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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4458
Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 36.15


nan But now we might well consider the case of Phocylides, since in my opinion he speaks very nobly regarding the city." "Pray do so," said he, "since you can see that all these men now present are just as eager as I am to listen to you, and that for that very reason they have streamed together here beside the river, although in no very tranquil state of mind. For of course you know that yesterday the Scythians made a raid at noon and put to death some of the outposts who were not on their guard, and in all likelihood took others captive; for we do not yet know definitely about that, because their rout took them some distance away; for their flight was not toward the city." <


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

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1. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 7.66, 9.12, 11.51, 12.11, 12.59-12.61, 20.20, 21.6, 32.94, 33.19-33.23, 33.41-33.42, 36.4-36.5, 36.8, 36.17, 36.24, 38.8, 47.10, 47.13, 53.8, 80.3 (1st cent. CE

9.12.  but more difficult in every way — I mean poverty, exile, and disrepute; yes, and anger, pain, desire, fear, and the most redoubtable beast of all, treacherous and cowardly, I mean pleasure, which no Greek or barbarian can claim he fights and conquers by the strength of his soul, but all alike have succumbed to her and have failed in this contest — Persians, Medes, Syrians, Macedonians, Athenians, Lacedaemonians — all, that is, save myself. 32.94.  Just as in the case of comedies and revues when the poets bring upon the scene a drunken Carion or a Davus, they do not arouse much laughter, yet the sight of a Heracles in that condition does seem comical, a Heracles who staggers and, as usually portrayed, is clad in womanish saffron; in much the same way also, if a populace of such size as yours warbles all through life or, it may be, plays charioteer without the horses, it becomes a disgrace and a laughing stock. Indeed this is precisely what Euripides says befell Heracles in his madness: Then striding to a car he thought was there, He stepped within its rails and dealt a blow, As if he held the goad within his hand. 33.41.  well then, suppose that a man were to judge you too by the sound that came to him from a distance, what kind of men would he guess you were and what your occupation? For you haven't the capacity for tending either cattle or sheep! And would any one call you colonists from Argos, as you claim to be, or more likely colonists of those abominable Aradians? Would he call you Greeks, or the most licentious of Phoenicians? I believe it is more appropriate for a man of sense to plug his ears with wax in a city like yours than if he chanced to be sailing past the Sirens. For there one faced the risk of death, but here it is licentiousness, insolence, the most extreme corruption that threatens. 36.4.  The city of Borysthenes, as to its size, does not correspond to its ancient fame, because of its ever-repeated seizure and its wars. For since the city has lain in the midst of barbarians now for so long a time — barbarians, too, who are virtually the most warlike of all — it is always in a state of war and has often been captured, the last and most disastrous capture occurring not more than one hundred and fifty years ago. And the Getae on that occasion seized not only Borysthenes but also the other cities along the left shore of Pontus as far as Apollonia. 36.5.  For that reason the fortunes of the Greeks in that region reached a very low ebb indeed, some of them being no longer united to form cities, while others enjoyed but a wretched existence as communities, and it was mostly barbarians who flocked to them. Indeed many cities have been captured in many parts of Greece, inasmuch as Greece lies scattered in many regions. But after Borysthenes had been taken on the occasion mentioned, its people once more formed a community, with the consent of the Scythians, I imagine, because of their need for traffic with the Greeks who might use that port. For the Greeks had stopped sailing to Borysthenes when the city was laid waste, inasmuch as they had no people of common speech to receive them, and the Scythians themselves had neither the ambition nor the knowledge to equip a trading-centre of their own after the Greek manner. 36.8.  Callistratus was about eighteen years of age, very tall and handsome, having much of the Ionian in his appearance. And it was said also that in matters pertaining to warfare he was a man of courage, and that many of the Sauromatians he had either slain or taken captive. He had become interested also in oratory and philosophy, so that he had his heart set on sailing away in my company. For all these reasons, then, he was in high repute with his fellow-townsmen, and not least of all because of his beauty, and he had many lovers. For this practice has continued among them as a heritage from the city of their origin — I refer to the love of man for man — so much so that they are likely to make converts of some of the barbarians, for no good end, I dare say, but rather as those people would adopt such a practice, that is to say, like barbarians and not without licentiousness. 36.17.  And no sooner had I made this suggestion than they all set out together for the temple of Zeus, where they are wont to meet in council. And while the eldest and the most distinguished and the officials sat on benches in a circle, the rest of the company stood close by, for there was a large open space before the temple. A philosopher would have been vastly pleased at the sight, because all were like the ancient Greeks described by Homer, long-haired and with flowing beards, and only one among them was shaven, and he was subjected to the ridicule and resentment of them all. And it was said that he practised shaving, not as an idle fancy, but out of flattery of the Romans and to show his friendship toward them. And so one could have seen illustrated in his case how disgraceful the practice is and how unseemly for real men. 36.24.  Well then, I was launching forth upon that general line in my discussion, when one of those who were present, the eldest in the company and held in high esteem, spoke up, interrupting me, and in a very guarded manner said, "Stranger, pray do not think it boorish or barbarous of me to intervene in the midst of your discourse. For while in your country such conduct is not good manners, because of the great abundance of philosophical discussions and because one may listen to many men upon any topic he may desire, in ours this visit of yours to our city seems almost a miraculous event. 47.10.  But when some persons, exiles and homeless as they were, were actually annoyed by the prospect of having a fatherland and enjoying constitutional government in independence, but preferred to be scattered in villages like barbarians rather than to have the form and name of a city, would it be proper, I ask you, to feel surprise no matter what else annoys certain persons? Accordingly, just as Aristotle has written in his letter as one who has become sick and tired of his troubles — for he says he is holding up his fingers — you may consider that I too am holding up my own fingers, as well as any other fingers there are. 53.8.  For in what respect is it a greater feat to cast a spell upon stones and trees and wild beasts and to make them follow than to have mastered so completely men of alien race who do not understand the Hellenic speech, men who have acquaintance with neither the poet's tongue nor the deeds of which his poem tells, but are, as I believe, simply enchanted by a lyre? Moreover, I believe that many barbarians who are still more ignorant than those men of India have heard of the name of Homer, if nothing more, though they have no clear notion what it signifies, whether animal or vegetable or something else still. 80.3.  As for myself, however, I regard it as a splendid and blessed state of being, if in the midst of slaves one can be a free man and in the midst of subjects be independent. To attain this state many wars were waged by the Lydians against the Phrygians and by the Phrygians against the Lydians, and many, too, by both Ionians and Dorians and, in fact, by all peoples, yet no one has ever, because he was enamoured of independence in the spiritual sense, undertaken to use his own personal laws; instead they all wrangle over the laws of Solon and Draco and Numa and Zaleucus, bent on following the one code but not the other, though, on the other hand, not even one of these law-givers had framed the sort of laws he should. Why, Solon himself, according to report, declared that he was proposing for the Athenians, not what satisfied himself, but rather what he assumed they would accept.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
barbaroi, vs.greeks' Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 108
barbaroi Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 108
cities, as thematic locus in herodotean reception Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 173
darius Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 108
dio chrysostom, hellenism and greekness, representations of Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 173
dio chrysostom, prusa and prusans Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 173
dio chrysostom Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 173
dio chrysostomus Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 108
graeci Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 108
greekness Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 173
identity., complexities of Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 173
plutarchus Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 108
sardanapalus Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 108
scythia and scythians Kirkland, Herodotus and Imperial Greek Literature: Criticism, Imitation, Reception (2022) 173
xerxes Fleury and Schmidt, Perceptions of the Second Sophistic and Its Times - Regards sur la Seconde Sophistique et son époque(2010) 108