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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



4458
Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 38.37


nan Yet by their public acts they have branded you as a pack of fools, yes, they treat you just like children, for we often offer children the most trivial things in place of things of greatest worth; moreover, those children, in their ignorance of what is truly valuable and in their pleasure over what is of least account, delight in what is a mere nothing. So also in your case, in place of justice, in place of the freedom of the cities from spoliation or from the seizure of the private possessions of their inhabitants, in place of their refraining from insulting you, in place of their refraining from drunken violence, your governors hand you titles, and call you "first" either by word of mouth or in writing; that done, they may thenceforth with impunity treat you as being the very last! <


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

9 results
1. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 6.17.4 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

6.17.4. From a mob like this you need not look for either uimity in counsel or concert in action; but they will probably one by one come in as they get a fair offer, especially if they are torn by civil strife as we are told.
2. Cicero, Letters To His Friends, 4.12 (2nd cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)

3. Dio Chrysostom, Orations, 12.74, 34.48, 36.22, 38.8, 38.15, 38.26, 38.32-38.36, 38.38-38.48, 40.10, 40.35, 40.37, 48.14-48.16 (1st cent. CE

34.48.  On the other hand, goodwill and a reputation for superiority in virtue and kindliness — those are your true blessings, those are the objects worthy of emulation and serious regard. And you would pay heed to them, since your present behaviour is ridiculous. And whether it is a question of Aegaeans quarrelling with you, or Apameans with men of Antioch, or, to go farther afield, Smyrnaeans with Ephesians, it is an ass's shadow, as the saying goes, over which they squabble; for the right to lead and to wield authority belongs to others. 36.22.  For no one knows of a good city made wholly of good elements as having existed in the past, that is, a city of mortal men, nor is it worth while to conceive of such a city as possibly arising in the future, unless it be a city of the blessed gods in heaven, by no means motionless or inactive, but vigorous and progressive, its guides and leaders being gods, exempt from strife and defeat. For it is impious to suppose that gods indulge in strife or are subject to defeat, either by one another, friends as they are, or by more power­ful beings; on the contrary, we must think of them as performing their several functions without let or hindrance and with unvarying friendship of all toward all in common, the most conspicuous among them each pursuing an independent course — I don't mean wandering aimlessly and senselessly, but rather dancing a dance of happiness coupled with wisdom and supreme intelligence — while the rest of the celestial host are swept along by the general movement, the entire heaven having one single purpose and impulse. 38.26.  But if we recover the primacy, the Nicaeans relinquishing it without a fight, shall we receive the tribute they get now? Shall we summon for trial here the cities which now are subject to their jurisdiction? Shall we send them military governors? Shall we any the less permit them to have the tithes from Bithynia? Or what will be the situation? And what benefit will accrue to us? For I believe that in all their undertakings men do not exert themselves idly or at random, but that their struggle is always for some end. 38.33.  But you must also strive to give the provincial governors occasion to respect you, by continually making it manifest that you are not content with merely being well governed yourselves, but that you are concerned for the welfare of the whole Bithynian people, and that you are no less displeased over the wrongs inflicted upon the others than you are over those inflicted upon yourselves; moreover, that if any persons flee to you for succour, you aid them promptly and impartially. This line of conduct is what will yield you that primacy which is genuine, and not your squabble with Nicaeans over titles. 38.34.  And I should like the Nicaeans also to pursue the same course, and they will do so if you come to terms with them, and the power of each will become greater through union. For by joining forces you will control all the cities, and, what is more, the provincial governors will feel greater reluctance and fear with regard to you, in case they wish to commit a wrong. But as things are now, the other cities are elated by the quarrel between you; for you seem to have need of their assistance, and in fact you do have need of it because of your struggle with each other, and you are in the predicament of two men, both equally distinguished, when they become rivals over politics — of necessity they court the favour of everybody, even of those who are ever so far beneath them. 38.35.  And so while you are fighting for primacy, the chances are that the primacy really is in the hands of those who are courted by you. For it is impossible that people should not be thought to possess that which you expect to obtain from these same people. And so it is going to be absolutely necessary that the cities should resume their proper status, and, as is reasonable and right, that they should stand in need of you, not you of them. And applying this principle I shall expect you to behave toward them, not like tyrants, but with kindness and moderation, just as I suggested a little while ago, to the end that your position as leaders may not be obnoxious to them, but that it may be not only leadership but a welcome thing as well. 38.36.  Again, what need is there to discuss the present situation of your governors in the presence of you who are informed? Or is it possible you are not aware of the tyrannical power your own strife offers those who govern you? For at once whoever wishes to mistreat your people comes armed with the knowledge of what he must do to escape the penalty. For either he allies himself with the Nicaean party and has their group for his support, or else by choosing the party of Nicomedia he is protected by you. Moreover, while he has no love for either side, he appears to love one of the two; yet all the while he is wronging them all. Still, despite the wrongs he commits, he is protected by those who believe they alone are loved by him. 38.38.  In truth such marks of distinction, on which you plume yourselves, not only are objects of utter contempt in the eyes of all persons of discernment, but especially in Rome they excite laughter and, what is still more humiliating, are called "Greek failings!" And failings they are indeed, men of Nicomedia, though not Greek, unless some one will claim that in this special particular they are Greek, namely, that those Greeks of old, both Athenians and Spartans, once laid counterclaims to glory. However, I may have said already that their doings were not mere vain conceit but a struggle for real empire — though nowadays you may fancy somehow that they were making a valiant struggle for the right to lead the procession, like persons in some mystic celebration putting up a sham battle over something not really theirs. 38.39.  But if, while the title "metropolis" is your special prerogative, that of leader is shared with others, what do you lose thereby? For I would venture to assert that, even if you lose all your titles, you are losing nothing real. Or what do you expect to be the consequence of that? That the sea will retreat from your shores, or your territory be smaller, or your revenues less? Have you ever yet been present at a play? More properly speaking, almost every day you behold not only tragic actors but the other sort too, the various actors who appear to come upon the scene to give pleasure and enjoyment, but who really benefit those who are sensitive to the action of the play. Well then, does any one in the cast appear to you to be really king or prince or god? 38.40.  And yet they are called by all these titles, as well as by the names Menelaüs and Agamemnon, and they have not only names of gods and heroes, but their features and robes as well, and they issue many orders, just as would the characters they represent; however, when the play is over, they take their departure as mere nonentities. A person wishes to be dubbed "first"; very good. Some one really is first, and no matter if another wears the title, first he is. For titles are not guarantees of facts, but facts of titles. 38.41.  Well, here is another outcome of concord for you to take into account. At present you two cities have each your own men; but if you come to terms, you will each have the other's too; and as for honours — for a city needs these too — set them down as doubled, and likewise the services. Some one in your city is gifted as a speaker; he will aid the Nicaeans too. There is a rich man in Nicaea: he will defray public expenses in your city too. And in general, neither will any man who is unworthy of first place in a city achieve fame with you by assailing the Nicaeans, or with the Nicaeans by assailing you; nor, in case a man is found to be a low fellow and deserving of punishment, will he escape his just deserts by migrating from Nicomedia to Nicaea or from Nicaea to Nicomedia. 38.42.  Yet as things are now, you two cities, as it were, are lying in wait for each other at your moorings, and men who have wronged the one can find refuge with the other. But once concord is achieved, persons must be men of honour and justice or else get out of Bithynia. You are proud of your superiority in population; you will be still more populous. You think you have sufficient territory; you will have more than sufficient. In fine, when all resources have been united — crops, money, official dignities for men, and military forces — the resources of both cities are doubled. 38.43.  Furthermore, that which is the aim of all human action, pleasure, becomes greater than tongue can tell. For to achieve, on the one hand, the elimination of the things which cause you pain — envy and rivalry and the strife which is their outcome, your plotting against one another, your gloating over the misfortunes of your neighbours, your vexation at their good fortune — and, on the other hand, the introduction into your cities of their opposites — sharing in things which are good, unity of heart and mind, rejoicing of both peoples in the same things — does not all this resemble a public festival? 38.44.  But figure it this way. If some god, men of Nicomedia, had given you the option of having not merely your own city, but also that of the Nicaeans, would not that have seemed to you a boon of incredible magnitude, and would you not have made all sorts of vows in the hope of obtaining it? Well, this thing which seems incredible can take place at once — Nicaea can be yours and your possessions theirs. 38.45.  Or, since we admire those brothers who share completely a common estate and have not because of stinginess divided their patrimony; whose wealth, moreover, is even more admired, since it is greater for the very reason that it has not been divided and half of everything is thought to belong to both; and whom, furthermore, all men regard as good and just and really brothers — since this is true, if this spirit of brotherhood is achieved in your cities, will it not be an even greater blessing, more beautiful and richer? 38.46.  Moreover, it deserves to be achieved, not alone because of the ancestors which both cities have in common, but also because of the gods, whose rites are alike both in their city and in yours. For this is a fact which might cause one even greater sorrow, that though we have everything in common — ancestors, gods, customs, festivals, and, in the case of most of us, personal ties of blood and found, still we fight like Greeks against barbarians, or, what is still more like your conduct than that, like human beings against wild beasts! 38.47.  Will you not look each other in the face? Will you not listen to each other? Will your two cities not clasp hands together, you being the first to extend your hand? Will you not by making peace acquire for yourselves all the good things both possess? Will you not enjoy them eagerly? Oh that it were possible for you to make even the Ephesians your brothers! Oh that the edifices of Smyrna too might have been shared by you! 38.48.  But all these things, mighty blessings that they are — are you forfeiting them for lack of one single word, gains so rich, pleasure so great? However, that the reconciliation will be profitable to you two cities when it is achieved, and that the strife still going on has not been profitable for you down to the present moment, that so many blessings will be yours as a result of concord, and that so many evils now are yours because of enmity — all this has been treated by me at sufficient length. 40.10.  For, let me assure you, buildings and festivals and independence in the administration of justice and exemption from standing trial away from home or from being grouped together with other communities like some village, if you will pardon the expression — all these things, I say, make it natural for the pride of the cities to be enhanced and the dignity of the community to be increased and for it to receive fuller honour both from the strangers within their gates and from the proconsuls as well. But while these things possess a wondrous degree of pleasure for those who love the city of their birth and are not afraid lest some day they may be found to be not good enough for it, to those who take the opposite stand and wish to wield authority over weak men and who deem the glory of the city to be their own ignominy, these things necessarily bring pain and jealousy. 40.35.  Do you not see in the heavens as a whole and in the divine and blessed beings that dwell therein an order and concord and self-control which is eternal, than which it is impossible to conceive of anything either more beautiful or more august? Furthermore, do you not see also the stable, righteous, everlasting concord of the elements, as they are called — air and earth and water and fire — with what reasonableness and moderation it is their nature to continue, not only to be preserved themselves, but also to preserve the entire universe? 48.14.  My concern is partly indeed for you, but partly also for myself. For if, when a philosopher has taken a government in hand, he proves unable to produce a united city, this is indeed a shocking state of affairs, one admitting no escape, just as if a shipwright while sailing in a ship should fail to render the ship seaworthy, or as if a man who claimed to be a pilot should swerve toward the wave itself, or as if a builder should obtain a house and, seeing that it was falling to decay, should disregard this fact but, giving it a coat of stucco and a wash of colour, should imagine that he is achieving something. If my purpose on this occasion were to speak in behalf of concord, I should have had a good deal to say about not only human experiences but celestial also, to the effect that these divine and grand creations, as it happens, require concord and friendship; otherwise there is danger of ruin and destruction for this beautiful work of the creator, the universe. 48.15.  But perhaps I am talking too long, when I should instead go and call the proconsul to our meeting. Accordingly I shall say only this much more — is it not disgraceful that bees are of one mind and no one has ever seen a swarm that is factious and fights against itself, but, on the contrary, they both work and live together, providing food for one another and using it as well? "What!" some one objects, "do we not find there too bees that are called drones, annoying creatures which devour the honey?" Yes, by Heaven, we do indeed; but still the farmers often tolerate even them, not wishing to disturb the hive, and believe it better to waste some of the honey rather than to throw all the bees into confusion. 48.16.  But at Prusa, it may be, there are no lazy drones, buzzing in impotence, sipping the honey. Again, it is a great delight to observe the ants, how they go forth from the nest, how they aid one another with their loads, and how they yield the trails to one another. Is it not disgraceful, then, as I was saying, that human beings should be more unintelligent than wild creatures which are so tiny and unintelligent? Now this which I have been saying is in a way just idle talk. And civil strife does not deserve even to be named among us, and let no man mention it.
4. New Testament, Acts, 18.12 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

18.12. But when Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him before the judgment seat
5. Suetonius, Nero, 28 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

6. Aelius Aristides, Orations, 23.1, 23.6, 23.76-23.77 (2nd cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

7. Cassius Dio, Roman History, 72.12.2 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

8. Libanius, Orations, 1.19 (4th cent. CE - 4th cent. CE)

9. Papyri, Rdge, 38, 37



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
ailios aristeides Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
anaphora Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
apameia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 64
apameia in bithynia Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
athens Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
bithynia/bithynians, disputes between cities Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
bithynia (roman province) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48, 49
catchword Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
cilicia, roman province, cities Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
cities Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
citizens, roman Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
claudius, emperor Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
clusters Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
coins, homonoia mintings Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
commodus, emperor Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
decisions, judicial Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
dion of prousa Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48, 49, 64
disputes Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
ekhthra (enmity) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48
ephesos Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
eris (strife) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48, 49
freedom Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
governor, court of Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
governor Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
hadrian, emperor, edicts/letters Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
harmonia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
homonoia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48, 49, 64
homonoia (concord) Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
ignorance Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
judgment Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
julius caesar Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
jurisdiction Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
justice, administration of Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
justice Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
kimon of athens Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
legates Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
letters Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
lycia/lycians, society in imperial period Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
mother city (metropolis) Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
neolithic/chalcolithic age (ca. Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
nero Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
nikaia in bithynia (today i̇znik), dispute with nikomedeia Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
nikomedeia (today i̇zmit) Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
nobility Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
opramoas of rhodiapolis, wealthy donor Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
peregrines Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
pergamon Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
perikles of athens Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
philia, philoi Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49, 64
philonikia Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
plato Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
pleasures Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
poleis Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
polis, disputes/tensions, internal and between cities Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
polis, ranks and titles (metropolis/neokoros/prote) Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
polis (greek city) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48
praetors Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
prousa (in bithynia) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48, 64
province/provincia, assize districts (conventus) Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
provincial governors Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48
prusa on olympos (today bursa) Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
punishment Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
rejoicing Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
rhodes Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
rhodiapolis Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
roman government Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49, 64
septimus severus Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
smyrna Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
stasis (factional conflict) Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48, 49, 64
tarsos Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
tax Czajkowski et al., Law in the Roman Provinces (2020) 218
temple guardian (neokoros), rank of a city or koinon as a center of imperial cult Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
the soul' Wilson, The Sentences of Sextus (2012) 399
themistokles of athens Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 49
throne Marek, In the Land of a Thousand Gods: A History of Asia Minor in the Ancient World (2019) 479
universe, harmony of the Stanton, Unity and Disunity in Greek and Christian Thought under the Roman Peace (2021) 48