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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces
miscellaneous small texts by
Dio Chrysostom
as published in the Loeb Classical Library, 1951

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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(Vol. V) Dio Chrysostom

 p353  Five letters included by Hercher in his Epistolographi Graeci, page 259, have been associated with the name of Dio. Their contents afford no sure clue as to author­ship, but there seems to be no good reason for refusing to attribute them to Dio. The Rufus to whom the first two are addressed may have been the Musonius Rufus who was the only philosopher at Rome to escape the wrath of Vespasian in the expulsions of A.D. 71. In a writing no longer extant, πρὸς Μουσώνιον, Dio seems to have made him the recipient of a violent attack upon the philosophers of that day, but if the unstinted recommendation of an unnamed philosopher bestowed by Dio in his Rhodian Discourse (§ 122) refers to Musonius, as is generally believed, Dio clearly either had never borne him any malice or else had repented of it. It may very well be that friendship for Musonius was at least partially responsible for Dio's conversion to philosophy. As for the identity of the persons to whom the other letters are addressed, it seems idle to speculate, since neither the letters themselves nor any external evidence affords a clue.

 p355  1. To Rufus

The bearer of the letter I introduce to you as a man who, though in trouble because of an adversary's contentiousness, does not himself wish to make trouble for his friends. Moreover, in all other respects as well he is the kind of man you would approve — moderate and reasonable; as for his birth and social standing, I think you need not even inquire, for he has those requisites to commend him also.

2. To Rufus

You already are acquainted with my good friend Herennius, though not yet sufficiently, not to the extent that I desire. In fact, I could not even now, perhaps, tell all his attributes. This much, however, it is fitting that I myself should testify: not only has he been a friend of mine for some time, but also he has stood the test of time. Besides, though he had been a devoted student of the art of public speaking previously, now he has actually surpassed himself. For in truth he is an excellent orator, but he might become still better through association with you and through your guidance. But though you do many favours in many matters, you  p357 would favour me especially if you would consider Herennius, too, a friend of yours.

3. To Eusebius

I fancy that I am beholding your very presence when I read the letters you send me, and so if you were to write me more often, I should be least vexed at your absence.

4. To the same

The misfortunes which have befallen Dracontius are, to be sure, painful and evil in the extreme, as every one would admit, and yet they are such as mankind is subject to and as have ere now befallen many. Wherefore he must be steadfast in those tribulations and endure them with set purpose. For even if conditions should be otherwise, even if he should be exceedingly overcome by his experience, he must maintain a correct view regarding the facts, lest he be thought to have come through his misfortunes most nobly and yet not be most nobly minded regarding the living.

5. To Sabinianus

Not because of reluctance to write or because of any disdain have I hitherto kept silence. And I  p359 would agree with you that I am the wickedest of mortals if, after having cultivated eloquence as an art, I refused to write a letter and, instead, neglected a friend with whom I had joined in song and dance in honour of the Muses and with whom I had been initiated into all the religious rites of greatest sanctity among the Greeks.

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Page updated: 7 Apr 12