Dionysius of Halicarnassus wrote Roman Antiquities driven by the purpose of changing the way his people were seen by other cultures. Without a proper account of early Roman history, the Greeks ignored Rome’s noble roots and listened to baseless reports claiming that Rome was founded by homeless wanderers, barbarians, or slaves. Dionysius sought to reconcile Greek readers to Roman rule by providing a thorough and historically accurate account of early Roman history—an area that had been virtually untouched in other writings.
Roman Antiquities looked to prove that the founders of Rome were not nameless nomads, but actually Greeks from well-known tribes. He discusses the bravery and piety of the early Roman leaders who laid the groundwork for the great rulers of the present through the customs and institutions they passed on.
Dionysius proposed that all historians follow his example through two essential principles: choosing subjects that are noble, lofty, and useful enough to be worth writing about, as well as using the greatest care and discrimination to gather source materials. By these means, he acquired the best texts available to assemble one of the only two complete, detailed accounts of early Roman history in existence today.
This collection contains the complete texts in their Loeb Classical Library editions. Each text is included in its original Greek, with an English translation for easy side-by-side comparison. Logos’ language tools help you to go deeper into the Greek text and explore Dionysius’ elegant language. Use the dictionary lookup tool to examine difficult Greek words and find every use of the same word in your library. Students of history, ancient cultures, and literature will enjoy these works and appreciate their significance.
Dionysius of Halicarnassus (c. 60–7 BC) was a Greek historian and teacher of rhetoric. He lived during the rule of the first Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus. For 22 years he studied Latin and taught the art of rhetoric. He pushed away from Aristotle’s concept of mimesis, which advocated for the imitation of nature, and embraced the notion of imitatio, which included the imitation of other authors. Imitatio was embraced by Latin orators and rhetoricians in place of Aristotle’s obsolete method. Dionysius of Halicarnassus’ other works include The Art of Rhetoric, The Arrangement of Words, On Imitation, Commentaries on the Attic Orators, On the Admirable Style of Demosthenes and On the Character of Thucydides.
Earnest Cary earned his PhD from Harvard and went on to be an instructor at Princeton. He translated History of Rome by Dio Cassius.