Dio Chrysostom

, the son of Pasicrates, was born at Prusa in Bithynia. We have just seen that Dio Cassius had the name of Cocceius or Cocceianus, and according to Mr. Wakefield, Dio Chrysostom had the same name' from his patron Cocceius; but as an entire century intervened between these two Dio’s, it is impossible that Cassius could have derived that name from the same cause. | It is more certain, however, that the subject of the present article was called Chrysostom, or golden mouthed, from the elegance and purity of his compositions. This name has occasioned a frequent confusion of our Dio Chrysostom with John Chrysostom, the Christian preacher, so denominated for the same solid and splendid excellencies of his style. Dio Chrysostom, under Nero and Vespasian, maintained the profession of a sophist: and frequently inveighed, in a declamatory and luxuriant style, against the most illustrious poets and philosophers of antiquity; which obliged him to leave Rome, and withdraw to Egypt. He then assumed the character of a stoic philosopher; embellishing, however, his philosophical discourses that treated of moral topics, with the graces of eloquence. As his character corresponded to his principles of virtue, he was a bold censor of vice, and spared no individual on account of his rank. By his freedom of speech he offended Domitian, and being obliged to become a voluntary exile irr Thrace, he lived in great poverty, and supported himself by private labour. After the death of this emperor, he returned to Rome, and for some time remained concealed; but when he found the soldiers inclined to sedition, he brought to their recollection Dio the orator and philosopher, by haranguing them in a strain of manly eloquence, which soon subdued the tumult. He was admitted into the confidence of Nerva and Trajan, and distinguished by the former with tokens of favour. He lived to old acre, but the time of his death cannot be ascertained. His “Orations” are still extant, from which we may infer that he was a man of sound judgment and lively fancy, and that he blended in his style the qualities of animation and sweetness. The first edition of his works was published at Milan, 1476, 4to. The principal subsequent editions are, Venice, 15.51, 8vo; Paris, 1604, fol. and Paris, 1533, 4to, In 1800 the late Rev. Gilbert Wakefield published “Select Essays of Dio Chrysostom, translated into English, from the Greek, with notes critical and illustrative,” 8vo, a work, however,- rather calculated for political allusion, to which the translator was unhappily addicted, than for classical illustration. 1


Fabric. Bibl. Græc.—Brucker.—Wakefield’s preface.—Saxii Onomast.