The Dating of Dio of Prusa's Rhodian and Alexandrian Orations
Dio Rhodian and Alexandrian orations, especially the former, are mostly dated to the period before his exile. I append some arguments in favour of a Trajanic date.
In the case of Or. xxxi the evidence for the early dating is that Rhodes is currently free and that Nero's reign is 'very recent [110 engista, eph' hêmôn]'. Von Arnim 1898: 210-18 argued at length that the work was pre- exilic because of its 'sophistic' style and placed it in the reign of Titus, when Rhodes was free. The speech is certainly carefully composed and the sustained vigour of the treatment comparable perhaps only with the Trojan Oration; but unlike Dio's sophistic pieces it is a wholly serious work and not an epideixis in the usual sense; further, as we have seen, Dio's career cannot be so readily segmented into sophistic and philosophical parts (as von Arnim believed after Synesius), and so there is nothing on stylistic grounds that necessitates an early dating. As for Titus--rather than Vespasian--von Arnim made the weak point that Dio would have been too young to produce such a crafted work in the early seventies ( 1898: 215). However, if he were born around 40-45, as is widely believed, this objection cannot stand. Hence Jones 1978a: 133 argues with Momigliano 1951: 151 for an early Vespasianic date ('ca. 70-75 (?)') before that emperor deprived Rhodes of her freedom.
A Trajanic date is not, however, impossible. Von Arnim ruled it out because Dio expresses his hatred at xxxi. 150 for Nero rather than for Domitian, as he would have done (it is argued) after his exile. But Dio never mentions Domitian by name, though clearly referring to him as 'the tyrant' (see Orr. vi Diogenes, or On Tyranny, xiii. 1, xl. 12,1. 8) or 'despot' ( Or. xlv. 1). Nero, who is mentioned or alluded to in Orr. iii. 134, xxi. 6, 9, 11, xxxi. 148, 150, xxxii. 60, xlvii. 14, lxvi. 6 (perhaps: von Arnim 1898: 277; or the Julio-Claudian dynasty: Cuvigny 1986 [somewhat dubious]), lxxi. 8-9, certainly behaved for Dio in a lawless and extreme manner, but is nowhere labelled 'tyrant. Thus it is just possible that the reference at xxxi. 29 to the damnatio memoriae of 'tyrants and kings' (explicitly a contemporary happening) is to Domitian rather than to Nero. The