ready to burst with rage on hearing me talk this way and were incensed that you were growing accustomed to listening to such words, and that any one should presume to name your city in company with such distinguished cities.17 12 But still, because of their angry protests at these proceedings, because of the things they say, because of their attempts to prevent any one's making a contribution, and because of their efforts to block operations, they have put me into such a frame of mind as almost to condemn myself to voluntary exile. For  p121 it really was ridiculous if, after having experienced so long an exile, so many tribulations, and so tyrannical a foe,18 after reaching home at last with the hope of finding respite and of being able to forget past hardships from then on — like a man who had through the kindness of some god unexpectedly and with difficulty been rescued from a dreadful, savage sea and tempest — I should then in port, so to speak, meet shipwreck here.

13 But I am especially amazed at the malevolence of sundry persons — or rather at their folly — as I call to mind what sort of tales they invented, first of all in connexion with the mission of congratulation which you sent.19 For they claimed that he20 was not glad to receive your envoys, but was vexed, as if it were incumbent upon him to meet at the gate and there embrace all arrivals, or to speak the names of those who had not yet arrived, or to inquire about this one and that one, wanting to know how they were or why they had not all come. 14 And others invented the tale that he gave the delegates from Smyrna very many presents, and that he sent untold riches along with the images of Nemesis,21 and, by Heaven, that after some one else had delivered an address he granted him ten thousand councillors and ordered a flood of gold22 to be turned in the direction  p123 of his city, and countless thousands of guineas were bestowed — not a word of which was true, though for my part I wish it were. 15 For to see many people meeting with success and gaining great favours would never disturb a man of discernment, especially a man who had been the first to encounter such good fortune, and had possibly furnished the precedent for it.23 For it is quite as if a man were to demand that for him alone the sun should shine, or Zeus send his rain, or the winds blow, or that no one else should be permitted to drink from the springs. On the contrary, being at once most benevolent and most sagacious of all men, the Emperor not only gave me what I asked,24 but also gave others what they asked.

16 Well, why have I made all this harangue, when you were considering other matters?25 Because previously I not only had touched upon this matter, but had also in this place made many speeches in behalf of concord, believing that this was advantageous for the city, and that it was better not to quarrel with any man at all, but least of all, in my opinion, with those who are so close, yes, real neighbours.26 However, I did not go to them or speak any word of human kindness in anticipation of the official reconciliation of the city and the establishment of your friendship with them. And yet at the very outset they sent me an official resolution expressing their friendship toward me and inviting me to pay them a visit.27 Furthermore, I had many obligations  p125 toward them, like any other citizen of Prusa; but still I did not undertake to show my goodwill toward them independently, but preferred rather to make friends with them along with you. So they looked upon me with distrust and were displeased.

17 Besides, at the present moment, although I had heard of the breaking off of hostilities, and that this compact of friendship was being negotiated, and although you had voted to summon me, possibly even for this very business — for you may have expected that everything would be easier to achieve and surer if I participated in it; and in fact even now by their honouring, not only those who are already in Apameia, but me too along with the others,28 taking into account that I too am a citizen of yours, they may conceivably have become better disposed toward you — still, for all that, I was in no great haste to come before you, being wary lest my coming might prove a stumbling-block, not to the Apameians, but to some of the men from here. For, it is safe to say, many persons are wont to look with disfavour, not on the business under consideration, but rather on the negotiators. 18 Why, even a year ago the leaders in Apameia were making these proposals to me, and you might at that time have been freed from trouble; yet I had misgivings lest the proposal might prove repugnant to some from here and they might be irritated if I acted in the matter. And so now too I have, as one might say, delayed intentionally. Accordingly, whatever can be accomplished for the city through others as well as through myself I ask to have entrusted to others  p127 preferably, so that no one may make opposition or be offended because of malice toward me.29 On the other hand, anything which cannot easily be achieved by any one else from here, but which is possibly very difficult to achieve at all, you may be sure always has my lively interest as long as I draw the breath of life. 19 Nay more, whoever is enthusiastic in matters concerning the city and has the ability to accomplish anything to your advantage will find me the first to bear him witness and to lend a hand in his endeavour, and I would much more gladly, yes, more eagerly, praise the same enterprise, provided it be upright, if some one else were active in it than if I myself were its moving spirit. For it is not from a desire to be popular or because I lack men to praise me or because of a craving for notoriety, but rather because of my goodwill toward you, that I wish whatever is needful to come to pass, and I pray to all the gods that, as I grow old, I may behold the greatest possible number of men more competent than myself to benefit the city.

20 And now in this enterprise I praise both the official in charge and the man who made the motion. For practically every enmity, every disagreement arising in connexion with any person at all, is a vexatious thing and unpleasant for both state and private citizen, no matter how they may be situated. For enmity can not only expose and humiliate the weak, to say nothing of the hardships they have already, but also annoy those who are prosperous and distress their spirits. Therefore sensible persons prefer to submit to defeat in ordinary matters and  p129 to be not too precise in defending their rights, rather than, by quarrelling over every matter and never making any concessions to any one, always to have persons plotting against them and making war on them, persons who feel resentment at their good fortune and, so far as they are able, try to stand in the way of it, and who, on the other hand, if any reverse should take place — and many are the reverses which do occur, as is natural among men — 21 rejoice and seize the opportunity to attack. For there is no one so weak or impotent by nature, man for man, who does not chance upon some opportunity to display his malice and hatred, either alone or in conjunction with others, and to make some statement by which he is certain to cause pain, or to contrive some situation sure to cause injury. Similarly there is no disease so imperceptible to those afflicted with it as never to do harm or become a hindrance to some activity, but even if it does not greatly hamper the strength of a man while awake and walking, at least it confronts him when he goes to bed and causes him distraction and destroys his slumber.

22 So I claim it is never profitable even for the greatest city to indulge in hostility and strife with the humblest village; but of course when the hostility is directed against men who occupy no small city, who have a superior form of government, and who, if they are prudent, enjoy a measure of distinction and influence with the proconsuls30 — for you must hear the truth and not be vexed if a man praises others in his desire to benefit you — men who, above all, share your borders, are neighbours to  p131 your city, and mingle with you almost every day, most of you being bound to them by ties of marriage, while some citizens, yes, virtually the most influential citizens among us, have obtained the honour of citizenship with them31 — how in these circumstances should we regard this hostility as causing no pain and doing no harm?

23 And let no one imagine that I mean we should be wholly submissive, and that when they are not at all just or fair in their policies we should beg and entreat them; nay, but when they choose friendship and display an eagerness for it, to show ourselves more favourable to this policy and to transfer the rivalry growing out of our disagreement to this alternative course is far more creditable, a course whose aim is to make it plain that we ourselves are more reasonable and more scornful of wealth and personal advantage.32 24 For it is not so disgraceful to prove inferior in actions prompted by hatred and, by Heaven, in those which provoke enmity as it is in those which are inspired by a spirit of moderation and benevolence. For while he who is overcome in the one is likely to gain a reputation for mere weakness, in the other it will be for boorishness and contentiousness. Indeed, the better it is to be deemed weak rather than base, so much the more preferable is it to be tardy in making war rather than in making peace.

25 Now there may be other grounds also on which you might with reason pay heed to me rather than to those others, but that is especially true because you observe that I have no private interest and am not disposed through any dread of annoyance or expense on my part to disregard the course which is becoming  p133 to you. For I know full well you will not trouble me against my wishes, or order me to go abroad as if I had already made too long a stay in Prusa33 — and besides, I do not believe I can assist you by sacrificing my leisure or by going abroad34 in this manner — however, as I was saying,35 I consider it better for men in general, and not merely for you, both to refrain from entering lightly into an enmity which is not extremely necessary and also by every means possible to put an end to enmities already existing, recognizing that the damage resulting from quarrelling with any people is greater than the loss incident to the reconciliation. 26 For any peace, so they say, is better than war, and any friendship is far better and more profitable for men of right judgement than enmity, not only individually for our families, but also collectively for our cities. For peace and concord have never damaged at all those who have employed them, whereas it would be surprising if enmity and contentiousness were not very deadly, very mighty evils. Moreover, while concord is a word of good omen, and to make trial of it is most excellent and profitable for all, strife and discord are forbidding and unpleasant words even to utter, and much worse are their deeds and more forbidding. For the fact is, strife and discord involve saying and hearing said many things one might wish to avoid, and doing and experiencing them too.36

27 But the wrangling and hatred of men who are such near neighbours, yes, who share common borders, is like nothing else than insurrection in a single city,  p135 since many have ties both of marriage and of business, and there is almost daily visiting back and forth, and the inhabitants are all related and intimate and, as one might say, on terms of hospitality with one another.37 But a neighbouring city that is at enmity and ill disposed is a grievous thing in every way and hard to get along with, even as a city that is well disposed and friendly is beneficial and much to be desired. 28 Furthermore, consider how much more pleasant it is to visit one's neighbours when they are on terms of intimacy and not of hostility, and how much better it is for those who are entertained away from home to be received without distrust,38 and how much better and more sensible it is at the common religious gatherings and festivals and spectacles to mingle together, joining with one another in common sacrifice and prayer, rather than the opposite, cursing and abusing one another. 29 And how different are the shouts of the partisans of each of two cities in the stadium and the theatre, when uttered in praise and generous acclamation, from the cries which are uttered in hatred and abuse! For these outbreaks are not for reasonable men or well-behaved cities, but rather for indecent harlots, who are not at all ashamed to utter licentious phrases, each from her respective chamber,39 as Homer puts it,

Who in a rage to mid-assembly go

And bandy insults, so their choler bids.40

 p137  30 How much, then, is it worth to avoid experiencing these things? How much more to avoid inflicting them on others? What amount of money or extent of territory would be such as to warrant sensible men in bartering therefor the seemly language of their daily lives, their becoming conduct at spectacles, and their readiness to go abroad? Furthermore, the very land and sea and mountains in every way bring you people together and, even if you did not wish it, compel you to deal with one another.41 For not only do the Apameians need our timber and many other things as well, but we ourselves have no other harbour through which to import foreign goods or to export our own domestic products.

31 Is it not, then, most unfortunate that each should have to buy from men who are not friends and sell to men who hate them, to enter the port of men who are irked at their presence, to afford hospitality to men who revile them, and at times to recline at a banquet next to men who are most hostile to them; if one takes passage on a ship, to know clearly that both the skipper and all his crew are muttering curses at him; and to have ever before one's eyes, whether sailing or walking, the most distasteful sight of all, that of enemies, and always to encounter such persons in greatest numbers on one's travels — an evil and disagreeable omen42 — as the result of which one is absolutely sure to have said something disagreeable or to have heard it said about himself as  p139 he passes by? 32 So I have often reflected on the folly and the corruption of mankind, noting that men are spiritually inferior to the most despised and meanest creatures. For human beings often come to blows on meeting one another, and before they part they have exchanged abusive language; yet the ants, although they go about in such swarms, never bother one another, but quite amicably meet and pass and assist each other.43

33 Again, that which has now come to pass regarding our city in truth touches intimately many people and irritates without exception those who are not from Prusa, because it is you who hear their law-suits and it is in your city that they must stand trial;44 then you ought on that account to be the more gracious and not make yourselves obnoxious. For example, from what place will envoys chosen for this function45 set out? Will it not be from Apameia? Will they not set out on their voyage from the shores of their bitterest foes, and use the harbour of the enemy's city? Or will they make a detour around it, as if the sea at our doors were difficult and inaccessible? As for me, I believe that those also who in days gone by were at variance with their neighbours found such incidents harder to bear and more grievous than that people should take up arms and invade their country or attack their fortifications or cut down their trees or set fire to their crops. 34 For although, in my opinion, such actions are hard  p141 to bear, altogether harder to bear are the passions of enmity and hatred which cause them. For from such activity as this nothing beneficial or useful can ever possibly come to pass. For the fruit of enmity is most bitter of all and most stinging, just as, methinks, its opposite, the fruit of goodwill, is most palatable and profitable. For the unwillingness ever to yield or make concessions to our neighbour — that is, without a feeling of humiliation — or while receiving some things ourselves, to concede some to the others, is not manly conduct, as some imagine, but, on the contrary, senseless and stupid.

35 Do you not see in the heavens as a whole and in the divine and blessed beings that dwell therein46 an order and concord and self-control which is eternal, than which it is impossible to conceive of anything either more beautiful or more august? Furthermore, do you not see also the stable, righteous, everlasting concord of the elements, as they are called — air and earth and water and fire — with what reasonableness and moderation it is their nature to continue, not only to be preserved themselves, but also to preserve the entire universe? 36 For even if the doctrine will seem to some an airy fancy and one possessing no affinity47 at all with yourselves, you should observe that these things, being by nature indestructible and divine and regulated by the purpose and power of the first and greatest god, are wont to be preserved as a result of their mutual friendship and concord for ever, not only the more powerful and greater, but also those reputed to be the  p143 weaker. But were this partnership to be dissolved and to be followed by sedition, their nature is not so indestructible or incorruptible as to escape being thrown into confusion and being subjected to what is termed the inconceivable and incredible destruction, from existence to non-existence. 37 For the predominance of the ether of which the wise men speak — the ether wherein the ruling and supreme element of its spiritual power they often do not shrink from calling fire — taking place as it does with limitation and gentleness within certain appointed cycles, occurs no doubt with entire friendship and concord. On the other hand, the greed and strife of all else, manifesting itself in violation of law, contains the utmost risk of ruin, a ruin destined never to engulf the entire universe for the reason that complete peace and righteousness are present in it and all things everywhere serve and attend upon the law of reason, obeying and yielding to it.

38 For example, do you not observe how the sun gives place to night, permitting the more obscure heavenly bodies to rise and shine, and again how it allows the moon to flood with light the whole earth during the absence of the greater luminary? And again, how the stars make way for the sun and do not feel they are being mistreated or destroyed through that god's power? And again, how the sun sometimes about mid-day is darkened when the moon passes over it — the moon to which he himself gives his light — and furthermore, how the sun often is hidden by the most tenuous clouds or by some thin vapor arising near ponds and rivers, so that at times the sun is completely shut in, while at other times  p145 it sends its ray through the vapour thin and feeble? 39 And again, the ceaseless circling dance of the planets, which never get in each other's way? Moreover, the earth is content with having drawn the lowest place, like a ship's prop, and the water with having been poured about it, and, above them both is the atmosphere, soft and fresh, and, highest of all and all-embracing, is the ether, a divine fire encompassing the others.48 Now if these beings, strong and great as they are, submit to their partnership with one another and continue free from hostility, cannot such puny, petty towns of ordinary mortals, such feeble tribes dwelling in a mere fraction of the earth, maintain peace and quiet and be neighbours to one another without uproar and disturbance?

40 Why, birds make their nests near each other, yet do not plot against each other or quarrel over food and twigs; and ants do not quarrel either, though they have their burrows close together, often carrying home grain from the same threshing-floor, but instead they make way for each other and turn off the trail and co‑operate frequently; no more do several swarms of bees, though they range over the same meadow, neglect their labours and wrangle over the nectar of the flowers. 41 What is more, herds of cattle and droves of horses often mingle in the pasture and graze quietly and tranquilly, insomuch that to the eye the two breeds form but a single group. And again, goats and sheep which have mingled in the pasture and passed the day together  p147 are easily and gently separated by their keepers.49 However, human beings are worse than cattle and creatures of the wild, it would seem, in regard to friendship and partnership with one another. For what Nature has done in the cause of friendship50 turns out, as we can see, to be a source of enmity and hatred. For example, the first and high friendship is that of parents toward children.51 . . .

The Loeb Editor's Notes:

1 He had recently returned from Rome. Prior to that visit, ever since his return from exile in A.D. 96, he had been occupied with public business, notably the building operations to which he refers in his opening paragraphs, with which cf. Or. 45.

2 His long exile made him seem to some to be an outsider, and his energetic efforts to improve Prusa were accordingly resented.

3 He had subscribed toward the embellishment of Prusa, but, like some others of whom we hear, he had not yet redeemed his promise.

4 Source unknown, evidently some epic poem.

5 The occasion was doubtless his return from exile. The letter from the Emperor is thought by Arnim to have been a letter from Nerva and identical with the letter he is about to read at the close of Or. 44.

6 Probably the vagueness of Dio's language in referring to his pet project was due to the unpopularity which it had brought him in certain quarters. He seems to have shown more zeal than discretion.

7 Cf. Or. 47.13. Pliny's correspondence with Trajan shows how keen was the interest of both in the financial stability of Bithynia, though both were glad to sponsor physical improvements.

8 Popular assemblies often were held in theatres.

9 Probably for the purpose of selecting building material and allotting contracts.

10 On the subject of the smithy in question, cf. also Or. 47.11.

11 The terseness of Dio's words testifies to the grandeur of these edifices and also suggests that citizens of Prusa were acquainted with them. To‑day a single column of the shrine of Hera towers aloft amid blackberry vines and stagnant water, while of the famous temple of Artemis only the stump of one column is visible above the pool that covers the excavated area.

Thayer's Note: For a photo of the column constituting the pitiful remnant of the Artemision at Ephesus, see this page at Livius.

12 Apparently the proconsuls made a thorough inspection of the cities under their jurisdiction.

13 On the colonnade, which formed the centre of Dio's scheme for embellishing Prusa, cf. Or. 47.17 and 19‑20.

14 The shops, including the smithy, had made way for the colonnade and were being re-erected where they would not interfere with public buildings.

15 On the synteleia, cf. Or. 38.26. The right to hold court served not only as evidence of rank and worth but also as an important source of revenue (Or. 35.15). Dio's emphasis upon that subject, both here and in § 33, suggests that Prusa had lately gained that right.

16 Public works seem to have been characteristic of all Asia Minor at this period and to have aroused rivalry between one city and the other. The four cities here named were selected for their eminence as well as for their prominence in civic improvements. Cf. Or. 38.47 and 47.16. The pronoun applied to the Tarsians suggests some special undertaking in that city. Cf. Or. 33.23 and 28.

17 The conservatives regarded such comparisons as unfair.

18 I.e., Domitian.

19 Upon the occasion of Trajan's becoming Emperor, A.D. 98.

20 I.e., Trajan.

21 Smyrna was noteworthy for worshipping two Nemeseis instead of one. These deities were held to have inspired Alexander the Great to refound the city, and they were regarded with special reverence. See Pausanias 7.5.1‑3. We may infer from Dio's report that Trajan sent Smyrna images of these deities, a supposition which would explain the appearance during Trajan's reign of a coin of Smyrna bearing a new type of Nemesis. See Volkmann in P.W. 16, pt. 2, 2353‑2354.

22 In such a context one naturally thinks of the golden Pactolus, which Dio presumably has in mind, but it becomes plain that he refers to imperial largess.

23 Dio's early successes in Rome, his friendship with Nerva, and his eloquent and tactful address before Trajan on the subject of kingship (Or. 1) seem to warrant this modest boast.

24 Among other things, Dio obtained for Prusa a Council of 100 members (Or. 45.3). The right to set up court at Prusa may have been obtained later. Cf. § 33.

25 The real reason may have been to disarm his critics.

26 I.e., the Apameians.

27 Upon his return from exile, five years earlier.

28 It is plain that envoys from Prusa were already in Apameia, and seemingly negotiations were not progressing to suit the administration. We do not know to what honours Dio refers.

29 Sections 1‑15 make very evident the bitterness with which some of Dio's fellow citizens looked upon him. He assures us that they formed only a minority, and Dio seems always to have retained popular support. Not only his personal prestige but also his peculiarly close connexion with Apameia made him valuable at the moment.

30 Apameia occupied a position of distinction in Bithynia, being a Roman colony (Or. 41.9).

31 This was true of both Dio and his father, though doubtless of others too. However, humility was not a Greek virtue.

32 The quarrel would seem to have involved material interests.

33 He had but recently returned from his mission to Rome.

34 I.e., on a mission.

35 In §§ 20‑22.

36 He develops this thought at greater length in § 32.

37 The close relationship between city and city is emphasized also in the plea which Dio makes for concord with Nicaea (Or. 38.22).

38 The ancient traveller was largely dependent on private hospitality.

39 Aristophanes portrays just such a scene in Ecclesiazusae 877‑937.

40 The words of Aeneas to Achilles, Iliad 20.252‑255, are:

οἵ τε χολωσάμενοι ἔριδος πέρι θυμοβόροιο

νεικεῦσ’ ἀλλήλῃσι μέσην ἐς ἄγυιαν ἰοῦσαι,

πολλά τ’ ἐόντα καὶ οὐκί· χόλος δέ τε καὶ τὰ κελεύει.

Has Dio forgotten the passage, or purposely compressed it, or is he recording a variant version?

41 A glance at the map would clarify this statement. Prusa lay close beneath the northern slopes of Mysian Olympus, while Apameia lay a short distance northwest on the shore of the Sinus Cianus. Dio's reference to the mountains is most appropriate, since it was the mountains that produced the timber which he mentions as a most important article of export.

[and if you need it, here's help in using the map,
including my own symbols & added information.]

42 Chance meetings and sayings were regarded as omens.

43 The animal kingdom, and especially the ants, provided Dio with his most effective illustrations. Cf.e.g.§§ 40‑41.

44 Cf. § 10 and note. It would seem that Prusa's judicial authority was a recent acquisition.

45 Possibly τοῦτο τὸ πρᾶγμα may refer to the negotiations over reconciliation with Apameia; but we have no other evidence that those negotiations involved a voyage — presumably to Rome — and it seems more likely that Dio means the "function" of envoy and is thinking, not of the immediate situation, but of a situation regularly present.

46 The planets.

47 The word "affinity" was a technical term of the Stoics, whose philosophy occupies Dio from here to the end.

48 With the Stoic doctrine contained in §§ 35‑39 cf. Or. 36.29‑31 and the "myth of the Magi" used to reinforce it in Or. 36.39‑60.

49 This sentence may well be an interpolation, for the thought contained in it does not harmonize completely with its context.

50 I.e., by bringing groups of human beings into close contact with each other.

51 Whether or not this sentence is complete in itself, the peroration plainly has been broken off abruptly.

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