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Greek Narratives of the Roman Empire under the Severans
Cassius Dio, Philostratus and Herodian


Part of Greek Culture in the Roman World

  • Date Published: November 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107638761

£ 28.99

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About the Authors
  • The political instability of the Severan Period (AD 193–235) destroyed the High Imperial consensus about the Roman past and caused both rulers and subjects constantly to re-imagine and re-narrate both recent events and the larger shape of Greco-Roman history and cultural identity. This book examines the narratives put out by the new dynasty, and how the literary elite responded with divergent visions of their own. It focuses on four long Greek narrative texts from the period (by Cassius Dio, Philostratus and Herodian), each of which constructs its own version of the empire, each defined by different Greek and Roman elements and each differently affected by dynastic change, especially that from Antonine to Severan. Innovative theories of narrative are used to produce new readings of these works that bring political, literary and cultural perspectives together in a unified presentation of the Severan era as a distinctive historical moment.

    • Traces the effects of political change on the broader cultural scene in the Roman Empire
    • Places Roman-era Greek literature in a political context
    • Applies the methodology of narrative world-building to ancient historiography
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '[A] very readable volume, which is well-produced … based on the successful use of novel approaches and original questions. It will surely be essential reading for students and specialists in Classics and Roman imperial history.' Alexander V. Makhlaiuk, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2020
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107638761
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 150 x 20 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. From Antonine to Severan
    3. Cassius Dio: the last Annalist
    4. Philostratus' Apollonius: Hellenic perfection on an imperial stage
    5. Philostratus' Sophists: Hellas' Antonine golden age
    6. Herodian: a dysfunctional Rome
    Appendix 1. The date of composition of Dio's history
    Appendix 2. The dates and addressees of Philostratus' Apollonius and Sophists
    Appendix 3. The date, scope and author of Herodian's history.

  • Author

    Adam M. Kemezis, University of Alberta
    Adam M. Kemezis is Associate Professor in the Department of History and Classics, University of Alberta.

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