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Bill Thayer

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Dio Chrysostom

[image ALT: A detail of a large statue of a crowned woman holding a baby: we see most of the latter, and a head-and-shoulders view of the former. It is the Tyche of the Greek city of Prusa, now Bursa (Turkey).]

The Tychê, or tutelary deity, of the Bithynian city of Prusa, home to Dio Chrysostom. The idealized conception is rather at variance with the actual state of things: the writer's most agitated work deals with the city's political infighting (Orations 42‑50).

Photo © Jona Lendering 2008, by kind permission.

The Author

For the little we know of Dio, filled out with a bit of reasonable conjecture, as well as a brief analysis and critique of the History and a somewhat longer account of the tangled manuscript situation, see Prof. Cary's Introduction; a more personal look at the man, based in part on ancient sources not covered by Prof. Cary, is given in the page at Livius.

The Text of Dio Chrysostom on LacusCurtius

As usual, I retyped the text rather than scanning it: not only to minimize errors prior to proofreading, but as an opportunity for me to become intimately familiar with the work, an exercise which I heartily recommend. (Well-meaning attempts to get me to scan text, if success­ful, would merely turn me into some kind of machine: gambit declined.)

This transcription has been minutely proofread. In the table of contents below, the sections are therefore shown on blue backgrounds, indicating that I believe the text of them to be completely errorfree. As elsewhere onsite, the header bar at the top of each chapter's webpage will remind you with the same color scheme. Should you spot an error, however . . . please do report it.

Further details on the technical aspects of the site layout follow the Table of Contents.

There is currently (Mar 2017), that I know of, no complete Greek text of Dio online on any single site — but on Apr. 7, 2012 a milestone was reached: all the Greek texts were available somewhere. In addition to those here on LacusCurtius, shown on blue backgrounds, others can be found offsite at the Université catholique de Louvain, and are shown on white backgrounds in the Table below. (The milestone was undone for a few years on May 25, 2012, when the Greek texts of Dio at Louvain became inaccessible, but the situation was eventually repaired.)

Λόγος Discourse Subject

On Kingship. Only a good man who cares for his subjects is a true king.

On Kingship. Kings should read Homer — not frivolous ditties conducing to soft living and thinking.

On Kingship. Kings should avoid flatterers, but very much need true friends.

On Kingship. Kingship is self-mastery over the three enemies of us all.

A Libyan Myth. On the harm wrought by sensuality.

On Tyranny. Actually: on contentment.

The Euboean Discourse, or the Hunter. The poor can live a good life.

Diogenes, or On Virtue. How that Cynic philosopher went to the Isthmian panegyris and dispensed free therapy.

The Isthmian Discourse. More Diogenes.

On Servants. You're better off without them. It's also much safer to stay away from oracles and divining God's will.

The Trojan Discourse: Maintaining that Troy was not Captured.

The Olympic Discourse: On Man's First Conception of God. Religion, but also art criticism comparing poetry and sculpture.

In Athens, about his Banishment.

On Slavery and Freedom I.

On Slavery and Freedom II.

On Pain and Distress of Spirit.

On Covetousness.

On Training for Public Speaking.

A fragment: Dio was very fond of music.

On Retirement.

On Beauty. Male beauty, that is; a particularly diffuse little item.

On Peace and War. Fragment: only Dio's introductory material.

That the Wise Man is Fortunate and Happy.

On Happiness.

On the Guiding (or Guardian) Spirit.

On Deliberation.

A Short Talk on What Takes Place at a Symposium.

Melancomas II. The good die young.

Melancomas I. It's great to be a hunk, but better to be a decent person.

Charidemus. Metaphysical notions on the origin and purpose of human life.

The Rhodian Discourse. The Rhodians have got into the habit of honoring people by attaching inscriptions to preëxisting statues of other people; Dio, quite rightly, if at far too great length, objects.

To the People of Alexandria. If they stop fidgeting and listen.

First Tarsic Discourse. Mostly about snorting; I'm not making this up. By far and away the weirdest item in this list, and one of the most peculiar things I've ever read by an ancient author.

Second Tarsic Discourse. Inter-city politics under the watchful eye of the Roman over­lords: be very careful what you do.

Delivered in Celaenae in Phrygia.

The Borysthenitic Discourse, which Dio delivered in his Native Land. Cosmology.

The Corinthian Oration. The writer, a philosopher who presumably cares not for fame or public opinion, insists that Corinth should put back the statue of him they took down. (Not by Dio.)

To the Nicomedians on Concord with the Nicaeans. If Nicomedia wants to be called "first", she should make herself useful to everyone she can.

On Concord in Nicaea upon the Cessation of Civil Strife.

Delivered in his Native City on Concord with the Apameians. A window into the local politics of the small town of Prusa.

To the Apameians on Concord.

An Address in his Native City. Or rather a fragment: Dio introduces his speech (lost) by telling his hearers that if they thought he was a lousy speaker, who knows? maybe they're right.

A Political Address in his Native City.

An Address of Friendship for his Native Land on its Proposing Honours for him.

In Defence of his Relations with his Native City.

Delivered in his Native City prior to his Philosophical Career. Dio addresses a mob that, the day before, had advanced on his house to set it on fire and kill him.

A Speech in the Public Assembly at Prusa. Beset by enemies, gossip, obtructionism, Dio loses his philosophical cool.

A Political Address in Assembly. The new proconsul is coming to see us; for Heaven's sake, people, let's not embarrass ourselves in front of him by airing our dirty laundry right off — we can always do that later.

A Refusal of the Office of Archon Delivered before the Council.

Regarding his Past Record, spoken before the Council.

In Reply to Diodorus.

On Aeschylus and Sophocles and Euripides, or The Bow of Philoctetes. Dio compares three plays by different authors on the same subject; of particular interest, since two of them are not extant.

On Homer.

On Socrates.

On Homer and Socrates.

Agamemnon or On Kingship.

Nestor. Pointing out one's own worth is OK if it's done for some useful purpose; so is preaching the same sermon several times.

Achilles. As an unruly little eight-year‑old boy. . . .

Philoctetes. A prose synopsis of the prologue of a play by Euripides.

Nessus or Deïaneira.


On Kingship and Tyranny.

On Fortune (I).

On Fortune (II).

On Fortune (III).

On Reputation.

On Popular Opinion.

On Opinion.

On Virtue.

On Philosophy.

On the Philosopher. Good technology is one thing, and the ethics involved are another.

On Personal Appearance. Why do people mock and harass philosophers in their beards and cloaks?

On Trust.

On Distrust.

On Law.

On Custom.

On Envy.

On Wealth.

On Freedom.

Other Works

Edition Used, Copyright

Loeb Classical Library, 5 volumes, Greek texts and facing English translation: Harvard University Press, 1932 thru 1951. Translation by J. W. Cohoon thru Or. 31; the remainder by H. Lamar Crosby.

Each volume was published in a different year, but each is in the public domain pursuant to the 1978 revision of the U. S. Copyright Code, since the copyright was not renewed at the appropriate time, which would have been in 1959 and 1960 for Vol. I, in 1966 and 1967 for Vol. II, in 1967 and 1968 for Vol. III, in 1973 and 1974 for Vol. IV, and in 1978 and 1979 for Vol. V. (Details here on the copyright law involved.)

Chapter and Section Numbering, Local Links

Both chapters (large numbers) and sections (small numbers) mark local links, according to a consistent scheme; you can therefore link directly to any passage.

In the Greek text, each American flag [American flag] is a link to the corresponding section of the English translation, opening in another window; in the English text, each Greek flag [Flag of the Greece] is a link to the corresponding section of the Greek text, opening in another window. Once you have both windows open, any link will automatically show in the Greek or English window as appropriate.

Notes, Apparatus Criticus

The notes in the translation are included here; and although on the Greek side, the Loeb edition provides no comprehensive apparatus criticus, it occasionally marks a variant or a crux: I'm including these as well.

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Site updated: 7 Aug 17