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Urban life and local politics in Roman Bithynia; the small world of Dion Chrysostomos.


Urban life and local politics in Roman Bithynia; the small world of Dion Chrysostomos.

Bekker-Nielsen, Tonnes.

Aarhus University Press


211 pages



Black Sea studies; 7


Bekker-Nielsen (history, University of Southern Denmark) presents a microcosm of an area of the Roman Empire, Bithynia, in what is today western Turkey. He focuses his study on the life of a second-century orator, Dion Chrysostomos, who lived in the town of Prusa. Dion's experiences mirror those of many upper class men of the provinces. His constant need for cash, his civic duties, and his desire to be counted among the important and respected men of the town might strike a chord in the modern reader, as well. Bekker-Nielsen sets Dion's story in the context of the history of Bithynia before the Roman conquest in order to acquaint the reader with the area before bringing the study down to the intimate "small world". Using literary sources such as Dion's surviving speeches and the work of Pliny the Younger, Bekker-Nielsen combines them with archeological and epigraphical evidence to show all facets of Dion's life. This interdisciplinary approach, written in a clear, lively style, makes this book accessible to students and interested general readers as well as historians. Distributed in North America by The David Brown Book Co.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Brief article
Date:Nov 1, 2008
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