Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250

By Simon Swain | Go to book overview

7
Arrian and Appian

ARRIAN -- ROMAN POLITICS AND GREEK CULTURE

A complete contrast with Dio of Prusa is offered by his much younger contemporary Flavius Arrian of Nicomedia, who successfully combined Greek politics and literature with the exercise of Roman power. Arrian will not be discussed in detail here because in the main his several literary works do not touch on Greek perceptions of Rome. However, there are a number of key passages which are relevant to this subject and which may be examined to determine Arrian's self-perception between Greek culture and the Roman Empire. For Arrian, the first Greek senator we know of from Bithynia,1 seems to be as perfect an example as we could want of the integration of the Greek elite into the highest levels of Roman government.

The key elements of Arrian's career are as follows.2 He was born about 85-90. His praenomen, Lucius or Aulus, shows that the family was not given citizenship by the Flavians, as we would otherwise assume.3 Some time around 108 he passed through Nicopolis, perhaps on his way to Rome, and heard the philosopher Epictetus, whose lectures on personal conduct he later wrote up as the famous Discourses of Epictetus.4 His first service in Roman government was as a member of the consilium of the prominent consular C. Avidius Nigrinus (son of one of the brothers addressed in Plutarch's On Brotherly Love) during Nigrinus' correctorship in Greece around

____________________
1
Cf. above, 'Plutarch' n. 103, 'Dio' n. 77. Arrian's family, as the names suggest, may have been Italian in origin, at least in part ( Bowie 1974: 191); but little Italian immigration to Nicomedia is known of ( Syme 1982: 184).
2
Halfmann 1979: no. 56; Stadter 1980: 1-18; Syme 1982; Vidal-Naquet 1984: 311-22.
3
Follet 1976: 34-5.
4
Epictetus: Millar 1965; Brunt 1977: 19-30. Arrian and the philosopher: Wirth 1967 ( Arrian's construction of the text); Brunt 1977: 30-48; Stadter 1980: 19-31.

-242-

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Hellenism and Empire: Language, Classicism, and Power in the Greek World, AD 50-250
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii
  • Contents ix
  • Abbreviations xi
  • Introduction 1
  • Part One - Greeks 15
  • 1 - Language and Identity 17
  • 2 - The Practice of Purism 43
  • 3 - Past and Present 65
  • 4 - The Greek Novel and Greek Identity 101
  • Part Two - Greeks and Rome 133
  • 5 - Plutarch 135
  • 6 - Dio of Prusa 187
  • 7 - Arrian and Appian 242
  • 8 - Aristides 254
  • 9 - Lucian 298
  • 10 - Pausanias 330
  • II - Galen 357
  • 12 - Philostratus 380
  • 13 - Cassius Dio 401
  • Conclusion 409
  • APPENDIX A The Dating of the Greek Novels 423
  • APPENDIX B Sosius Senecio's Alleged Eastern Origin 426
  • APPENDIX C The Dating of Dio of Prusa's Rhodian and Alexandrian Orations 428
  • APPENDIX D Galen's On Theriac to Piso 430
  • Bibliography 433
  • Index 475
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