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(Halicarnassus, c. 60 BC – Rome?, c. 7 BC) Greek historian. The little information we have about the life of this author are from itself. Son of a certain Alexander, came to Rome in the year 30 BC., after the final victory of Octavio Augusto on Marco Antonio, and remained there for twenty-two years at least, in the course of which he learned latin and acquired a knowledge of the Roman Antiquities that allowed him to compose twenty books of Roman Archaeology , historical work published between years 8 and 7 BC.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
Dionysius of Halicarnassus
During his stay in Rome he also acted as a teacher of rhetoric; However, it does not seem to have had a public school, but only particular students, some of whom dedicated a part of his rhetorical works. Yet regardless of which have not come down to us, it is not possible to set its date; Anyway, about his succession in this way can be arranged: first letter to Ammeo; On the old speakers (also dedicated to the unknown Ammeo); On the placement of the words, for the disciple Rufus Metilius; On the style of Demosthenes; About the imitation (almost completely lost work); Letter to Gnaeus Pompey Geminated (grammarian possibly I freed of Pompeyo Magno); About Dinarco; On Thucydides, dedicated to the jurist Elio Tuberón, and second letter to Ammeo.
In such texts manifested supporter of atticism, which at the time of Octavio Augusto not already found its greatest representatives in Latin speakers, but in rhetorical Greeks as Apollodorus of Pergamon (master of the same Augustus) and Cecilio de Calates, friend of Dionysus. Dionysius of Halicarnaso defended Lysias and held the low utility of Thucydides and Plato with regard to the future speaker; your mental width is greater than the of the remaining aticistas Greeks and Romans, as it states that, like Cicero, judgement to Demosthenes as the Summit of eloquence. His placid scholar "facies" is also revealed by the choice of the theme of his historical work Roman Archaeology. The news about your activity (except in what refers to the composition of a compendium of archaeology) cease from 7 a. c., and this should be join also the knowledge of his poor state of health, it is assumed that he was supposed to die not long after this year.
Dionysius of Halicarnaso wanted to offer a comprehensive and elaborate narration rhetorically to explain Greek nobility of Roman origins to anyone not read the works of the analysts, because they were written in latin or because they were too crude. After twenty-two years of work, published 7 a. c. his Roman Archaeology, which in twenty books recounted the history of Rome from its origins to the 264 BC, i.e. until the start of the first Punic War, which began the history of Polybius. Of this great work have come down to us the first eleven books (whose narration ranges to the 443 BC) and Byzantine excerpts from the rest.
The fundamental concept of Dionysus is that the Romans, instead of being a hatajo of barbarians, were nothing more than Greeks, and this source came character clothing and its institutions. The first book is intended entirely to the prehistory of Rome and contains its treasure of scholarly citations; but also the rest of the story often stops at problem analysis constitutional and ethnographic, sometimes citing precious documents that reveal the author's lively interest, although not accompany you a very even critical sense.
Indeed, in addition to the mentioned concept about the origin of the Romans, Dionisio seems misguided by a pragmatism that does not support gaps or uncertainties in the historical reconstruction; you want to know it all and explain the causes of everything. Because of this and to have enough material for weaving a wide and continuous narration, seeks its sources among the most recent analyst without taking into account the little credibility that deserves correcting only certain contradictions or chronological errors to make intelligible causality, and erudite digressions explaining the Roman institutions.
To give its narration the live aspect of documented history, it also inserted everywhere prolix speeches and disputes in the manner of the schools of rhetoric, without any understanding of the historical reality art convenience, for example pretending that Romulo left the Romans decide the Constitution that it was necessary to adopt, or that Tulio Hostilla discussed to exhaust the subject, with Mencio Fulgencio that Rome had right to Alba to govern Lazio, or that Servius Tullius said in a Senate speech that Tarquino the Soberbio asked him the throne. All this rhetoric throttles and sometimes makes to forget the not few merits of Dionisio.