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

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

Excerpt

My first meeting with Dion Chrysostomos took place on a rainy winter’s evening in the Classics Library of the University of Bergen. While searching for another text, I came across one of Dion’s municipal speeches. This chance encounter led to a deeper interest in this small-town politician. Some years later, the opportunity for a closer study of Dion and his urban environment presented itself as part of a research project on “Greeks under the Roman Empire” under the auspices of the Danish National Research Foundation’s Centre for Black Sea Studies.

Within the Centre for Black Sea Studies, I had the good fortune to work with Jesper Majbom Madsen as supervisor of his Ph.D. thesis, soon to be published as Eager to be Roman (Duckworth, 2008). Together, we organized a workshop on Rome and the Black Sea Region (the proceedings of which were published in 2006 as volume 5 of “Black Sea Studies”) and another about Dion himself (published in Danish as Dion af Prusa: En græsk intellektuel mellem Rom og Sortehavet, 2007).

I am also grateful for the chance to discuss different aspects of Bithynian life under the Roman Empire with other friends and colleagues, especially Pia Guldager Bilde, Jesper Carlsen, Thomas Corsten, George Hinge, Marit Jensen, Jørgen Christian Meyer, Eckart Olshausen, Rita Rattenborg, Helle Sejersen, Christian Winkle and Greg Woolf, and with students following courses on Roman Bithynia at the University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg (2004) and the University of Stuttgart (2007). Thanks are also due to the staff of Konuralp and greater Izmit municipalities, and of the National Archaeological Museum, Istanbul as well as the municipal archaeological museums of Bursa, Izmit, Iznik and Konuralp for their assistance.

Kolding, January 2008 Tønnes Bekker-Nielsen . . .

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